So as many of you already know, my fellow East Coasters in New Jersey are tracking this enormous great white shark named “Mary Lee” off the coast of the Jersey Shore. Today she is cruising along the Long Beach Island coastline and making her way North. Mary Lee is a female, nearly 16 feet long and 3,456 pounds. A tracking device by OCEARCH (there’s an app for that) is keeping track of where Mary Lee will heading to be this weekend.
Mary Lee reminded me of one of the spookiest spectacles I’ve ever seen as a lifeguard on the Jersey Shore. One cloudy summer day in Seaside Park, I was on lifeguard patrol and the fish began leaping out of the ocean. They were jumping onto the shoreline in a suicidal-like massacre. Many varieties of fish were jumping out onto the sand, not just tiny little bait fishes, but BIG ones like bluefish, and even the bass were leaping up out of the sea for their lives. I could just barely see the shark feeding outside in the distance but you could certainly feel a shark’s presence and smell. You could see it was something VERY BIG causing all of these fish to beach themselves. The seagulls were going nuts feeding off live fish carcasses. What a bloody scene! Worst ever!
Mary Lee has now approached Lavallette, New Jersey and apparently she’s liking this area. She’s been wandering around the Jersey Shore area all weekend!
People often ask me if I am afraid of sharks and the answer is definitely yes. I cried in terror during the Soul Surfer Scene where Bethany gets her arm bit off. It certainly was a frightening dose of reality as to what lurks beneath. The scariest thing about her attack is that Bethany was just an innocent young girl. But by God, she has become a legend in faith and perseverance. I respect her so much for her courage. She is living proof of God’s mysterious plan for all of us on earth.
As much as I try not to think about sharks while I’m surfing, my guard is always up. I listen to my intuition and use my awareness to keep my eyes out for signs and symptoms. I know the repercussions of distraction or doubt so I am always working on that for my own sake. When it comes to nature, it’s really in the universe’s hands. As surfers, we need to awaken our awareness to what nature is telling us so that we can avoid being caught in the middle of her wrath. What many people don’t see is nature’s message. It’s right there in front of all of us, but so many stay blind and distracted to other things, like smartphones for example.
I’m always paying attention to what mother nature is doing. When surfing, I make every effort to focus on nature and keep my mind clear during far out sessions. Only with awareness, I can pursue my surfing journeys in faith. Faith plays a critical role in all that I do out at sea. I know that I am in God’s hands, and I trust him. Still yet, sharks totally spook me out because they can catch you off guard. I know anything in their path is vulnerable, but mostly I try not to think about them while I’m in the water. I know I am not their food of choice, so as long as I’m not suspecting signs and symptoms of hungry shark presence, I can feel relaxed.
My suggestion to others surfing is open your eyes and use your common sense to scan for shark activity. The fish, the birds, and other sea creatures will always be key indicators. If you see suspicious large fish activity, find another place to surf. Here in Hawaii we have turtles who clearly aren’t moving anywhere fast, but they’re always floating around many of our reefs and checking out whats going on. Whenever there are plenty of turtles swimming around, I feel secure because if sharks were lurking, the turtles would stay hiding. Turtles inspire me with their calmness in the ocean. Even though turtles are slow moving creatures that are vulnerable to sharks, they fascinate me because they stay manage to stay alive for decades and grow very large! I think their intuitive awareness is superior to other ocean animals. I aspire to cruise just like the turtles out at sea. Sometimes I feel like they’re watching ME too! I smile at them 🙂 and honor their wisdom!
Aloha nui loa! Have a safe weekend everybody!