Northern Tales: PART 2 – The Ghost Shark


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Birgitta Mueck, one in every of our PADI AmbassaDivers, exhibits us the thrills of dive exploration with this unique Three-part account of her newest chilly water adventures. Crusing by means of the northern fjords of Sweden and Norway, Birgitta has looked for deep, uncommon species and pods of feeding orcas. Partially 2 she comes nose to nose with the elusive ”Mystical Fairytale Creature”.

The journey continues

Our voyage continues to Trondheimsfjorden, which is a fjord within the west-central a part of Norway the place I've spent loads of time earlier than.

That is the fjord the place the world’s shallowest cold-water coral reef, Lophelia pertusa, is situated. Right here grows deep-water species of reef constructing coral, which usually lives at depths between 100-1000 meters or extra.

Lophelia Pertusa Reef

In 2000, an area diving membership “Leksviks dykkeklubb” discovered this extraordinary reef at a depth of roughly 40 meters inside Trondheimsfjorden. Since then, it has turn into the shallowest cold-water coral reef recognized to the world, and the primary cause for my many dives at this specific spot.

This time nevertheless, we're right here to movie one thing completely totally different. Our goal is to seek out and doc a legendary creature with the latin identify of Chimaera monstrosa which means ”Legendary Fairytale Creature”, which I discover fits this extraordinary being very properly. The ghost shark, also called rabbit fish, rat fish or spook fish, is a deep water creature usually dwelling 100 meters deep. However in a few of the Norwegian fjords, reminiscent of right here in Trondheimsfjorden, there are locations the place the ghost sharks could be present in a lot shallower water when diving at night time. Subsequently to have the ability to discover them we might want to dive at night time. We anchor on the spot the place we hope to have an opportunity to seek out the mysterious creatures we're on the lookout for.

As soon as the darkness has arrived, it's time for us to leap into the slightly ”refreshing” water. As anticipated the water temperature decreases as we go north and my dive pc now exhibits 10°C. Surrounded by the big quantity of glowing bioluminescent plankton, we begin descending alongside our 30 meter lengthy anchor chain and shortly activate our underwater movie lights to be able to doc any encounters. Some cod fishes and a small lobster are the primary critters I see subsequent to the small wreck resting on the sandy backside. At a sluggish tempo, I cautiously swim into the infinite darkish surrounding us, rigorously wanting throughout me. It doesn’t take lengthy earlier than I see, additional within the distance, two eyes reflecting the sunshine. I cease and patiently look forward to the creature to return nearer. Whereas hovering simply above the seashell adorned sand-bottom, all my consideration goes to the glowing eyes at the hours of darkness that are getting greater and larger the nearer they get. There isn't a doubt about it, it's a ghost shark! With sluggish actions, it makes a few loops round me, earlier than settling down on the underside once more, persevering with to seek for meals among the many lifeless sea shells.

Ghost Shark

Like most sharks and rays, that are their closest dwelling kinfolk, ghost sharks have cartilaginous skeletons. They will develop as much as 1.5 meters lengthy and primarily feed on bottom-living invertebrates. For defence, this cute little fellow has a venomous backbone situated in entrance of the dorsal fin. Being a really peaceable creature, there isn't a want to fret when diving with this friendly-looking fish, so long as you behave in a superb and respectful method.

The time underwater feels approach too brief when diving with these magnificent animals (as I haven’t discovered a method to begin rising gills like a fish but!) and it’s too shortly time to wave goodbye to my nocternal, aquatic pals and begin our ascent again to the boat. It's already the second week of October and we now have now solely a few weeks left earlier than the whales ought to begin to seem within the fjords of Northern Norway. Time for us to go even additional north and sail our remaining 500 nautical miles, hopeful to quickly meet the whales.

Crossing The Arctic Circle

Its such an exquisite feeling once we lastly attain the northern a part of Norway, after near a few months on the transfer crusing our boat alongside the gorgeous coast. We at the moment are getting into the Arctic circle and we don’t have many days left earlier than lastly reaching the mountainous county of Troms in Northern Norway. Each Orcas and Humpback whales have yearly been flocking to the world in astounding numbers, however will the herring and the whales present up once more additionally this yr? Nature solely is aware of and solely time will inform us.

We discover a good little fishing harbour on Vengsøy island, the place we determine to base ourselves for a while. This charming island is located barely west of Tromsø, and is among the spots the place the whales usually seem throughout late October. My intestine feeling tells me that that is the place to be to hopefully discover some whales quickly.

Day-after-day that passes by will get shorter and colder. When the lengthy darkish nights are clear, the sky typically places by itself fabulous present with the superb northern lights. The snowy mountain peak panorama surrounding us is just breathtaking, and so is the eternal dawn and sundown that envelops every thing in its beautiful mild. Regardless of if its sunny or gray, the ever altering state of affairs surrounding me by no means stops to impress. Such superb scenes each day and night time, however the place are the whales?

Will Birgitta and her expedition finds the orcas and whales? Proceed to comply with her chilly water adventures in Northern Tales: Half Three subsequent week!