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Friday, June 20, 2008

Childhood Flashbacks: The Shark Encounter

knight over at her place had a post about her trip, her great tan (yes there's a photo if you are curious) ;-D, and sharks! Yipes! Sharks! Apparently, there was this big shark tank that had glass tube slides through the middle so you could slide through and zoom past finned predators at a dizzyly high speed view the sharks "as if within their world." Anyhow...she reminded me of time I was fishing with my uncle. We were wade fishing in the surf and past the second sand bar (I think the tide was out but coming in). Anyhow, he would gripe at me for "bein' all girly" when seaweed would brush my legs, or I'd step on a mullet or something. This particular time I was determined I wouldn't be a be a "squeelie Gal." That day the ocean was a big wad of dead seaweed that had washed in from way off shore somewhere. So, I feel this brush of seaweed but I'm watching my pole cuz' somethings kinda' messing with my bait. [We were using cut mullet and cut sand trout -- we had caught with the mullet, and some bait fish we caught with the cast net...] My uncle was about 15 yards away. About a minute and a half or two later, my uncle yells out to me. "Hey? You Okay over there?" Me, "Yeah...why?" Him, "No biggie." We get back to shore and then he tells me. "Well, I didn't want to startle you but...I saw that shark brush up against you. I was afraid you'd panick and he'd bite you." [!?!?Are you Bleepin' explicative, explicative, explicative, Bleepin' kidding ME?] Obviously, I didn't say that...but I came pretty damn close. My next encounter was with a sting-ray. I know. As if the shark incident wasn't enough. But, my uncle said the shark was just a couple feet long and he was rubbing against me to "check me out?" I guess, like a dog sniffs around. They feel like sand paper, by the way, when they do that. So, anyhow. We are out fishing like bleepin' stupid idiots in the surf again. Mullets are jumping out of the waves and from time to time you step on one on your way out into the surf. So, the tide is coming in and it's getting dark and I'm at my last cast (you always think that one last cast will catch ya' a big one). So, a mullet keeps bumpin' at the back of my heal. Finally, I jump up and then my foot lands -- on the side of the fin of a sting ray. Mind you, the tide has been coming in and I'm in almost above waste deep water. And, I slide off the side of this guy's fin! You can guess that I panicked, BIG TIME. So, as I see the triangle silhouette of this beast gliding in the water away from me, I freak out and I freeze. My uncle is at the shore and it's getting dark as the sun is finally setting below the horizon. My uncle is waving to me for me to come in. But, I'm crying and freaking out. I can't move. I keep picking up my legs but they won't take me anywhere and I'm seeing sting rays swimming all around me. [They weren't, my mind was just playing freakin' tricks on me in my panick.] Eventually, crying, I finally made it back to shore. So, at that moment...I quit wade fishing in the surf. I did my fishin' from the shore at high tide. In fact, from that moment...I quit entering the surf entirely. "God didn't give me gills," I always say. But, still being the trusting person I was about the "wet and wild" at that time...I did continue wade fishing in the back bays and lagunas with my be continued.


gary rith said...


Anonymous said...

you be living on the edge!! I would so not fish ever again.

I love the beach, sit on it and all, and look at the ocean but ummmm NOT GETTING IN!!


Knight said...

What terrifying and awesome stories you have! You should go to the beach in the bahamas. You can see everything in the water and up by to waste deep you don't see any fish whatsoever. Nothing can sneak up on you.