July 10, 2015

The Shark Wrestler

Our trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit with Nantucket’s legendary shark wrestler, Elliot Sudal (@acksharks). We were up bright and early, fueled with coffee and doughnuts from Downyflake. We arrived at the beach in 'Sconset to find that Elliot and his girlfriend, Marissa, already had one shark on the line. Once the shark was reeled in to shallow water, Elliot dove into the crashing waves, and pulled the shark on to shore. Following proper protocol,  Elliot tagged the female with a tracking device and recorded her measurements. He allowed us a few pictures with the incredible animal, but with her best interests in mind, he quickly released her back into the ocean. After watching the fishing rods stand at attention for what seemed like hours, our doughnut stock was depleted and our sugar highs were quickly falling. Suddenly, one of the fishing rods jolted forward, spiking our adrenaline. Elliot began to reel in another shark, and then handed Erick the pole to finish the arduous process. After bringing the shark closer to shore, Elliot once again dove into the water, emerging with another female. This shark, measuring a total of 75 inches long, was a stunning beast. Elliot studies the shark population of Nantucket during the summer, and travels to Florida in the winter, catching and tagging sharks off of Sanibel Island for the NOAA Apex Predator Program. No KJP Crew or sharks were harmed during our adventure - only a few waterlogged iPhones. 

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