Thursday, July 17, 2008

O.M.F.G.

Holy Crap! have you seen this? I was blown away when I saw this on CNN! I have been to this beach and swam in it's waters, and seeing this just freaks me the heck out. Now, I am a Florida girl, born and raised. I have been swimming in these waters since I was a child. I can particularly remember going to the beach one summer weekend with one of my best friends from high school, Gloria. A slight, shrinking girl who did not know how to swim very well. I told her that it was a breeze to swim in the ocean. I educated her about rip currents, rogue waves, swimming near life guard stations, the basics, and off we went. Only after we were in the water did she ask me about marine animals, namely sharks. I didn't think about sharks much. I knew that that close to shore the beasties would be following bait fish through the surf, but the chance of them actively stalking a hapless swimmer through the waves was just Hollywood nonsense. I voiced this to Gloria and we went about splashing and trying to attract the eye of the tanned surfers that were showing off just down the waves. Then.....I saw it. A dark shape in the water, riding the wave like Moondoggie being cheered on by Gidget. No, not a shark, but a HUGE stingray!!! By huge I mean that even distorted by the water, the wing span of this behemoth was at least 6 feet! Of course, Gloria screams bloody murder because, with the trajectory of the wave, the stingray is coming RIGHT FOR US!! Then out of the corner of my eye, I see one of the surfers angle his board in our direction. He ditches off of the wave he was riding and heaves his board skyward, where it lands between us and the stingray! The surfboard knifes into the water and startles the ray, which turns on a graceful dime and heads back out into deeper water. Sighs of relief ensue and both Gloria and I decide to work on our tans for the rest of the afternoon. We thank the random surfer that happened to notice our plight, and head back to the safety of sand and sun.
So I see this photo and the others like it and ask myself, "Self, is this going to make you not want to go to the beach anymore?" and I say back in my sassiest of tones, "Hell naw! I am a Florida girl and we are just neighbors to these animals. Respect is the key." It still makes me wonder what the girl in the photo said to herself when she saw it.

ZOMGWTFIT!!!! comes to mind......

2 comments:

Putz said...

what does ZOMGUITFIT MEAN??????

Bluepaintred said...

thats just a wee spinner shark, and while they DO attack people, they don't do as much damage as most sharks, and their attacks are pretty rare.

but, then again, I want to swim - not watch from a cage - swim with great whites, soo...