|"The sharks devoured our whale, so for revenge and film footage, we dragged a few out onto the sand beach." (Photos by Burress )|
SHARKS AND THEN SOME!
While movie-making about the vicinity of the Pearl Islands off the west coast of Panama, we harpooned a 35 foot whale. Brother Captain Herman, George Vanderbilt and I fought it all day from a 26 foot seaskiff and killed it late in the afternoon. Paul Burress, our photographer, had ground out hundreds of feet of film, but was still not satisfied. He wanted more accurate shots of the dead whale, but it was getting dark. We towed the huge body into a quiet and peaceful cove and anchored it for the night.
We returned after daylight next morning to resume picture taking and were surprised to discover that a great pack of sharks had set upon the whale during the darkness and had eaten it beyond the point of recognition. There was little but the carcass of the whale left and the waters of the immediate area were literally teeming with many varieties of sharks. Some of them were still picking at the remains.
To satisfy Paul's mania for action pictures, as well as our own urge for revenge, we decided to declare a private war against the beastly destroyers that had defeated our picture plans.
"All right," said brother Herm, "if it's action you want, I think we
can get some." He proceeded to attach a heavy rope line on a chained shark
hook. He baited it with a good chunk of whale meat and waded out as far
as he dared, and cast the bait into the midst of the pack. Then, as he
scrambled out of the water to safety, we heaved on the line and practically
ran up the beach dragging the surprised thrashing critter high and dry
out on the beach.