Travel discussion for St. John
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Post by kirk »

So I'm out at salomon yesterday trying out my new fins when i find myself in a school of tuna, 2 1/2 to 3 footers, about 30 of them all around me. out of the corner of my eye, to my right I see something big coming my way. first thing I recognize is the shape of their tails. Sharks !! I must say my heart missed a beat or two till I could tell that they were just nurse sharks. two of them about 7 feet long swam right by me, maybe 15-20 feet away. very exciting!
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Post by snorkelqueen »

YIKES...... :shock: I am afraid I would have dropped dead from fear. Sharkes really freak me out! Heck - the tuna would probably have freaked me out too :oops:
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Post by flip-flop »

You are not alone. I was totally freaked out my tiny tenacle-less (is that what they are called) jellies once. It doesn't take much!
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Post by RickG »

Tuna!? Wow, that's something you don't see everyday! I'm sure the sharks were pretty intimidating too.

Cheers, RickG
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Post by Teresa_Rae »

Yeah, that tuna comment got me wondering if I’ve ever seen any. I googled tuna pictures and I think I’ve seen them before but I’m not sure.
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Post by cypressgirl »

Glad to see you're out enjoying the beaches, Kirk. Hope you are doing well. I'll be back with little Cyp in August for 9 days. I'm sure we'll run into each other at the BB, although we're staying way up off Centerline about 25 min. from Cruz Bay, so I will be doing my BBing during daylight hours.

Yeah, the tuna would have freaked me out. The sharks.........well that would have scared the holy crap out of me. :lol: But I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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Post by CariBert »

Whoa! Kirk! Tuna fish...what kind were they, Starkist or Chicken of the Sea? :P :P

Only joshin ya....the nurse sharks weren't after the tuna, were they? I thought Nurse Sharks were sort of like salt water cat fish....bottom dwellers, scavangers.
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Post by mathayom »

Sure they were tuna and not Tarpon?

I've seen the tarpon close to shore and rolling so much that they make the water froth.

Never seen tuna that big that close to the beach.

It IS season, though.
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Post by Kathyzhere »

I agree with Matt. I bet they were tarpon. Swam with them before in Cozumel. The dive shop would throw a lil' chum in the water and there they'd be. They were 4-5 ft long :shock:

I'm no expert on tuna but dated a fisherman from Provincetown and they went WAY out for the tuna. They both have that silver shiny skin though. Could easily be mistaken for each other.

Anyway, cool sighting!

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Post by nothintolose »

I just asked SO where they found the tuna when they went fishing off of STJ, and he said by the Continental Shelf about 20 miles out.

That would be cool if you did see them up close.

Anything big that swims at me creeps me out. Last summer we saw a HUGE barracuda (thick and long) at the point between Little Maho and Big Maho. We also saw a huge permit fish there. Both creeped me out more than the nurse shark on the bottom when we saw the other two :lol:

The shark at Cinnamon we saw in July 2005 that was NOT a nurse shark and came back to check us out creeped me out the most though.

I still am scared of the sea urchins the most though...especially after reading jimg20's report and seeing the pics!

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Post by greyhoundmom »

Has anyone had a bad experience with a shark on STJ?? The first time my daughter saw a nurse shark under a ledge she practically walked on water doing the pee-pee dance, you know the look, eyes as big as saucers behind her snorkel mask, yelling some gibberish and swimming at a high rate of speed (well I guess you could call it swimming). She freaked when I went to take a look. We tease her about it 2 years later - fastest she's moved in years!
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Post by cptnkirk »

Now thats cool 8) Were ya way off the point or close to shore. I'm sure kirk knows the diffrence between tarpon and tuna they look nothing alike maybe could have been some huge barjack though they look like tuna,don't no if they get that big.
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Post by sea-nile »

I love seeing sharks. We saw white tipped reef sharks in Kauai - cool! I have seen large sharks that I think were either tiger or reef sharks near Waterlemon. I am scared of snakes, some spiders and even bees, but I can handle sharks. Go figure :roll:
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Post by Gromit »

I realized during our latest venture to STJ in December that I now have a personal rule about sealife in general.

I LOVE to snorkel and hang out in the water, seen sharks before (small ones) no problem. Love all kinds of sea life.

But one day out at Salt Pond I got within 20 feet of a 7ft nurse shark and my new rule was born: if it's bigger than me-- I don't like it!!

In other words, if I'm not at the top of the food chain with anything I'm hanging out with, I am not comfortable. Don't get me wrong. I'll hang, I'll like it, but I'll not love it!!
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Post by RickG »

I think tuna are a lot closer than 20 miles. The local fisherman catch tuna using long lines off of their small open outboard boats.

But, still, seeing tuna at all while snorkeling is very cool! I have seen schools of Cero, a type of mackerel, that look like the love child of a tuna and a barracuda. That's a lot closer to a tuna than a tarpon.

Cheers, RickG
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