By Mark Naumovitz
We never imagined that the already epic dolphin trip would get any better (or worse depending on how you look at it). We certainly didn’t imagine a sizable hammerhead shark would be closely following us back for the majority of our paddle. My friend Brian Nelli of Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters put me on a great bite offshore, but I was never thinking we might end up with more than we could chew!
It all started with Brian and I exchanging stories on the trek back inshore. Suddenly, I thought I saw a huge dorsal fin following just feet behind Brian’s kayak, I was dumbfounded. Upon second glance, my suspicions were confirmed. I yelled out to him, “Dude! You have a huge shark behind you!” At first, he didn’t pay any attention and chuckled. I normally crack jokes – but when he turned around, his chuckle subsided and his eyes opened wide!
The hammerhead followed us for roughly two miles. I’m thinking it picked up some scent off of the freshly caught dolphin, then saw our kayaks. He would peel off from following one of us, begin to trail the other, then circle around multiple times and start the process again.
Sure enough, he bumped into my kayak. I was hoping he would get the idea that my kayak wasn’t flesh and bone. He disappeared for five minutes or so but then returned like Jaws, following us from behind. After getting a little frustrated, wondering what this thing was going to do, I hit him with my paddle. He again disappeared for a few minutes, but soon came back on our trail.
Finally, about a mile offshore, focusing our efforts on the oncoming west wind and growing waves, we looked back and he was finally gone. That made our ascend on to the beach, just a little more calming.