was a cold drab day
on Cape Ann in early June. We ventured out of Gloucester Harbor
with a boat full of scubas on the charter vessel EASY DIVER
for a day of underwater adventures. We were looking for the wreck
of The Chelsea. I love to dive, but I wasn't particularly
keen about diving in 40 degree water.
short way out of the harbor, one of the crew members spotted
something drifting in our path. At first it looked like it might
be a whale at the surface. We cut the engine. But what we saw
didn't spout. Perhaps it was just a log? Crewman Pete and I raced
to see who could get into our diving gear the fastest and get
into the water first to look at this "log". What I saw when I
got in, looming out of the 20 foot visibility, was the biggest
shark I've ever seen in my entire life. It was sailing, mouth
open, towards me. I noticed that it had no teeth. For some strange
reason I stuck my hand out and touched it as it cruised by. It
was a huge basking shark!
to say, our encounter that day was the talk-of-the-boat for
months. Never would I believe I could have had a shark encounter
so close to shore. People pay big bucks to swim with the "little"
sharks in the Caribbean…here I was face-to-face with this mega-mouth
in Gloucester waters. So impressed was I with this encounter that
I went home and did an oil painting of it in record time. I am enclosing
a picture of the painting, a photo of the "log" taken by Jennifer
Griffin of Buffalo, New York, and a copy of a page from my log book
documenting the event.