NafNaf – the fearless baby silky shark

Location: Socorro Island, Islas Revillagigedos, Mexico

Comments: We anchored at one of our secret diving spots at Socorro Island today after checking in at the navy base this morning. The diving was actually a lot quieter than we had hoped for, with only 1 manta spotted by a handful of divers and sporadic sightings of silky, silvertip and white tip reef sharks as well as the odd turtle. Lots of great fish though. Visibility was down to 30 feet later in the afternoon.

The good news is that the humpback whales are here in force. A very enthusiastic young calf put on a great show this morning repeatedly spyhopping and breaching right in front of the Nautilus Explorer. Spyhopping is when the whale orientates vertically and sticks his head out of the water – perhaps to better survey his surroundings. Breaching is, of course, when the humpback jumps out of the water. Scientists disagree as to why whales breach. I like to think that they do it “just because they can.” Other theories range from a release of
sexual tension to jarring parasites loose, to “the loser” calming himself down after a battle for dominance with other males.

The day finished off on a high point with 10 silky sharks and a couple of dolphins entertaining themselves under our deck lights after sunset. The sharks were pretty rowdy and I chose to keep our divers inside one of our shark cages. It was really cool to see a couple of silkies that were only a couple of years old. They were much smaller than the other sharks, maybe 30″ in length. We all fell in love with a really tiny baby silky that had to be a newborn, and couldn’t have been more than 20″ in length – AT MOST! He was very, very cute and our guests promptly named him NafNaf. NafNaf was certainly a fearless shark, and he kept on getting in the way of the larger sharks to the point of snatching a piece of fish out of the mouth of one of the big guys! All of our hearts went out to him. Good luck to Nafnaf and happy Valentine’s Day to all.

–Captain Mike

By Nautilus Staff

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