Kayakers at St. Martins say they were surprised to spot a shark swimming about 50 feet from them in the water near the sea caves on Wednesday.
Manju Varma had taken a day trip with her friend Sheila Cameron and their children. They decided to go on a kayak trip with a company out around the sea caves.
They were around 50 feet (about 15 metres) offshore in choppy water when a guide they were with noticed his colleague waving at them to indicate not to go the caves. They thought it was because of the rough water.
“We turned around to go back to our starting point and that’s when we individually saw the fin in the water,” Varma said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.
They knew it was a shark fin as soon as they saw it, Varma said. The guide had them group the kayaks together and then paddle for shore.
“We’re not only worried about the shark, but our kids are out on the water too, which made it more stressful for us,” Varma said.
Taylor Godfrey, one of Sheila Cameron’s children who was also there, described the fin as grey, about 18 inches tall (about half a metre) and long.
Nik Joshi, one of Varma’s children, says their guide was fairly certain it was a basking shark.
The basking shark is the second largest fish species in the world and feeds on plankton, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The sharks are an average seven to nine metres and can live up to 50 years.
The department estimates there are about 10,000 of the animals in the waters around Atlantic Canada.
The group didn’t get a photo of the fin, but several people on the shore were taking photos at the time and may send their photos to the group.
Joshi said the guide said shark sightings are rare in that area.
A call to the company they booked the kayak trip with went unanswered Wednesday evening.
A 63-year-old New York woman was killed in a rare shark attack off Maine’s coast late last month.