Beware the Shark Week Scare
I remember it like it was yesterday. My hands shaking in anticipation while beads of sweat swarmed the top of my forehead. I still can’t tell you why I was so scared/ excited especially since I had been in the ocean multiple times before this. But if I had to guess I would say it was because this was my first time going kayaking in the ocean without any supervision. Don’t get me wrong I don’t tend to get scared easily but as an 11 year old accompanied by his best friend (who had done this once before with his parents) I was not shy to admit that I had my doubts about this adventure. As we pushed our kayak into the waves that resembled small hills I remember envisioning all the worst possible scenarios that could come from this endeavor if done wrong. With each step getting deeper and deeper we finally decide to get on the kayak when we feel the water reach our chest. Once on the kayak I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed by fear.
Why you might ask, well let me tell you; First and foremost the ocean itself is extremely vast and unpredictable. What I mean by this is at any moment a strong current could become apparent, waves could rise, and we could be taken out deep into the water and not have the strength/ energy to get back. Secondly we had no supervision as mentioned before which meant no lifeguards/ parents to come and help us if we were to get in trouble. The last influence for my fear revolved around the wildlife that resides within the ocean itself. For some reason I am always prone to going on vacation during the infamous shark week and with that in the back of my mind plus the fact that I had seen many different sea creatures including eels, stingray, jellyfish, and star fish the idea of encountering a shark didn’t seem to farfetched to me. You might think to yourself at least you have your best friend to help you get over your fears of the water and the multiple creatures that inhabit it, but you would be dead wrong. Sensing my discomfort Reagan began to have a little fun by paddling us out a fair distance and then began to shake the boat threatening to tip it over in what he proclaimed as shark infested water. If someone was the come by they might assume someone was getting murdered due to the pleas of “help” and “stop it”. Eventually Reagan became satisfied and decided to stabilize the boat as we floated what seemed to be miles from shore. I finally began to unwind when I realized how peaceful and enjoyable it was to see the ocean for the beauty that it contained but my enlightened state was soon interrupted when I saw the distant fins approaching the kayak. Immediately I started thinking how stupid I was to elude the comfort and familiarity of land to go into this water filled death trap.
But as the fins got closer I realized that they weren’t man-eating sharks but dolphins. To my amazement the dolphins started to swim right next to the kayak occasionally jumping out of the water. They seemed just as curious as we were and I will never forget how they seemed to glide in and out of the water. Looking back now I can see how rash my initial thoughts were especially since the water was a cold temperature (sharks are more attracted to higher temperature water) and the area of San Carlos during the time we went, usually in may, was very prone to dolphins (sharks tend not to be found near dolphins because they tend to fight). I will always remember the dolphins and realizing at that moment I had gained a genuine respect for the ocean and learned not to always fear but relish the unpredictable events that nature presents.