Jumping the Shark

This is not your typical jump story. It’s scary and poses some risks but doesn’t involve a plane or a parachute. This jump is off a boat into shark infested waters in the Bahamas. True, they may be ‘nurse sharks’ and not considered dangerous to humans “for the most part” but they are sharks nonetheless. THEY. HAVE. TEETH. My friend from the dock, a 35 year old guy named Food who grew up homeless in Nassau said, ” If the shark bites your fingers, it won’t bite them off, it will only break them.” (That is the reason I am beginning this blog entry before the jump while I can still type.) Food also told me not to wear anything that shines and to make sure I don’t smell like meat. I’ve got both of those things covered so I guess I am all set.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘jumping the shark’ it is an idiom used to describe a moment in the evolution of a television show (or blog) when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery. It comes from an episode of Happy Days when Fonzie, while waterskiing,  attempted to jump over a shark. I fear that posting pictures of myself in a bathing suit might be this blog’s ‘jumping the shark’ moment.

As with skydiving, it is very important to be prepared so I met  with Food on the dock the morning of the ‘jump’ for an intense briefing on the correct procedure for coming face to face with sharks.

Very serious preparation course with Food. "Don't wear anything shiny and don't smell like meat."

More of the intense preparation course.

Q&A. "So you mean I actually go IN the water?"

Later that day, when the sharks had just enjoyed scraps given to them by  local fisherman, I decided it was the best moment to open my eyes and jump.

Locals cracking open conch shells and throwing scraps to the sharks. We ended up with a delicious conch salad for lunch that day.

I put on my bathing suit, walked to the boat’s stern and began to wonder why the hell I had decided to do this. It was the same feeling I had on the plane while walking to the open door to skydive. What was I thinking and why did I get myself into this?  I took a deep breath, hoped for the best and slipped into the water. My eyes continually darted in all directions as I waited for Mack the Knife and his friends to appear. The wait was nerve wracking. For a second I imagined I would feel the same way if I were in the mountains of Afghanistan on alert for the Taliban.

First glimpse

And immediately right back out of the water!!!!

Getting braver and swimming away from boat's ladder. Note shark in upper right corner and my main concern is looking at the camera.

Too many sharks moving in. Time to get out.

Food, who stopped by to watch my shark encounter, later told me, “You was tremendous and not scared. You were brave enough to want to touch a shark. A lot of people don’t want to even go near the water. I am proud of you.”

When we said good-bye,  Food decided to offer me some last minute advice on life which I thought I’d share.  He said,”Take things slowly, never rush. If you rush the brush, you’ll spill the paint.”

Maybe tomorrow, I'll swim with the pigs.


6 Responses to “Jumping the Shark”

  1. Sylvia Says:

    Love, love this!! You really have a knack with words. The last picture is the best. Sounds and looks like you had a great time. S.

  2. Sally Says:

    I love the story! But since when can pigs fly?..I mean swim!

  3. Irene Says:

    Love the post and glad you met Food and didn’t become food!

  4. Anne Says:

    you are crazy!!! At least with skydiving there are no other ‘critters’ to deal with!
    very proud of you! NO way in H___ I’d do that with you!!!

  5. Bea Says:

    Absolutely loved this. I have really enjoyed all the commentary from your trip. I’m so glad you and family had this experience;another thing we have in common.

  6. Riqui Says:

    wow this food guy sounds like a great dude!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: