I need to start out by saying that I love and respect sharks, as I do all animals. I can’t say the same for all human beings, who can be inherently evil and nasty to one another at times. Animals, on the other hand, are innocent and just trying to survive, without any malicious intent. With that said, I have a couple of fears in life. None of my fears are truly debilitating but I do get extremely anxious and uncomfortable in water deeper than my boobs. Ok, maybe my belly button…but who’s counting.
Something about the unknown of what lies beneath the water line or just out of sight. I am the person that gets wildly freaked out when a small branch brushes their leg in waist-deep water, immediately panicking and believing I am being attacked by a sea monster of sorts (again, I would still respect said sea monster). Seconds later, when the culprit is identified as a sunken, 3-inch branch, I not only feel foolish but I also feel safe. Needless to say, the ocean is not my jam and I am okay with that. Everyone has their likes and dislikes and I have come to find out, after my thirty-five solid years of walking on terra firma, that I am a land animal, tried and true.
Hugo and I have spent many day trips and relaxing vacations at the beach and I enjoy every second of it. As most people do, I enjoy the fresh air, the scenic beauty, and the calming sound of the methodical ocean. Hugo lives to fish (and would fish to live if he had to) so he spends most of his time doing just that. I am happy when he is happy so as he fishes I normally lay in the sun, walk the beach or stand by his side, simply pleased to be close to him and the ocean.
Now, with all of that said and done, it is important to note that Hugo loves to swim in the ocean and he will swim, dive, snorkel, explore and even paddle hunks of shark bait 100 yards out on a boogie board, so he can effectively shark fish from the Florida shoreline when there with our family. Yes, this happened…and it happened in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, which I have recently come to find out is known as the Shark Bite Capital of the World. At the time of our beach house rental with Hugo’s family and my mother a couple of years ago, I had no idea. If I had, I would have gone into protective mode of my prized Hugo and really tried my best to keep him safe and out of the water. He probably wouldn’t have listened but it would have been worth a shot. After all, I happen to like the guy and want him around forever.
This came to mind as we have rounded out Shark Week 2019 and I realized as I wrote this post that I fashioned a similar excerpt last year at this time. For someone who is scared of the ocean depths, I have a tremendous amount of love for the magnificent predatory animals that call the ocean their home. Now if only we could choose who the sharks bite (maybe one of our recent murderous mass shooters), the world would be a little closer to fair and just.