Surfing with jaws

It was the summer of 99... oooo yeah (in my best Bryan Adams voice). Me and my good buddy Les were surfing at Elliots' beach, Far North, New Zealand. It was a brilliant summer's day, the waves were small but clean, and I was out the back by myself waiting for the next set (Les was grovelling further in due to his board being too short).

While waiting for the next set I saw a huge form cruise slowly past me, about 10' away and about 4' from the water's surface. It took a couple of seconds for my mind to register what it was... a huge shark, longer than my 9' longboard (10'-12' would not be an exaggeration). For a brief moment I was in awe of the creature, until I realised that it looked remarkably like a Great White, and that my legs were in very close proximity to it's jaws.

Anyone else ever had a terror-rush? It's something you never forget.

I prayed silently while trying to gently catch a wave in using only my fingers to paddle with. Somehow, I managed to ride in (an angel must have pushed my board ;-). I came up beside Les, who was in wastedeep water, and pointed to the water out yonder. We both saw the shark's silouette in the oncoming wave... it was a truly awesome sight, albiet for only seconds. Wonder had overtaken fear.

Needless to say, we didn't go surfing again... that is, at least for a couple of hours.

I've read recently that it is not the shark you do see that is dangerous. It is the shark that you don't see that is dangerous, as sharks use the element of surprise and attack their intended morsel unseen from underneath. So, next time you are out surfing or swimming, remember... if you don't see a shark, be afraid... be very afraid.

7 comments:

Jon Dylan said...

I should be sweet as the only place I go surfing is in the Mt. Albert Aquatic Centre's wave pool.

Jon Dylan said...

Although... one can never be too safe! *wraps up in a spacesuit*

lesmondj said...

That was a cool time Syms. I remember we clambered out onto the rocky point and saw it again a bit later. Love the bit about paddling with your fingertips...so true!

Rhys said...

Oh come on give me a break first the centipedes now the sharks, you could of atleast saved this post for winter.
You were on a longboard any way so unless jaws himself was in the area wouldnt you be safe onboard your low profile waka

Symon said...

'Low profile waka'... that made me laugh ;-)

Katie said...

haha hay symz, rhys is posting comments on your blogs now :)

Mike Dellosso said...

Symon, ever since seeing Jaws as a kid I've had this terrible fear of sharks. You're a lot braver than me. I would have panicked and become shark lunch.