Broadnose or spotted sevengill shark - Notorynchus cepedianus (1807)
The genus name Notorynchus is derived from the Greek "noton" meaning back and "rhyngchos" meaning snout.
Dive Location: Point Loma Kelp Beds
Dive Site: Broomtail Vid
Viz: Below the light green gloom about 20
Mix: Nitrox ~32%
Broomtail Reef is max 50. Both dives were at the same general site. Rocky reef with macrocystis pyrifera (giant kelp) and two types of sea palm algae. Some outcroppings soars 20+ feet and have overhangs and are as large as a house.
** Upon review of the still photos this shark had patrolled us at least one pass before this "first" encounter. How many more times?
I had my head in the sand and something told me I better I look up! I see this shark pass about 15 feet from me. I couldn't make the camera shift fast enough. I missed the shot. I looked over at Scott and asked him if he got it and he said he got it. Great! Let's head back to the boat. I was surprisingly calm. This was a big creature. It must have been at least more than five feet long. I took a heading.
About 5 minutes later I sensed the shot! My camera was up and filming. Actually, when I looked at the footage I hit the record as I swung it up and around. Good, my instincts were in intact!. She was coming head on to me. I must not have not realized the camera was on and hit the button again. Dammit! Just in time I got the record going again. Perfect framing, perfect lighting. She was beautiful. She was graceful.
She was so huge in my frame. She was only an arms length from my camera lens! That means she was less than 5 feet from me. I had this 110 degree angle lens at full wide angle and she completely filled the frame from one end to the other. I know she must be at least five feet if not closer to six in length. Her coloring is so beautiful and she is so graceful. She was not aggressive, today, thank heavens. Nonetheless, my heart was hammering like crazy after the second encounter. Nice to know that my primordial instincts do works after all!
This was about 5 minutes from the first encounter. I signaled to Scott, keep and eye out and stick to the close buddy rule. What I wanted to say, but didn't know how to sign well enough, was let's keep back to back. So we hung around. I was using my camera, which has about twice the visual range as me, to look behind me from time to time. It was obvious we were being circled, and sure enough 5 minutes later there she was again for a third encounter. I believe she came in on Scott's side this time and lower.
Well that was enough for Scott. I think the second dive was about 40 minutes.
It was a good day for marine behavior!!! I got 5 species on film!! If you don't count the fish and Lady Genevieve.