There are many things that my family agrees upon. We avoid large crowds, laugh at the droopy-pants fashion (which I still think will be revealed as Ashton Kutcher’s best punking job ever), and we love day trips to the beach or walking trails. Of course there are times when differences arise and that’s when we butt heads.
A recent example of this occurred the day after a fin had been spotted at Lawrencetown Beach on July 19. The beach was closed and then reopened when no further sightings took place. Sylvia, who likes sharks from a distance, thought it was an interesting story while Lydia blanched at the idea of large predators swimming close to shore. Like me, she’d grown up when ‘Jaws’ first hit the big screen and the image of a monster shark chomping its way through the population was ingrained in the fear centre of her brain whereas my fear had transformed into a love for sharks. Over the years I learned that they were not mindless eating machines. Mitchell, after much reading about the feared animals, has come to share my views of sharks.
Although we would never turn our back on a bull shark!
Upon hearing about the sighting, we decided a field trip was in order and headed out the next day for Lawrencetown Beach.
A group of surfers were riding the waves as we arrived and the cool breeze was a welcome relief to the heat. Walking along the beach we looked for sand dollars and interesting shells but our attention kept wandering offshore in the hope of seeing a triangular shape slice through the waves.
“If we see a shark I’m jumping in!” Mitchell informed us.
Lydia and Sylvia stared at him as if his head had just split open to reveal a leprechaun performing a merry jig.
“Me too!” I said.
“Oh no you’re not,” Lydia assured us. Her look suggested that a shark would be the least of our worries.
It was a standoff.
Fortunately, for Mitchell and I, our bravado was never put to the test. No sharks were spotted but Sylvia was pinched by an irate crab. Still, there’s always another day.
Kevin Toal is a freelance writer who no longer hides under his seat when he hears the ‘Jaws’ theme.