Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vacation Part I; Day III "Fish Story"

Oh my....I really wasn't trying to be sensational with the teaser about the shark in the boat, I was just trying to be funny. We had a great week, and nothing that happened was catastrophic...it's just the kind of stuff that happens when a family of four goes on vacation. I call it...."Extreme Tourism".

The shark thing actually happened on the third day of our vacation, but since it seems to be generating the most interest, I'll start there.

We booked a shark and ray fishing tour, which departed shortly before sunset. It took us all around the barrier islands and finally to the "Shark Hole", which is not really "deep sea", but rather a deep inlet at the mouth of the intercoastal waterway where sharks come to rest at high tide. Sharks, as you may know, must be in constant motion to keep water moving through their gills. This is how they respirate. However, in this hole, the current moves very quickly as the tide comes in, and the sharks can hunker down and let the tide do their breathing for them.

It was a three hour tour (yes, I know) and the first several hours were very uneventful, due to the fact that the boys, in their impatience, insisted upon recasting over, and over, and over. Their rods were smaller and designed for less ferocious sea creatures, such as rays or lady fish, which are also abundant in the rich marsh grasses that border the barrier islands. We never did manage to catch any of those, though they did kill many a minnow as they were flung again and again into the water.

Just as the sun was setting, Husband's reel suddenly took off with a hiss and our guide (and Captain) thought that it was most likely a Bonnethead, which is a small species of shark in the same genus as the Hammerhead. The largest on record is a mere 29 lbs.

After about ten minutes of pitched battle, he was able to reel it in. It was indeed a Bonnethead, and weighed about 11 lbs. The boys were at once horrified and fascinated. It was only about 3 feet long, but husband had a hard time keeping a hold of it as it's muscular body whipped back and forth in agitation. After we had all marvelled at it, and run our hands along it's amazingly smooth skin, our guide removed the hook and tossed him back, as it's illegal to keep them.

We were all very excited and declared that even if that was the only thing we caught all night, it was worth it. No sooner had those words been spoken, than Husband's reel got another bite, this one bigger, and stronger, and much, much more determined. Husband fought with that thing for thirty minutes and it led him on a merry chase from one side of the boat to another. Finally, as it tired, he was able to reel it in. We were all shocked, as this shark was fully twice the size of the last one, and much more pissed off as well.

It was all that the two men could do to keep a hold of it. It thrashed about wildly, and it was somewhat awe inspiring to see the muscles rippling up and down it's sleek body. Sharks, I've realized, are actually quite beautiful creatures. This one was hooked quite badly and bleeding freely, (but not fatally) which upset the boys. The Guide cut the hook away as gently as he could given the manner in which it was flailing around, but he was determined to weigh it before they threw it back, since it is unusual to catch one that size.

That's when things got ugly.

The apparatus he had for weighing was just a little pincers that one can attach to a fin, or, with bigger fish, the lower jaw. Then you suspend the fish from it to determine its weight. Even with both of them holding the scale, and husband holding the tail with his other hand, one powerful but unbelievably graceful movement was all it took for the shark to break free and crash to the floor of the boat.

Unthinking, I hastily herded the boys to the other side of the boat, and Husband and the guide both took two giant steps in that direction as well to avoid being bludgeoned or bitten. A shark's hide will leave a burn on the skin, much like sandpaper and it can take days for the pain to subside. Husband got thwapped pretty good, but since he was fleeing, it was only a glancing blow.

Anway...the boat was not terribly big, and so, when five people abruptly absconded to one side, the boat listed to a degree that was most disconcerting. We were in no real danger of capsizing, but Pre-Pubescent One, who has a mild, but persistent fear of such, was overcome with panic for a moment. He quietly freaked out in a corner, while Diminutive One calmly shinnied up the mast and peered down interestedly.

Fortunately, they were able to subdue the shark before it injured itself or anybody else and tossed it quickly overboard.

Talk about excitement.

We got back to the villa at about 10:30, but the boys were so hyped up that it was hours before they were able to settle down and go to sleep. I think Husband was experiencing some kind of primal hunter gatherer adrenaline rush as well, and so, we sat on the deck talking, sipping wine, and listening to the waves for many hours.

The boys are still talking about it four days later.

This trip was not cheap. When I suggested it, I didn't realize that it was a private charter because it was described in much the same way as the other group tours in the resort brochure. Husband booked it, so I had no idea how much it had cost until we were underway. I nearly had a heart attack when I found out and I scolded Husband for being so extravagant.

Husband reasoned that we might not be able to take another trip like this for quite some time, and so, he determined that we would pull out all the stops. I can't fault his logic. He wanted the trip to be something to remember.

And you know what? He was right. It was worth every damn penny. My kids will remember this trip for the rest of their lives and you can't really put a price on memories like that.

So there's our fish story.

As a rule, I do not post pictures of myself or my husband, and only occasionally my children. But I'll see if there's one of the shark that I can crop the people out of. We took a trillion and a half pictures, and I haven't had the energy to even think about downloading them yet, much less categorizing and titling all of them.

10 Comments:

  • At 3:17 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    That was thrilling even to read! And the hubs and I just watched "Jaws" (again, needless to say) last week.

     
  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Jenn said…

    Those kind of memories are priceless...can you even believe that a soul-sucking credit card company got it right?

    Looking forward to the pic.

     
  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    Wowee! I can't fish b/c I'm always afraid I'll catch something too big for me to handle (nice of me to assume I'd be such an awesome fisher, huh?)

     
  • At 10:49 PM, Blogger jen said…

    no amount of money in the bank can replace days like this. good on all of you for the splurge.

    and am so glad you are back and safe and happy and brown.

     
  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    Sharks are my favorite animals, and I love your description of them. Glad to hear you threw them back. I would like to swim with sharks some day. I did get to feed them from inside a plexiglass cage, though.

     
  • At 7:48 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    That is definitely an adventure that the boys can re-tell for many years to come!

     
  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    I definitely prefer spending money on experiences rather than things...memories last forever; tangible items (say, for example, a new sofa) eventually wear out.

     
  • At 5:31 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    I had my heart in my throat the entire time I read this! What a great experience, although somewhat scary at times; one the boys will remember for the rest of their lives, I'm sure. Great story!!

     
  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    You're right, you can't put a price on a good story. And that one was a doozy. The kids will remember it forever.

     
  • At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Gurukarm said…

    Whoa! from Google images (actually, from the Tennessee Aquarium): http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/
    HighRes/BonnethdShark.jpg

    Was your Husband's this big (looking)?? totally cool! great story, thanks for posting.

     

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