As we were cruising the north side of Tortola a few months ago,
heading towards Virgin Gorda,
we came upon a group of pelicans feeding at the surface.
But the pelicans weren’t the only ones feeding. As we neared the feeding grounds, we were able to view the full extent of the frenzy. Several large sharks (5-7 feet / 1.5 – 2.1 meters) were circling just below the surface (sorry about the lack of polarization in this photo).
Almost immediately, a few in our party grabbed their masks and fins to investigate. “Oh no you don’t”, a friendly but stern voice warned from the cockpit, “you’re not getting in that water during a feeding frenzy!” “We don’t even know the species.” The captain was right. The water was not exactly clear at the time, making species ID difficult. After much debate, there was no real consensus. Personally, I think they were lemons (and no, we didn’t go in, although a small part of my shark-obsessed brain felt compelled to push common sense aside in favor of a cheap thrill).
Anyone care to help me out with this one? What type of shark were we watching here? I think they were too small to be tigers. And what were they eating? Baitball? Ray or shark carcas?