View Full Version : swimming with sharks pehaps

16th May 2017, 10:22 AM
coming back to the cragmoor very late at night ..after following the crowd to a shebeen we needed to get back to her in a boat as she was anchored off in syey harbour ....after a long run down from vancouver there were many thirsty persons ......on arrival at the jetty there was a small boat not our liberty boat but a small rower ...probably capable of 7 or 8 persons ......about 15 scrambled aboard ...two reasons i was not happy were it had then about a half inch of freeboard and i had recently caught my ist shark after a breakdown for three days at sea.....i had been told not to swim over the side in sydney harbour as there were many types of shark there ......we were about8 or nine hundred yards from the ship....it was never proved who started it but very much drink had been taken and someone stood up to see if his best buddy was aboard....turning round he stumbled the boat fellover.....i now new what a fear of sharks was about all hands in the water the drunk who had stood up and fell downshouting where is billy or harry or whatever his name was......the boat had no grablines ...i must say any thought of being a hero went very quickly .....i set of like an olympic swimmer for the gangway which was lit in the distance ....after a few minutes i relised i was in a very vulnerable position ...and cupped one hand over my proud possession and swam like xxx towards the bottom of the gangway ...now panic was taking over and i threw caution to the wind and swam using two arms while praying the big feela who i was sure was swimming just below me wouldnt bite .......it was an interesting situation back aboard ......with the second engineeer accusing the drunk of capsizing the boat into which otherengineers joined in and a fuull fight broke out ending with the2nd enginneer smashing a group of six or so plates over the ABs head ......later the AB lost his reason and was wandering round the ship naked and had to be contained in his cabin as he was not mentally fit ......we put him ashore on the west coast of africa ...gone whacky altogether ...but of cause no one said who hit him with the plates......many other happenings on that tramp ..but surely a learning curve ....cappy

Captain Kong
16th May 2017, 12:04 PM
Two years ago I was swimming with Sting Rays in Moorea, near Tahiti, I had a snorkel on and a small box with cut fish pieces in and fed the sting rays,
They were about four feet in diameter. lovely creatures, then I held onto his shoulders and he towed me around the Lagoon, uner the water I saw around a dozen sharks, moving silently behind each other, and circling us.
as one got close that Sting Ray started to whip his tail around to frighten the shark off. which it did, but his tail caught me across my back and down the right arm.
The pain was excruciating, but I still hung on as it was keeping the sharks away, I got near the noat and then climbed in. My back and arm was covered in dozens of black punctures from all the stings down its tail. and when I got back to the ship later I had to see the Doctor to have it cleaned and treated.

happy daze john in oz
17th May 2017, 06:47 AM
Here in Oz we have many sharks around the coast and regular hits by them on swimmers.

But we also have the opportunity to see them close up, they are on the TV most days in question time.

Rodney Mills
17th May 2017, 03:37 PM
As I have mentioned before my wife and I have master scuba diver ranking. We have made a number of dives with sharks. Attached are four that I thought might be of interest. One is my wife and I off Agincourt Reef, Queensland, the big fish behind is a grouper Two were taken diving off Holborne Island, Queensland, and are of reef sharks. We had four swimming near by and we sat on a coral encrusted rock and watched them cruising around us. They started to get a bit too close and it can be dodgy as the flick with their tails as they go past and can hurt one really bad.

There is a trick a diver can do to scare them off. Remove your regulator from your mouth and make a yelling noise as you expel air, the noise frightens them away from getting to close. You try and save enough air in your lungs to expel water from your regulator to start air flow again (if you can't there is a purge button you can use on the front of your regulator).

As we were getting ready to go up to the surface and the dive boat about three more came along and the school circled above us. The dive boat skipper could see them and started the boat's motor and revved the engine and scared them away. The fourth photo is a woebegone shark off the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, they are harmless, but look a bit terrifying especially if you bump into one on a night dive(they move slow).

They just accepted three, so see following:

17th May 2017, 03:49 PM
they are good photos rod ...i have never met a man to whom i would be affeared of ...but i confess with sharks which i caught or was on vessels that caught them ...i would be.... if in the water with them.... being expelling air frpom another orifice of my body ...inshields was a young fireman who lived next door to my gran i would go for a beer with him if he was home ...passing his home one day his child of 4 or 5 was in the front i asked is your dad home ...he stated the sharks got my dad ...it appeared he was swimming in singapore or hong kong harbour and was taken ....i dont like sharks .....

Rodney Mills
17th May 2017, 04:08 PM
...You can see the boat's motor revving to drive the sharks off so we could exit the water.

I just added one of a "Giant" Clam. If you remember the old movies set around diving, treasure hunting etc., The bad guy usually ends up getting his foot or arm caught in one, struggles like hell to get out and then croaks as the hero and the female interest sail off into the sunset.
Well you can't get trapped in one. The clam has a heavy soft mantle that encompasses the upper and lower shell (the frilly part in the photo) and you can stick you arm in, touch the back meat and it will close on your arm and you can just slide your arm out. So it was fake news.

17th May 2017, 04:32 PM
nearest i got was on orpheus island on the barrier reef on holiday with pat sat on a tiny attoll like beach after taking a small tin boat with i think must have been the biggest and best picnic hamper i have ever seen ....the most amazing drink section securly iced ...and a food hamper with lobster and all other goodies .....but as we lay in the nuddie along came a pearl fisher and and after a while shouted there is a saltie over here ...i was in the tinny and blowing the engine nearly heading back to orpheous......cappy

Des Taff Jenkins
18th May 2017, 05:35 AM
Hi All.
When I was on my second trip we called into Port Sudan, while waiting for the pilot we circled outside, close up in our wake were some huge sharks didn't seem to mind the noise of the screws turning. Caught a lot of Grey Nurse on the BTC as we were always breaking down, now I wonder why instead of cutting them up and throwing them back to watch the others go mad in a frenzy of eating, we didn't eat them ourselves, one shark would have made enough fish and chips for the whole crew.
I can concur with Cappy about holding everything, we were anchored off Benias in Lebanon and had swam ashore, after some wine we swam back; boy that was a long and visionfull swim.
Cheers Des

John Pruden
18th May 2017, 05:53 AM
there was a shark net in curacao with a hole in it for years and a wooden raft type thing bunkering there a fella overlooking the bay started shooting into the water we thought he was shooting at us I went up the hill to give him a crack until he pointed to the swimming area there was a shark in the bay with us we gave him a few packets of fags it was only a sand shark but a shark is a shark some big fellas around south Africa taking young seals but still one of the seas marvels ? what times ahh.. jp

happy daze john in oz
18th May 2017, 06:09 AM
Just out of the Red Sea and the cook said we should throw a line over the side to see what we might catch.
He used a bent butchers hook and half a Lambs liver.
We caught a shark, not sure what kind but it had nasty looking teeth.
He killed it with a hammer to the head and decided to cut it up.
Scored his hand on the skin which was like sand paper, but we all ate very well for a few days.

John Pruden
18th May 2017, 06:37 AM
makes me sick to see the so called fishermen killing them for their fins and dumping them back in to drown they would help the medical research as they are immune from any type of cancer but that's us human animals all over no one knows how long they live for either? jp

18th May 2017, 11:17 AM
the ist shark i ever caught was on the cragmmoor ..i was told to take a meat hook down below and get a barbs put in it then atach some wire folloewed by a heaving line with a box float ana chunk of meat onthe hook....i thught i was being wound up ..but got the biggest suprise of my life when seeing a large shadowy figure some meters below it came up slowly and did not turn on its back but circled and the just struck it was in my memory nowabout 9 or 10 ft ..there was no one else about and i was flapping but had the sense to put a couple of turns round a bit .....the bloody thing was thrahing and juping an old ab got anoyher heaving line and putting a running bowline in over my line dropped and the secured it ..so we had it at both ends ...we heaved it aboard with the help of others and it was the ist time i saw the true butchery of a live creature ...a fire axe was used ....and many a stab with knives.......i recall the sandpaper effect brushing one way and the softness like a womems breast the other ....its belly of course was cut open and out poped 7 or 8 mini sharks abouta foot or so long.......we had shark steaks but i cannot recall what they tasted like they must have been ok or i would have remembered.....it was a learning curve and certainly not the last shark caught sadly i did not have a picture of it ....cappy

Captain Kong
18th May 2017, 11:43 AM
Here is me with a shark we caught off West Africa when we broke down for a few days on a Skin Boat.

I would not catch or kill any others now, or even insects and animals.,I have had my life saved so many times that I appreciate it so much so I cannot put any other creature through the same.
Also Sharks are an endangered species. The death toll of sharks is in the millions each year/

18th May 2017, 04:09 PM
#13, Ahh Capt' a sight for sore eyes....and you're not bad either:p

Captain Kong
18th May 2017, 04:55 PM
Marian, you`ll be fancying me soon,
That photo was 61 years ago when I was 21. and all the girls used to scream after me. If only I could turn back the clock,

John Pruden
18th May 2017, 06:05 PM
now then behave yourselves you two?:p:p jp

John Pruden
18th May 2017, 06:22 PM
did anyone ever read the book on I think the uses Indianapolis and her crew in the water for 4 days sharks all around after the bomb dropped? jp

Des Taff Jenkins
19th May 2017, 01:48 AM
Hi All
Might have posted these before, this was caught in the Indian ocean while we drifted for six days, there were literally hundreds swimming around the ship, probably waiting for the gash bucket to be tossed overboard, but as Brian says there is no way i would do this these days, sharks have their place in the sea, we should respect that.
Cheers Des


19th May 2017, 08:02 AM
did anyone ever read the book on I think the uses Indianapolis and her crew in the water for 4 days sharks all around after the bomb dropped? jp...that is one good read john ......the attacking of the sharks ...and the guys holding hands in a circle only to be torn out by the sharks ...and the screaming going on day and night ......more than a nightmare situation ......regards cappy

Captain Kong
19th May 2017, 10:29 AM
I have the book

John F Collier
19th May 2017, 04:08 PM
laying off port Said on ORARI the Bosun and Lamptrimmer rigged up a hook and used a derrick as a fishing rod to catch a
shark,it was amazing to watch, the shark didn't have a chance it came out of the water like a piece of cargo it was about
eight feet long and went mad when it landed on deck, it wasn't a good thing to see really, the biggest fish I ever caught was
a Barracuda, I was fishing over the side in Auckland and was reeling in a catch and when it came out of the water there was
only half of the fish left so I dropped it back in the water and pulled it up and down a bit when I got a huge tug on the line
to my surprise it was a barracuda about 3' long, it was an evil looking thing, the butcher knelt down in his shoes and held
the fish up and someone took a photo :), I gave the barracuda and a couple of kahawai to a wharfie so maybe it's in a glass
case somewhere. cheers John F

Colin Wood
21st May 2017, 06:21 AM
On the Fremantle to Christmas Island run we were coming into the drifting season when unable to berth. Crew bought there own foo and were advised to have a good stock. All very careful chinamen, would not pay any extra towards stores. after a few days drifting the crew were getting very hungry, only having their ration of rice every day when they caught a big shark. I don't know how no one was injured as it was hoisted aboard as there were knives flashing everywhere.

Dennis McGuckin
21st May 2017, 03:20 PM
Had a similar experience on one ship.Broke down in the Indian Ocean.
Had a line over the side, big hook baited with a lump of some kind of meat.
Shark hit it. Winched aboard, It was thrashing about on deck. AB hit it with a stanchion.
It gave birth to several babies.
Took some killing. Then all the 'heros' appeared with knives.
Had one of its teeth for a long time.
Lost along the way, like so many other things.

John F Collier
21st May 2017, 04:44 PM
#23, Hi Den hope you're keeping well, the lamptrimmer on ORARI was a bit of a taxidermist, he had a couple of flying fish
that he had stuffed with tobacco and then varnished, when they caught the shark #21, he cut off the dorsal fin to work his
magic :), he put it in the rope locker and promptly forgot all about it, when the locker was opened some time later a cloud
of flies / bluebottles flew out and the stink was overwhelming, I've often wondered how long his flying fish lasted, and if he
gave them as presents to people at home :). cheers John F

21st May 2017, 06:04 PM
hi john it was common practice to stuff flying fish i was shown by anold sailor the method was after getting the fish of the deck plenty on tankers low in the water .....slit open the belly and scrape out all possible fleshand fill with soaked oakumsew up very gently ......varnish fish with a good coat and pin onto a board of wood with wings outstreched and pinned in flying position...wait till dry and then coat again when dry it is sealed now take off board and turn over giving belly and underneath a fine coat ...you will find the fish is solid no smell and looking the businness did one or to myself....but liked to eat them sweet fish ...regards cappy

John F Collier
21st May 2017, 07:19 PM
Thanks for that cappy, always something to learn on site, that was the only time I saw that done so maybe got it wrong
about tobacco as I've always thought that's what he used, I wasn't on tankers only cargo ships but still would see flying fish on deck in the mornings, mainly in the Indian Ocean if I remember rightly, never thought about eating them though :).
cheers John F

Captain Kong
21st May 2017, 07:22 PM
I did that Cappy with this one, in the photo. just as you said, I bent a welding rod into a Z and inserted it along its belly and then sewed it up and the bottom of the Z was pinned to a piece of wood. so it was in a flying position..
Some one stole it when it was on deck drying in the sun, never found out who did it.

They do make Good eating , used to get a bucket on the 4 to 8 watch walk around the deck and collect them , give to the Cook and have nice fresh fish for breakfast.

John F Collier
21st May 2017, 07:28 PM
I did that Cappy with this one, in the photo. just as you said, I bent a welding rod into a Z and inserted it along its belly and then sewed it up and the bottom of the Z was pinned to a piece of wood. so it was in a flying position..
Some one stole it when it was on deck drying in the sun, never found out who did it.

Hi Brian, seems I can't open your Thumbnails lately it's a shame cos there's some good pictures there. cheers John F

Captain Kong
21st May 2017, 07:31 PM
Hi John f
I have the same problem, thumbnails remain as thumbnails , They used to open but not anymore, It must be the `Cuts`
Thumbnails take up less space than a normal size photo.
Mostly I click on a thumb nail and just get a Black screen and no photo, then have to go back to NEW POSTS and start again . No idea what is the cause.

Keith Tindell
21st May 2017, 08:05 PM
i remember in the Pacific, lovely balmy weather, we used to hang a cluster light over the side to attract the flying fish, and in the morning picking them up and taking to the galley. Never ate one myself as i cannot stand fish in any form, kt

Des Taff Jenkins
22nd May 2017, 01:19 AM
Hi John.
Now that is what I would call a smoked fish, {stuffed with tobacco}On the tankers we had loads of flying fish on the deck in the mornings, maybe someone collected them for the cook but for the life of me I can't remember eating one. Don't know if the people on the passenger boats ever see them but they would be so far from the water they would be like watching flies, whereas on a tanker we could practically touch them as the flew pass.
Cheers Des

22nd May 2017, 06:00 AM
i remember in the Pacific, lovely balmy weather, we used to hang a cluster light over the side to attract the flying fish, and in the morning picking them up and taking to the galley. Never ate one myself as i cannot stand fish in any form, kt####anchored off kharg island while dropping one pipe of welsh steelpipes per day we fashioned a harpoon type spear with a flattened nail with barb on end ....untwined anold heaving line to make a hoding line and with lights over the r send at night spent many hours spearing fish of all kinds and colurs ...it was a great way of passing time as they could only take of one pipe about 30 or plus feet per day as the old boat they had at that stage was down to her marks plus ...so if any sea was running ...no pipe today ......it was a long time perhaps 25 or 30 days just ...sweating them off water rationed.....itwas august no air con .....but now kharg island is a massive construction......boring times for a young man ..but memories ...regards cappy

happy daze john in oz
22nd May 2017, 06:11 AM
Smoked fish, what a waste of good food. Just imagine if sharks ahd been in the canal along side the 'Vindi' no one would have starved. Or done life boat drill maybe!

Dennis McGuckin
22nd May 2017, 03:27 PM
Remember when on the hook, I think in the Medi.Used to catch Portuguese Man of War in a colander.
No idea why!

John F Collier
22nd May 2017, 05:41 PM
Remember when on the hook, I think in the Medi.Used to catch Portuguese Man of War in a colander.
No idea why!

I'm the same Den, I do things and I've got no idea why, "I kid you not" :). cheers John F

Des Taff Jenkins
23rd May 2017, 12:27 AM
Hi Cappy.
Did many boring things while swinging on the hook, but as you say the memories now are far superior to then.
I vaguely remember lowering then wiring off one of the anchors, then breaking the cable and sending it out to a buoy I can't remember where we did that, maybe the Hoogly or one of the rivers in West Africa, I get flash backs of these things but for the life of me can't remember where. Maybe some of the younger members can post a list of places where this happened.
Cheers Des


Peter Pearson
3rd October 2018, 10:00 PM
there was a shark net in curacao with a hole in it for years and a wooden raft type thing
As a first trip deck apprentice on Shell Tankers Haminea I went swimming there after doing the 8-12 cargo watch on Christmas Day 1961.

We had part loaded in the Schotegat refinery the previous evening, for the first time I took the wheel in port and was on the helm going through the channel through Willemstat then round the coast to the tank farm in BullenBaai. I seem to recall there being some sort of club there but it's the swimming enclosure that I remember. We were warned about the hole in the barrier.

Chris Allman
3rd October 2018, 10:20 PM
One of the best fishing I ever had from the ship was at Cobh. Just could not fail reeling in the Herring. We had some great breakfasts.