The condo we stayed at had a great beach that was never busy, we were able to leave our stuff close to the water and relax in the sun in waves. On our last day at the beach, I was standing about knee deep in the water watching HJ boogie board. He was about 20 feet beyond me in the water with his cousins, and a few of his cousin’s friends who joined us for the day. Side note: non-pool water has always given me the heebie-jeebies. It’s gross, fish are disgusting and you can’t see what is lurking beneath the surface.
Like I said, I was standing about knee deep, which is bold for me. I was talking to my sister’s friends and I felt something brush up against my leg. There had been quite a bit of seaweed, so my instinct was that it was seaweed or a fish. A small, non-scary (yet disgusting fish). So I shook my leg a bit to scare away whatever it was.
However, when I shook my leg, my toes hit something rather solid. It didn’t move away like fish or seaweed, and it felt sort-of rubbery. So I looked down. And then flipped the heck out.
When I looked down, I noticed it wasn’t a tiny fish. It was about 2 to 2 and half feet long. It was white. With a fin on top. My sister’s friend looked at me and said, “What is that?” As I was saying “It’s a SHARK! No, it has to be a fish. THAT LOOKS LIKE A SHARK!”.
My dad was standing a few feet away and was quick to say, “THAT’S A SHARK!”. Which made me feel a lot less crazy.
I flew out of the water while yelling, “SHARK!!” The way I reacted, people must have thought I saw jaws himself instead of a little 2 foot shark. But I don’t care how big it was, it was a shark. With ROWS of teeth. Not that I saw them.
The shark swam away from where I had been, basically heading straight towards the children. Great. We yelled shark to get them to come to shore, however this meant they were frolicking in the water right where the shark was. Luckily, they all thought I was half crazy and were fine with it.
Within 10 minutes, everyone was getting back in the water while I shuddered as water lapped over my toes. I couldn’t bring myself back in that shark invested water.
Later that night, my sister mentioned to a local I had kicked a shark. I think she did this to try and make me feel crazy, but the lady responded with, “Yeah, there’s lots of them. My own daughter refuses to get in this water.” In fact, right before we ran into her, someone had caught a 5 foot shark on the pier we were walking on. And she told us about how the week before a 12 year old caught one with his bear hands and threw it over his shoulder.
Now my tiny kick seems weak.
She mentioned it sounded like I kicked a bull shark, which doesn’t sound like a nice shark at all. So I googled a bull shark for you all (and I am thankful I did this waaay after the fact, because AHHH!)…
Random picture of a bull shark, thanks google.
And info on the bull shark from National Geographic:
Bull sharks are aggressive, common, and usually live near high-population areas like tropical shorelines. They are not bothered by brackish and freshwater, and even venture far inland via rivers and tributaries.
Because of these characteristics, many experts consider bull sharks to be the most dangerous sharks in the world. Historically, they are joined by their more famous cousins, great whites and tiger sharks, as the three species most likely to attack humans.
After reading a little more, I learned bull sharks are born at about 2 feet, so I likely encountered a young pup. Which means the mom was close by. And bull sharks are likely travelling in packs.
That means I kicked one of the most aggressive shark’s baby, with a large scary mama close by.
And now I am never getting back in the water.