View Full Version : Why I don't like saltwater...

Sam Perry
July 2nd, 2006, 01:10 PM

July 2nd, 2006, 01:20 PM
Billy Barton told me in 1966 that to discourage a shark attack punch it hard on the snout. He could have been stringing me a story because when the shark followed us in Narragasett he did not stop to punch that shark in the snout.

July 2nd, 2006, 03:13 PM
That's pretty scary. Glad to hear that everyone is ok though, that could have been a lot worse.

July 2nd, 2006, 06:27 PM
WOOOOOOW. Although very scary........what a great story these two will have to tell in the future (along time from now).

July 2nd, 2006, 08:01 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
That's pretty scary. Glad to hear that everyone is ok though,

...other than the poor shark that got speared in the mouth!

July 2nd, 2006, 10:02 PM
i have a feeling... if a 6 ft. shark were after you, you wouldn't be referring to it as a "poor" thing. you would do what any normal person on the defense would do... spear it in the mouth that was open and ready to eat you.

July 3rd, 2006, 12:16 PM
That’s quite a story, I’m glad the Hall’s are OK.

I too have heard that bopping a shark on the nose will discourage it, but I wonder. I hope I never have to test that theory out.

The only personal shark experience I’ve had worth telling is one where I was walking along a large tide flat in an equatorial climate zone (on Diego Garcia around ‘78). It was a really long and wide flat with about 1-foot of water in it at the time, which was almost entirely calm due to the breakers at the outskirts of the reef.

Right at the waters edge was a giant “cloud” of 3-inch minnow-like fish that was over 15-feet long and 6-feet wide. There must have been thousands of them bunched together, swimming the same direction and speed that I was walking. It was pretty cool to watch this densely packed school of minnows change its cloud shape as they wiggled along the shoreline like a single entity.

I then noticed a small shark, less than 4-feet long, lazily swimming across the flat from the other direction. This critter was moving so nonchalantly that it was almost hypnotic. It gave the cloud a wide berth and circled around coming up behind it, coming so close to the waters edge that I could have reached over and tapped it on the fin. Everything was completely calm and serene to this point, like a quiet weekday morning in the park.

But the moment the shark’s nose hit the edge of the cloud, all hell broke loose. With one swish if its tail the shark exploded at a rate of acceleration that my jaw literally dropped and my eyes bugged out. I had to stop dead in my tracks to keep from loosing my balance. It was absolutely astounding, going from 0 to 60 instantaneously. The minnows in its path began frantically trying to jump out of if its way. As the shark passed through the cloud it left a gaping hole that immediately closed up behind it, the frenetic behavior subsiding immediately after it passed. It barely took 3 or 4 swishes of its tail for it to traverse the almost 20-foot length of the school.

The moment the shark’s nose cleared the other end of the cloud it immediately decelerated and resumed its nonchalant stroll across the flat before it’s tail even cleared the cloud. Just as fast as it all started, everything went back to normal as if nothing had happened. It was pretty surreal. The only thing I can figure is that the shark simply opened its mouth like a big scoop and swallowed the minnows whole. This thing was not interested in wasting any energy whatsoever. Talk about efficiency!

Sometimes you’re the windshield; sometimes you’re the bug.

I visited San Diego once and got a dime tour of some of my old haunts there by a friend of a friend. This fellow was a local and a surfer. When we stopped at La Jolla Cove he told me how a buddy and another fellow were snorkeling there one time. As they were heading back to shore his buddy noticed a crowd of people at the railing on the cliff yelling and pointing wildly out into the cove. When he turned around to see what all the excitement was about he saw a great white grab the other fellow and disappear into the deep. They never saw any sign of him again. Little doubt there about who was at the top of the food chain in that event.

He then also told me that shark attacks on surfers are not all that uncommon, especially in northern California, because from down below a surfer paddling on a surfboard to catch a wave looks a lot like a seal. The sharks zoom up from below and hit their prey at full speed. When they realize they have a mouth full of Styrofoam, fiberglass, and rubber, they usually just spit it out and move on, but by then the damage is already done.

I never fully appreciated this last story until just recently when I saw a nature show on PBS where they showed great whites feeding on seals just as I described above. They frequently are traveling at such a velocity that they completely clear the water, and they had video of some 20 footers as proof. As the narrator put it, “That’s two tons of fish completely catching air.” It is a pretty intense thing to see.

I found the following video through the “External links” on the above page.
Great White on ARKive (http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/fish/Carcharodon_carcharias/Carcharodon_carcharias_00.html?movietype=qtMed)