Joys of Shark Week

Okay, I’m a nut for almost anything to do with the ocean and always have been. Sharks have always scared the hell out of me, but they have also fascinated me. I had this dual reaction when I was a kid, after studying and writing a research paper in 5th grade. I was at the beach and about knee deep in water. I saw a small shark — I thought it was an angelshark at the time, but was probably wrong — just lazily swim past me. I was immediately transfixed by its beauty, its rightness in its home, and the fact that I was actually witnessing nature, a wild animal, swimming past me. And then I realized that an animal — most likely a small shark of some sort — swam within a foot of me.

I think I walked on water. I ran back onto the shore, knees practically hitting my chin, and stayed there for some time. Nobody seemed very impressed by what I saw. After all, it wasn’t a Megalodon or a great white. Hell, it wasn’t even a measly blue shark. I looked for the rest of the day and never saw anything else. The most I have seen since has been from the pier — dolphins and seals sort of dancing in the water not too far from shore, during a surfing contest (showing us paltry humans who the REAL masters of the water are). That was also a very beautiful moment. One other time, I was hanging with some friends in winter at the beach, all bundled up and ditching work when what looked like a small seal took great interest in the three of us. It would swim to one side, pop up, stare at us from the water, swim farther, pop up, stare at us, swim closer, and repeat over and over. There’s an inexplicable beauty in seeing these creatures totally by chance in their native habitats.

Whatever. Ever since that moment when I was a small child, my love of sharks reached insane levels. I don’t mention it much, but during Discovery’s Shark Week, I am less successful in hiding my inner geek. I have watched some of this year, like the “ghost cage” (why was that troglodyte above the water shouting about the big sharks? Dude, there are cameras down there. We know that. Not get your skinny, not-terribly-bright ass back in there and hold that door shut!), the breaching makos, the supposed serial killer shark, and more. It has been fun, and I pretty much have sharks on most of the time I’m awake.

I also have last year’s Shark Week on my DVR and have been watching some of those. I broke down and bought one of my favorite Shark Week shows, Blood in the Water, from Amazon streaming, a reenactment/period piece about the Jersey Shore attacks in 1916, which inspired the book for Jaws. I’m also reading Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo, which covers the same period. (It’s currently $1.99 on Kindle if you’re interested. Probably in honor of Shark Week). I watched the Top 10 Sharkdown where they discuss the 10 deadliest sharks to mankind (unless you’re a shark geek, you may not guess the top killer/danger), Alien Sharks, the magical and special Voodoo Sharks, and other ones. It has been fun. What do I do after, when Shark Week draws to a close? I can watch old episodes or Blood in the Water over and over.

I will think about that next week when the withdrawals set in. Until then, I think I’m off to watch more sharks.

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~ by Darren Endymion on July 9, 2015.

2 Responses to “Joys of Shark Week”

  1. I love sharks. My family and I are moving aboard our boat in a few days bound for Key Largo then the Caribbean. I’m a dive master and I hope to see as many underwater as possible.

    • That’s absolutely amazing. I expect you to have a great time and experience all that you can. =) I have to admit to a bit of healthy envy. I hope it’s great for you.

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