Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Man vs Wild - The Sharkening

Since it's Shark Week - here's a little tale. A tale of a fateful trip...

It's not often that I impress my grandson, jaded as he is by years of video games and movie super heroes. The first was when I explained to him why Ghost Adventures was total bullshit and the other time when I went swimming with a shark. Not exactly on purpose but I did.

The whistle blows and the life guard motions everyone out of the water.

"What's going on"
"Marine activity"
"What kind of marine activity"
"Can't say"
"Can't or won't. Does it have something to do with that fin out there?"
"Can't say"

I guess the word "shark" is verboten for officials of the tourist dependent Dewey Beach. Near as I could tell there were two marine actors working the shallows. A big ray and some sort of shark. I'm not sure what it was but it was about 6 or 8 feet long. Somebody said they saw a thresher shark a little earlier offshore but this thing looked like a big sand shark. So the shark moves up the coast and the life guards let everyone back in. I'm floating on my back about 30 yards out when I see a nice big fin cut across my feet almost close enough to touch. Now I want everyone to know I did not shit myself, not even a little. I may, however, have squirted a little urine into the water. For that I apologize.

My initial reaction was to scream like a little girl, turn on my belly and swim as fast as I could to shore. Then I got the feeling that all that splashing around may draw some unwanted attention. Meanwhile, the lifeguard's blowing his whistle like crazy and waving for me to come in. No shit, sherlock. I think I'll just float around out here hoping I get my ass bit off. So, slowly, slowly, I backstroked elementary style all the way back in. The boy's eyes were big as saucers. That made it all worthwhile.

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