Fashion Designer and marine life enthusiast Katie Eary has always loved and been inspired by marine animals. In this shark tagging Odyssey, she helps collect important research to promote shark conservation with RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation. Sperry was excited to capture her hands-on experience with these beautiful creatures.
When I unboxed my Sperry package I was shocked! I couldn’t believe I was being sent to Miami, and with a twist! I was going shark tagging! I’ve never seen a shark in real life, let alone tagged one!
Landing in Miami I was surprised by all the clouds, but that soon changed. It was so hot!! When we reached the bay, we started to load the boat with our bits and bobs. I tried to bring a bag of fruit onboard, but the crew said no entry until I ditched the bananas. They told me an ancient story why bananas were bad luck and not allowed on board. It made sense. No one wants to die. I felt safe with the crew. They knew what they were doing.
We caught so many sharks that day. From black tips and nurses to tiger sharks and even a barracuda. After tagging my first shark, I realized it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. It was so much fun. The shark skin up close looked so beautiful, but felt hard and rough.
The second day, we caught the same amount of sharks! I must be so lucky! The crew said they hadn’t caught this many sharks for a long time! I asked them if there would be any nearby if I took a quick dip in the ocean. They assured me there wouldn’t because sharks are scared of boats and humans, so I jumped in to cool off and what did I see? A huge shadow of a shark! I was petrified.
Overall, the whole experience was amazing! I learned so much about sharks and myself. It was truly an amazing experience, and I thank Sperry for the wonderful surprise.
Written by Katie Eary. Follow Katie on Instagram at @katieeary