Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sharks are everywhere!

'Sharks are all around us, sharks are everywhere... I know it's really silly, I know it's not quite true, but you surely will get eaten, if you swim at Mullaloo...'

Where were we? Ah, SHARKS!!! Yes, Perth and indeed much of Australia, is in shark sighting frenzy right now. Indeed, just yesterday a six metre "monster" was spotted lurking off Mullaloo Beach with evil intent in his beady little eyes. No doubt he was hoping to snare himself a stray bogan or two wading into the ocean with a full stubby of VB in fist and a tasty mullett flapping out behind in the sea breeze.

I think it's time we all gave ourselves a collective slap on the face and settled down a bit - we're scaring the bejeezus out of the kids, ala the great Jaws debacle of the 1970s. I can tell you that after watching that movie as a 13-year-old, paddling out at Scabs on the old Len Dibben pin tail was never the same again - robbed of my carefree surfing youth I was.

When the Dibben fell out of the boot of Dad's Commodore and snapped in two on West Coast Highway, I was secretly pleased... until I got the 6'3' Cordingly Pin Tail for Christmas that is. Straight back into the maw!

You see, post-Jaws, life at the beach for me was sullied forever more. The final straw was probably one day when I went surfing (for those who know me, it was a long time ago!) off Cottesloe Beach (see Ken Crew) and decided that instead of going to shore with my mate, "I'll just catch one last wave in..." If it was a scene in a movie, you know what was coming next. Sure enough, out of the black, weedy water in rapidly fading light, up bobbed a big black shape right next to me... thank Christ it was a seal. I didn't need that next wave to get me into shore and I haven't done much surfing for that matter either.

But despite the fear that's been instilled into my generation, let's not have our kids in a blind panic every time a piece of seaweed brushes their leg. Let's take a firm grip on our Len Dibbens and give the polaroids a good wipe before we start shouting 'hammerhead at 50 metres!'


Anonymous said...

Totally - the funny thing is that you would have been eaten by a shark already way before even seeing him, if the sharks really had an interest eating us fellas, given those speeds and extraordinary senses of sharks, be sure that the shark knows you're there, way before you see him, he smells us and recognizes the electrical energy of our nervous system immediately when we enter water. So what's the point? Sharks sometimes just do a test bite of some of us to see whether we're worth eating, then figure out that's its totally not worth it, since so few muscles have to be digested with so much other jucky stuff, not even worth the energy digesting it.

Anonymous said...

I was surfing at isolators at 7.30 pm on saturday feb 3rd, when a BIG fin came gliding towards me from about 4 meters away- VER CLOSE. I have surfed since i was 10 years old and never seen this sort of behaviour before, i just shat my pants.
next day both cott and leighton were closed for a couple hours due to sighting of a 4 meter shark, Bet none got as close as me....

Im having night mares about it now.
Cheers sean

Cookster said...

Sean, it's certainly 'shit your pants territory' - well done on surviving.

Anonymous said...

Can be scary stuff...can't it.
Thats why we put the statistics on line. Information is power. once you see the statistics, shark attacks are quite rare, and close calls are common. I have surfed/dived most of my life, but I take care. One of the scariest things before were secret attack files...these were ust money spinners for those that had them. Ours are free and unfunded. This isnt an advert, we dont sell anything.
A big fin at 4 metres... that would do it for me also

Mez said...

North Cott and Swanbourne beaches closed 4pm
Channel 9 news wetting itself