Log: Swim Pacific

[DAY 85] The shark

Maria was on the Kogo watch, a special watch we called after one of our Japanese friends. The watch starts at 4 a.m. and the person is responsible to prepare the food and equipment for the dinghy and my breakfast. Yoav always wakes up at 4 a.m. to make the necessary adjustment to our route and take Seeker back to the swim point.

As I jumped in the water, this day was going to be different because the waves and wind had changed directions and were mostly against me. Within the first hours, I couldn’t believe the amount of plastic I was seeing in the water below the surface, I had never seen that much before. A few times when I collected a piece of plastic, as soon as I removed it from the ocean, the school of small fish that lived below it found a new refuge right under me. This was a clear reminder of my responsibility with this expedition. It was as if the fish swam to me to ask for help. As soon as I resumed swimming, the fish were left alone in the middle of the ocean.

Maks and Gonzo were pacing me on the dinghy and giving me my food during my breaks. During one of them, Maks jumped in the water to go to the “bathroom”. Gonzo and I told him to go further out, we didn’t want to see anything floating around us. Suddenly, a minute or two after he got back in the dinghy, I spotted the fin of a shark cruising toward us. By the time I saw him, he was already very close, maybe 15 feet away. I quickly put my goggles back on and looked in the water to find out where he was going and assess his behavior. The shark was about 7 feet long and slowly gliding through the water coming from my right. When he got closer right in front of me, he then turned and swam further out. I took this opportunity to grab a GoPro. The shark came back toward me, this time from my left, when he got at about 10 feet away from me he again turned to go behind the dinghy, he completed a full circle when he reappeared to my right. The shark swam around us twice before leaving. What an amazing experience, at no moment I felt in danger. Like with any other animals I have encountered, he was curious and checking out what we were about. I went on and resumed swimming, I never saw him again for the rest of the day.



About the day:

Weather conditions:

Sunny (cloud coverage 1/8)

Wind speed: 13 kts

Wind direction: E

Waves height: 0.5m

Waves direction: NE

Water temperature: 27.4°C

Miles swam: 18.26NM

4 thoughts on “[DAY 85] The shark

  1. Hi Ben,
    what an encounter in the middle of the pacific ocean. Was it a white shark?
    I notice only now how warm is the water. It is even warmer than the north mediterranean sea (Tirreno). I was expecting the ocean to be colder. I hope this is not due to climatic change.
    Keep going, we are with you.

  2. What an awesome encounter with one of the apex predators of the ocean! They are really beautiful in an eerie kind of way. I am sad at how we humans keep on vilifying these creatures.

  3. Hi Ben, Thanks for sharing your adventure, and making us aware about your plastic and maritime encounters. I wonder if you could also share pictures of the plastic crap you see in the sea.
    Stay safe.

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