I thought I’d tell the story about the time I had a run-in with Jaws and how it changed my view on the ocean forever. Now overall I have no issues with the ocean. I even enjoy going to the beach on occassion. I love seafood and shark is mighty tasty. I haven’t been in a long time but I do enjoy salt water fishing especially for shark. I grew up in Florida so needless to say I grew up on the beach. Was there all the time. When I wasn’t on the beach I was with my dad in the Gulf out on the boat fishing. Fun times, fun times.
Something happened one day, my senior year, that changed me. I used to swim in the ocean all the time but now, no more. I will go in the water about ankle deep or I will go out on a boat but I won’t go in the water deeper than my ankles because that’s where the devil fish gets you. Trust me, I know. They say shark attacks don’t happen often, yet we see all the time on the news how this person was attacked or that person was attacked, or this place shark attacks are on the rise, etc, etc. The ocean is theirs, we are the invaders so I don’t blame them for clearing out the trash (us) from the house.
So, one day, a senior in high school, I’m at Daytona Beach swimming. Now, back then I did a lot of surfing, body boarding, and swimming. The ocean is still and quiet. There was no wind or noise anywhere. No one was around me, I was all alone, chest deep in the water, walking and swimming around. SUDDENLY OUT OF NOWHERE, I feel this bump on my leg. Now it didn’t hurt but it got my attention. I’m thinking “What the hell was that?” I rationalize that it may have just been a small fish. So I move from the area about 5 feet. Another bump on the leg. Okay, somethings not right here. I look around but can’t see anything, the water is just too dark. I move again, this time a little more out of the water, about belly deep. Then I see it. The fin. It comes up and starts circling. Now before you ask, yes I know the difference between a dolphin fin and a shark fin and this was definitely a shark. He came to the surface a little and as he circled would come in towards me then out. I swear he looked like the below picture. I FREAKED. I jumped, swam till I could run and got out of the water as fast as I could. When on shore I looked back and he was gone.
That proved to me, we should not be in the ocean unless in a boat or armed with a shock rod. That is their home not ours. So from that day on, I have stayed out of the ocean, except ankle deep or in a boat. If you want to swim in the ocean, go right ahead, but remember you swim at your own risk.