Sharks are all around us! OK...JUMP IN!

When one is out on a boat, and someone calls out "SHARK!", it is generally considered a warning to not go in the water, or, get out. This past weekend, the opposite was true. I went out with the crew from Florida Shark Diving, about 3 miles off Jupiter, Florida, and went swimming with the sharks.

These gorgeous creatures, Lemon Sharks, were swarming all around the boat. Captain John had tossed a bait box into the water which sat on the sandy bottom about 80 feet below us. In just moments, dozens of sharks were all around. These sharks were big, about 5 - 6 feet long. This species can get up to 10 feet, however, we did not see anything quite that big.

A Hammerhead did come to visit, but, he/she just stayed on the bottom near the bait box. A Tiger Shark also visited, but stayed out on the perimeter of the shark swarm.

After putting on snorkeling gear, yes, we slipped into the water and swam with them. Lemon Sharks eat things much smaller than us. They were not bothering us, and, we certainly did not bother them. They are gorgeous fish with a delicate yellow hue and intriguing cat-like eyes.

They did bump into us from time to time, but, it was only because there were so many of them, it was hard not to get bumped. None of them displayed any kind of aggressive behavior, and, while I was on this trip I was certainly gathering research to apply to a new book.

This is what it looked like...swimming with the sharks:

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The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated - Mahatma Ghandi

©  Briar Lee Mitchell, 2014