Let’s get this out of the way up front: I didn’t see a shark in Cape Cod. Even though I woke up hungover the day after the 4th of July, and took two planes across three timezones to go look for one. Even though the burgeoning Great White Shark population off the coast of Massachusetts has gotten international attention, prompting a study by lifelong shark researcher and marine scientist, Dr. Greg Skomal. Even though the stir has sparked visits by one of the most well-known underwater photographers in the world, Brian Skerry. Even though I was with both men on my quest. Nothing.
We came together in Cape Cod, with the express purpose of finding a shark, and we failed.
I share this not to make you feel sorry for me, but to illustrate how difficult it is to get a glimpse — just a glimpse, let alone more — of these awe-inspiring predators of the sea. As Skerry and Skomal both reiterated throughout our trip, sharks have no known predators, they are in every way at the top of the food chain, which makes them intensely fascinating to humans. It’s also part of what has made humans, often wrongfully, fear them. Still, even without seeing a great white, just the chase alone, alongside people who have devoted their lives to these apex hunters, was enough to make me fall in love.