Ah, it’s Shark Week once again. The hyper-drama of the series always triggers in my mind the recollection of my peaceful encounter with Barney the Black-tip.
Barney and I met in gin-clear water near a cay in Turks & Caicos, on a very sunny day in 2005. I had gone there to fish for bonefish and write about it for American Angler. On the day I was to leave, I had two hours in the morning go snorkeling over the coral reef a mile off shore.
While riding on the catamaran to get to the reef, our guide, Martin, turned to our group of five snorkelers and said, “If you see a good-sized black-tip, that’s Barney. He’ll just check you out and leave.”
The information didn’t seem to bother anyone. I doubted I’d actually see anything resembling a shark.