Eish, what a major fail. Drove through from PE to Seals to look for a lil wave as hadn't surfed all week and was needing my salt water shot. As I pull up at the beach car park the air is suddenly filled with screeching sirens. Police van screams up to the beach and next thing the ou is out with his megaphone yelling at everyone to clear the water cos there was a shark.
Coula things immediately apparent as wrong in this equation. First up - why does a van arrive calling us out the water...meaning no-one on the beach has seen anything, this is some outsider pitching up calling the shots.
Turns out there'd been a pretty big meneer spotted in St Francis earlier that morning, so for some rather strange sense of logic known only to themselves, the police decided that everyone in the water at Seals must get out too. Now work the logic of that out!
For sure the shark could get from St Francis to Seals in a coupla minutes, but the point is, no-one had seen it there. For all we know it'd happily moved off to snack on a yellowtail lunch off at the blinders or something. It's this kind of random panic by the authorities that isn't doing the sharks, or us, any favours.
I'm all for being sensible about calling ou's in if you spy one inshore near a bathing area, better safe than sorry. But to clear all the beaches within 10k's of a sighting is a bit much! Let's remember sharks are there all the time, specially in summer when they like to lurk about close in shore. But that's where they always are this time of year. Nothings changed, other than we all seem to be getting our knickers in a knot about it.
Daniel Chipps, a local St Francis lightie was having an early surf with Derrik Cook out at Hullets and there was a surf ski on the outside catching some waves. The guy on the ski spotted it and yelled to Daniel and Derrik to get out the water. Now if you don't know Hullet's, it's probably the one place you really don't want to see a shark, cos it's vrek far to paddle in! Reckon you cover the distance in super quick time though, nothing like a shot of adrenilin to get those arms working!
So the guys paddled in, grabbed some binocs and then spotted this huge shark. Daniel's not too sure what type it was, but was sure about one thing....it was very big! They actually thought it might be a small bird whale at first, but consensus was it was definitely a shark.
Everyone at Seals was pretty bummed about getting chased out the water by the police for what seemed the over-reaction of the year. However, never one to follow convention, Mush happily jumped off the rocks at the point during all the commotion, and had some fun lil runners all to himself!
Remember, you have more chance of getting killed on the way to the surf, than in the surf itself! Sure, sharks give us the heeby jeebies, but 99.9999% of the time they swim right by us without a second glance. We aren't on their menu.