I am not being a wussy; some poor woman down the coast lost her life while taking an idle swim with her daughter. I was always a bit jealous of the wetsuit swimmers, they seem so content not being threatened by hypothermia - you pee once in the wet suit and you are set – but - there is the misfortune of being mistaken for a seal, and this wetsuit victim had bad luck. This shocking tragedy rocked the rest of us who venture into the Atlantic. Shark attacks in South Africa sound exotic. Shark attacks in mid-coast Maine…not so much.
The stress has been enhanced by multiple sightings of fins off the little cove I swim at on this little island. Granted, there has been some debate as to if the fins are large sunfishes or sharks, but a fin is a fin.
My sister, who consistently gives sage advice, emphatically told me, “Don’t go into the sharks house!”. I really need to listen better – but with the heat wave, and being summer and all, I like to swim. I have, however, taken several solid precautions – don’t ask me for data, but it is a well-known fact that sharks shy away from bright colors, so I wear a Mexican themed bathing suit. I enter the water slowly and make sure not to create a large disturbance or attract any attention to my area. I swim on high alert and diligently scan for any signs of jumping fish. And most importantly, I have a solid line of defense, I swim with Charlie. Every day I position myself with Charlie on the outside as I hug the rocks; effectively he is running block. Charlie does not wear bright colors and he is larger than I am so any smart shark will go for him first while I channel Michael Phelps and swim to safety.
I am trying not to be a complete headcase about taking a casual swim – but seriously, nature is really overrated.