Sunday, May 22, 2011

Swimming with the Sharks

Sharks in the water. Most sharks, especially these well-fed captive sharks, are quite mellow. The visit to the Shark Tank (not the one in San Jose) was a highlight of the visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Our visit was made all the more fun by the enthusiasm and curiosity of "Silvergirl", who joined us for the visit and then led us to one of her favorite Orange County beach restaurants.

Sharks in the water. That reminds me of a lawyer joke.

Sawfish and shark shadow. The sawfish once had her saw bitten almost off by a shark; the aquarium's vet was able to repair it with epoxy.

Manta ray and sharks.

The story was that a sailboat once came to grief trying to pass over a bar through a reef surrounding a tropical island. Instead of passing the bar, the boat was driven onto the reef. Its raft was torn up when the crew attempted to launch it. A crew member would have to swim through the shark-inhabited water to reach land and then hike to a village for help.

Manta ray and hammerhead shark.

So, the captain dove in and swam toward the island but was soon surrounded by first curious, then aggressive, then hungry sharks. As he struggled through the water he began to flounder and panic; then he was attacked and disappeared. Most of the rest of the crew was understandably reluctant to try the swim. Except for one.

"Silvergirl" styling with the sharks.

One middle-aged sailor swore that he'd be able to swim the shark gauntlet without a problem. And, amazingly, he did just that. Not only did the sharks not attack him, but it almost seemed to the other sailors that the sharks formed a wedge to escort him all the way to the water's edge. The crew were utterly amazed.

"Silvergirl" and friends, including manta ray

Later, the successful swimmer returned with fishermen from the village to rescue the remaining crew members. After they reached land, the crew all wanted to know how he had successfully swum with the sharks to land and so they plied him with questions about what had happened and how he'd managed the shark-strewn swim.

Sharks below

"Well, it's terribly simple," he answered. "Just professional courtesy. I'm an attorney and my finny friends and I are all members in good standing of the bar association."

Apologies are offered to the Shark Anti-Defamation League. Note that no sharks were harmed in the making of this bad joke.

Sharks in the tank. The sharks in this tank do not play hockey, unlike the somewhat more skilled shark pucksters of San Jose.



At 4:16 PM, May 22, 2011, Blogger SailNauti said...

Thanks for the shark news!


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