Hammerhead O’Clock

When the beachgoers next to us caught a shark, my plans for this post went out the window.

I meant to delve into the imposter syndrome and all its sneaky lies, but that’ll have to wait for a less-newsworthy day.

Since I was gutting fish before I could walk, you can bet I was interested in all the shark-catching details. From where they got the bait – $20 for two stingrays at the store or skewering them live with a small trident affixed to a rope – to the shark’s information – hammerheads and tiger sharks are protected, whereas bull sharks and nurse sharks aren’t, and it’s those that are eaten.

So let me set the scene. One hairy-chested man paddled a sea-kayak two football fields out in the ocean, dropped a hooked stingray for bait, and then headed back to shore to watch the pole and wait.

Do you know how the secret service protects the president? Well, my eyes can’t see anything else when there’s a pole’s line in the water.

And after the pole bobbed, reeled, pulled and yanked the shark in, they got it.

Adrenaline bursted through one of the men bodies as he told his wife exclusive information about the catch. “I dislocated my finger, had to pop it back to keep goin’. Almost passed out.” His thick southern accent added a cartoon-like quality to his shaky delivery.

Before they let the 7’8″ hammerhead go, I stroked its tail, and so did Evelyn. It wasn’t the sandpaper feel I expected, rather a rough, primarily smooth, fishy feel.

It’s weird being human and feeling conflicted about the sharp hook slicing through a fish’s mouth and dragging it kicking and screaming to a sandy shore it isn’t intended just for entertainment. I don’t know what to do with that.

Anyway, it’s time cool down, which means a “shallow” swim in the ocean.


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