sharks


Mile High Dive

Dry-landers take heart.  If you’re yearning to snorkel with sea creatures a thousand plus miles from the nearest seashore, Landry’s Denver aquarium will have you swimming with more sting rays, eels, fish, and skates than sea snorkelers can hope to glimpse.  You may even spot some mermaids.   Too calm for you?  In another exhibit, you can scuba dive with the largest sharks in Colorado either as a guest or volunteer.   It’s a great way for divers to keep in practice when a trips to the coast are such a strain.   After a year of driving to Denver to work as a guide, I can attest that Landry’s is a breathtaking place to […]


Sea Quest: Florida


Toothy Timberlands

A young woman put her foot on the boat rail, bracing herself to haul in a two-foot lemon shark for tagging.  As Environmental Specialist Pat O’Donnell grabbed the shark, he did a double-take on her boot–Really, Timberlands?  The extra-take took no more than a quarter-instant, just enough for the shark to sink its teeth into the boot toe. Once that shark chomped, there was no shaking it off.  The lemon was there to stay.  Pat assessed the situation and asked his volunteer crew if anyone had a camera. After the photo-shoot, tagging, and data collection, he used a screwdriver to pry the shark off and let it swim away.  The imprint of the shark […]


Who Doesn’t Want to Hold a Shark?

Photo provided by Patrick O’Donnell, Environmental Specialist in Fisheries The question came from Vanessa, a South Fort Myers High School girl who joined our Rookery Bay shark tagging trip with Pat O’Donnell.  Oddly enough, I seriously wanted to hold a shark.  Having read so much about them, I wanted to experience a living, gill-breathing, not too dangerous little shark in my hands for a heartbeat or two.  Sadly, all we met while fishing Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands were catfish, isopods, and several zillion mosquitoes.  Still, it was a thrilling experience, and I’m so glad that Pat is out there offering that opportunity to […]


Sharks as Science Bait

On a mission to meet sharks, I worked with students and teachers from schools on both Florida coasts.  The two instructors had gone above and beyond in prepping their classes.   We met four of Steven Wilkie’s freshly polished shark experts on our visit to the Ten Thousand Islands estuary with Environmental Specialist Pat O’Donnell.  Wilkie, of South Fort Meyers High, gives up uncounted evenings and a good deal of sleep to expose many such tiny groups to real-world research. He and O’Donnell also took pains to individualize their onboard lecture for Yazmin, a wannabe accounting major, by emphasizing the importance of statistics and data software in research.  […]