Tag Archives: shark

Coffee By the Sea

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share chez moi. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a tail in your face or a dog on your lap, especially if you’re joining me for Tim Tams. The doggies can’t seem to read “Not suitable for dogs” on the side of the packet. Don’t worry. I don’t feed my dogs chocolate, although there have been times when their thieving paws have helped themselves. “Go to jail. Go directly to jail puppy dogs!”

While it might seem like I’ve had a busy week, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been a bit of a Homer Simpson glued to my armchair as the alternating heat, rain and chill took its toll. Need to muster up some energy to finish off my son’s room. I emptied out more cupboards while he’s off at my parents’ place and lost my mojo somewhere along the way. Wasn’t such a good idea after all!

Jonathon shark Umina Beach

Monday afternoon, some sort of crane must’ve plucked my son and I out of our respective chairs and plonked us down at the beach with the dogs. Almost straight away, I spotted a fisherman doing battle with a mighty fish and was spellbound. I’ve since realised that the ocean is one of the last unknowns on this planet. After all, Google Earth must have documented nearly each square inch of land. Hidden cameras seem to capture our each and every move. However, who knows what’s on the end of that fishing rod? Who knows what’s swimming around your feet while you’re hanging out at the beach? Yes, the ocean is one of the world’s last mysteries… the last frontier.

I manage to inject a fair amount of suspense into The Boy & the Shark .

For better or worse, I found out we had sharks at our beach. They were baby sharks but who’s to say the rest of the family wasn’t out there as well?

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Captain! oh my Captain!

Tuesday, we went sailing with my Dad at Palm Beach. We motored down to Newport and then sailed passed Scotland Island and then motored back. Although I barely know port from starboard and am more likely to get hit in the head by the boom, I do make good ballast and I did have a go steering. Overall, I found the whole sailing experience very liberating and almost an out-of-body experience. There was such freedom out there and so much space.  Just a vast expanse of water, sky and the sunlight sparkling over the water like a diamond carpet.

Shark Smile

Not sure whether it was Wednesday or Thursday my time but I participated in Trent’s Weekly Smile Share. I must admit that I was a little cheeky because I posted a shark smile. While my son was poking and prodding the gasping shark on the beach, I noticed that the underside of the shark’s mouth either resembles a frown or a smile depending on the angle. It was at this point, too, I must admit, that I also realised just how much blogging has taken over my life. I’m an addict.

Although the rest of the week has been fairly quiet, I have participated in 1000 Voices for Compassion’s monthly blogshare. This month’s theme was forgiveness. I decided to write about the difficulties of forgiving Dermatomyositis, the severe auto-immune disease which remains a formidable foe.

Forgiveness turned out to be an incredible theme. Most of us live with something we’d love to exterminate, delete, replay and it is a real struggle to know quite how to deal with all that angst without imploding. I read some incredible stories where writers have ripped open their hearts, souls and minds and let me in. Shared those very painful moments in slow motion frame-by-frame. Sharing such intimate details, naturally brings closeness, intimacy, trust. After all, if you don’t truly know someone, how can you call them friend?

I really recommend you read as many of these posts as you can.

The rest of the week has been a blur.

All I know is that I only have 5 sleeps until the new school year begins. I am hoping that all my preparations haven’t been in vain but we could well see the birth of Frankenstein. Both kids are starting at new schools so we’ve been organising uniforms right down to checking the colour of their socks. Of course, this is all been a conscious process which is such a contrast to arriving back from holidays the night before and stepping right back into familiar shoes. Hey, even the car knew the way! I tell myself I can do it and Geoff will still be on holidays and yet I still feel like I’m about to walk the plank and did I mention something previously about SHARKS??

Deep breath Ro! Stop catastrophizing!

Does anyone else argue with themselves like this?

By the way, sign up starts for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge on Monday 25th January. I strongly recommend taking up the challenge. I participated for the first time last year and loved it but will be doing things differently this year. Last year, I wrote my posts every day and didn’t really have a tight theme. It was something loosely based on my world. While it was fun, trying to write and read so many posts really took over and the whole thing became quite intense. This year, I’m aiming to have all my posts written well ahead of time. Of course, for most of us, there are letters where you have too many options and there are a couple letters which cause such angst but I’m on my way.

Are you planning to sign up? You can sign up here.

Finally, it’s Sunday and we’ve finally returned from picking up the kids from my parents’. Had a great afternoon there where I inevitably ended up in the pool. I can’t believe how quickly I’ve turned into an old lady and all that’s missing is the swimmers with the skirt. Indeed, that would be more flattering. It was after dinner by the time I finally got into the pool and when it came to getting wet and even dipping my lower half in the water, it was painful and took forever.

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Not getting my face wet!

Eventually, finally…I did a lap of breaststroke which must have looked more like dog paddle as I obstinately stuck my head out of the water like a little kid. “Don’t like getting my face wet!!” I tell you. Sometimes, I wonder about this other half. She is such a chicken while the other side throws caution to the wind.

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Swimming with the kids was really good for me because the water enabled me to be much more physical than I am on land.I was even able to give both kids piggybacks because the water takes their weight. I can’t tell you what this meant to me and to them to be able to play together. For Mummy to be awake. Involved. Not having a nap. Not too unstable on her feet to have a go. Mum could be Mum.

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Firing the canon…Photo taken by Geoff (well done!)

Tomorrow, Mum is off to the hairdresser’s at long last. I won’t know myself! Yippee!

By the way, Tuesday 26th January is Australia Day, known by at least some Aboriginal people as Invasion Day. It celebrates or commiserates the landing of the First Fleet at Botany Bay in 1788. That’s 228 years ago. Mind you, this 228 years is just the tip of Australia’s history. It is an ancient land.

We’re not going to be that patriotic this Australia Day. We’re planning to finally see Star Wars 7 and we’re dreading another night consoling a dribbling, shaking mutt as the fireworks go off. However, you can read about the Bicentenary here

Speaking about the dogs, a bit of forgiveness has been required in Bilbo’s court over the last couple of days. Miss has been away for 2 weeks and Mister a week and he’d had enough. He’s been getting quite stressed. Fortunately, they’re back so hope he settles down. By the way, they were both very exuberant when they arrived home today and greeted them with much tail-wagging and paws…no cold shoulders this time!

The Boy & the Shark

If it hadn’t been for his mother, the boy would’ve missed the shark altogether.

Indeed, he would’ve been at home glued to his iPad.

It was Mum who’d dragged him off to the beach for a walk with the dogs, although he didn’t take much persuading. It’s just that while there’s that age-old bond between humans and their dogs; humans and the sea; electronics is a new but equally strong force.

Even being at the beach, the boy would’ve missed the shark if it wasn’t for his Mum. He’s a much faster walker.

By the time the fisherman went into battle, the boy was halfway down the beach.

Meanwhile, Mum was spellbound. Seeing the fishing rod bending right over and all his muscles flexed, I couldn’t wait to see what was on the line.  The fisherman  was strong, muscular and incredibly fit but that fish was still holding its own.  Had it been a gold fish, he could’ve plucked that fish straight out of the water. So, it had to be  one hell of a beast…a determined beast at that! It was fighting for its life and wasn’t giving up but the fisherman wasn’t giving up either.He was wrestling that fish with all his might.

Thinking back to Hemingway’s classic: The Old Man and the Sea, I found myself completely absorbed in the battle. I had to see what was fighting it out at the end of that line and how this mighty battle played out.

I had to get our son. He loves fishing and I knew how much he’d love to see this! He’d be riveted!

However, he’s a much faster walker and he was already halfway down the beach. Of course, I’m calling him and calling him but there’s absolutely no response. All I see is the back of his head moving further and further away. Why doesn’t he turn around? What is he thinking about? Is he absorbed by the scenery or lost in his dreams? How would I know? Oh! How often I’ve wished there was some kind of window so I could see inside his head?!!

He absolutely adores fishing and I can’t believe he’s missing out on the works. I keep calling and still only see the back of his head.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to run and I can’t see myself catching up without having a heart attack.

Besides, I can’t take my own eyes off this extraordinary battle between man and fish. There’s such tension. Not only in the line and the fisherman’s entire being but also curiosity! What is it? What type of fish? What’s going to happen? Is he actually going to land the fish before his line snaps? His rod breaks? Or, will this mighty fish actually escape and get away?

These are the great fishing unknowns. It’s inherent mystery.

Of course, there are no guarantees until that mighty fish finally lands on the beach. It’s been caught. So for now, that fish still belongs in the realm of dreams and fishing legends.

While I understand that catching fish is all part of fishing, I really don’t like the actual catching part… watching the fish gasping, taking its last breath. Personally, I’d rather throw it back. However, eating fish is no different to eating something neatly packaged from the supermarket. It’s just that we haven’t “prepared” it ourselves.

At last, I can make out the fish in the breakers. Its silver body is flapping like the clappers, twisting and turning struggling with every speck of its might.

What is it?

This is, of course, the burning question. After all, we all like to know what’s lurking in the deep where we go swimming. Although we know there are fish out there somewhere, we seldom see them. Moreover, on the rare occasions we’ve been fishing, we haven’t caught anything either. So, to be perfectly honest, I’m even a bit surprised that anything’s there.

The fisherman lands the fish and it’s lying there on the beach, wriggling, writhing and then it stops moving for a bit.

My goodness. Its silhouette is unmistakable.

It’s a shark!

For a moment, there’s that feeling of horror. A desire perhaps to rewind the last ten minutes and NOT find out what’s actually swimming at our beach.

After all, do you really want to know that you’ve been swimming with sharks?

Well, it’s only a baby shark…a Bronze Whaler weighing around 6-8 kg.

It couldn’t even take off your foot but I don’t think I’d like to find out. Moreover, I wouldn’t want to be a small dog swimming out there on dusk either. There are a few dogs swimming at the moment. Humph! All those tales weren’t just a dog beach legend, after all!

However, looking at the size of it, I doubted this shark travelled alone. That it had friends and indeed, there’s a school of sharks swimming around OUR BEACH!

!@#$%@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yet, there was also that awe. I’ve never seen a live shark up close and I was mesmerised. This shark only had a small row of teeth, which seemed to retract. So rather than being a fearsome beast, it had a rather gummy smile, like it had forgotten to put its teeth in.

That’s when I noticed its frown. Of course, when you turn this frown around, you get a macabre kind of smile. Strange, the things you’ve never noticed before, which may not change the world but get you thinking…

Shark Smile2

Meanwhile, as I’m interacting with the shark, the lad is still walking away, almost reaching the other side of the rainbow. He hasn’t turned round once and he later assumed that I was right behind him. That said, he should have known I’d have been talking. That if there was silence, he should investigate. For all he knew, Mummy could’ve been abducted by aliens. Or, in this instance, eaten by a real live shark flapping on the beach!

Finally, he turns round. He’s too far away to hear me but I gesture for him to come back and made some sort of signal towards the fisherman.

He returns. However, this might not have been such a good thing, after all!

The boy can’t keep his hands off the shark. Even though it’s gasping for air and clearly not at home on land, it still hasn’t given up its will to live. As I said, this shark was a real fighter and while it’s been caught and dragged out of the sea, the battle isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot!

So, there’s my son standing there proudly holding a live shark as though he’d caught it himself. It’s an absolutely perfect, once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. I am the absolute Queen of photo opportunities BUT… of course, I don’t have my camera and my phone is as flat as a tack. In what has to be one of my biggest bloopers yet, I have no way of photographing this priceless moment. This is the very same person who takes photos in her sleep!

Pathetic!

However, I have no shame and ask the fisherman if he would mind taking a photo and emailing it to me. He’s very kind and through broken English we exchange details. Turns out he and his friend are visiting from Lithuania. Thought it was funny that it’s a visiting tourist who gives these Australians our first close-up view of a shark!

Of course, I was hoping that shark would be our last but the rod is bending over again and the tension is twice as great now that we know that another shark is on its way.

“Our friend” was not alone.

Trust me! I didn’t want to know!

xx Rowena

Shark Smile!

Sharks don’t smile.

That is, aside from the cheerfully reformed Bruce the Shark in Finding Nemo. However, who really trusted him deep down when he said: “Fish are friends”?

However, like so many things, it’s all a matter of perspective.

This week I discovered that when you look at a shark’s mouth from down below and swivel it  around, you get a smile.

And, if you’re really lucky, you might even get a toothy grin!

Shark Smile2

 

Me being me, I couldn’t resist adding some eyes but Mr Shark was smiling too much to even attempt a moustache!

Now, I can just hear you asking: “How on earth did you come up with this?”

Well, it’s not often that even this intrepid Australian comes face-to-face with a live shark. Indeed, I’ve never even seen a shark outside a tank until this week when a fisherman caught one off OUR beach!

Then, he caught another one!

Baby Bronze Whaler sharks which wouldn’t do much to a human but what about a small dog? I can just imagine the talk down at Dog Beach! Full Story Here.

So, it just goes to show how you can find smiles in the strangest of places!

This has been part of the Weekly Smile blog share at Trent’s World

What has made you smile lately?

xx Rowena

 

The photo  shown here isn’t “our” shark. It was much younger with much smaller teeth.