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Some pay for glimpse of shark

Boat excursions seek closer look

WOODS HOLE -- As spectators traveled to Woods Hole yesterday for a glimpse of the great white shark that entered the waters off Naushon Island last week, one boat captain was capitalizing on the predator's appearance.

Matt Lundberg, a captain with the Woods Hole-based R&R Marines charter fishing company, was ferrying groups of six passengers in his 22-foot Boston Whaler yesterday to the bay where the shark cruised. The cost to each group for the trip: $100 an hour.

"I've been doing it all day; I'm hungry," Lundberg, 20, said after returning to Woods Hole yesterday afternoon following another run to the island. "I'll be going until I can't see the rocks."

Lundberg, who said he'd taken about 100 people to glimpse the shark yesterday, said the idea to offer the excursions came to him as frantic television reporters tried to shoot footage of the shark from the Woods Hole drawbridge, a half mile from the bay.

"I figured I'd toss the line out and see if anyone bit," Lundberg said. "And now I got a line going out of Woods Hole."

Lundberg, however, was not allowed to take passengers closer than several hundred yards from the 14-foot, 7,000-pound shark. Environmental police have sealed off the embayment, said Greg Skomal, a shark specialist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who spent yesterday monitoring the shark's activity with other environmental officials.

"It doesn't make for good photography," Skomal said, adding that it was hard to spot the shark from more than 100 yards away.

But Sheila O'Shaughnessy said she was more than satisfied with the glimpse she caught of the shark from Lundberg's boat.

"It was so worth it," O'Shaughnessy, of Sandwich, said.

And for some, danger was the motivation. "I just want to tell my students that I dared to do this," said Judi Taylor, a guidance counselor from Marblehead.

Skomal said the shark has remained docile since it was first spotted Tuesday by a local skipper. Skomal said the shark is probably disoriented, explaining how it ended up in the shallow waters near Woods Hole, and is likely to venture into deeper waters once currents flow in that direction.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Jack Encarnacao can be reached at jencarnacao@globe.com.

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