Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shark attack Maui

Ever watch a movie where there was a hideous monster on the rampage devouring or killing everyone it encountered. Ever watch the reaction of the movie people to the monster? For the sake of this post I am going to divide these people into two groups: the ones who get eaten and the ones who do not.

When the monster showed up most people would run away. The people who managed to get themselves eaten all had one thing in common. They would watch all of the freaked out people run by and then go in the opposite direction to see what all of the excitement was about.

In the neighborhood where I grew up we had a different kind of monster.  Gang members with guns. As a result in my neighborhood if someone started running, you would run too. You didn’t stop to find out why, you can find out why later, once the danger had passed.

I told you all of that to tell you this. My wife and I were snorkeling in Maui when a colorful fish darting amongst the rocks below caught my eye. I decided to point this fish out to my wife but she was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere for her, I didn’t see her. Then I looked on the shore and I saw her standing there pointing past me, out to sea.

What the…

She was saying something, what was it?
“SHARK!” I finally heard.
I looked around and sure enough there was a dorsal fin, not more than ten feet away.

Now I have seen a bunch of survival shows and everybody knows that most shark attacks happen because the victims are splashing around and get themselves mistaken for seals or some other water creature. I knew exactly what to do; yet I didn’t do any of it. I freaked out and started swimming as fast as I could to shore.

By the time I dragged my tired body out of the water I was mad. How could she leave me out there with that shark?

“When you saw me take off, you should have taken off too,” she said defiantly. She was right, we had both grown up in the same neighborhood and yes that was the way things were done. But, here’s my point. She had to swim by me, all she had to do was tap me on the shoulder on her way by… that’s all! She could have warned me, but she didn’t. And to make matters worse, she was unapologetic. Neighborhood rules. Her job was to see the danger and take off… my job was to recognize it and follow.

So that was the time when I almost got eaten by a shark while swimming in Maui… well, actually it turned out to be a turtle, but it could have been a shark.

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