North Carolina isn’t often featured on Shark Week. Indeed, that infamous week of terrifying television program tends to feature more exotic locations that its viewers will probably never travel to, in depths that they’ll never swim in.
However, for many travelers, Cape Lookout, North Carolina, is a more likely destination. It offers horse watching, shelling, fishing, birding, camping, lighthouse climbing, touring historic villages, and on one Fall day, the opportunity to watch a massive feeding frenzy.
On Thursday, October 9, members of the One Harbor Church visited Cape Lookout National Seashore. This series of barrier islands is just three miles off-shore. The islands lack paved roads, resort facilities or bridge connections and visitors must arrive by boat. They proclaim to provide a “pristine examples of the dynamics of natural barrier islands.” The leaders of One Harbor Church, however, got even closer to nature than they anticipated.
The group of men were out fishing for the evening’s dinner, when they realized they were interrupting sharks’ evening meal – and the sharks ate with much more ferocity than a human ever could. The men witnessed more than 100 sharks furiously trying to catch their own dinner – a school of blue fish. Soon, they were joined by some dinner guests: seagulls and pelicans.
For more than five minutes, the sharks swam in and out of the surf – coming dangerously close to their observers’ feet. Some came so close to land that they even became beached! The church leaders decided to get in on the action – casting their own lines and catching fish without the use of bait. Donnie Griggs, the cameraman who captured the footage, is an avid waterman who spearfishes, dives, swims and surfs at Cape Lookout often.
56 shark species are known to frequent the Outer Banks. However, visitors should know that Cape Lookout and the beaches of Eastern North Carolina are safe for swimming. These sharks, fish and birds actually signal a very healthy ecosystem, and this sort of frenzy is a rare event.
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