I dragged my ass out of bed this morning on 4 hours sleep to dogs screaming for attention and pee and poo poo time and food. I took care of them, then screaming bloody murder put liquid bandaid (8% alcohol) on the big surf-related scabs on my knees and thighs from the last three days, donned tights and a rash guard to protect my wounds, threw on some board shorts and was out the door.
Lots of people out this morning. Really nice 3-4 foot faces, powerful, and glassy. I paddled out to the sandbar, walk out the rest of the way then swim outside to the lineup.
I am sitting on my board, legs dangling, catching my breath. There are some guys 200 meters north of me, but its very quiet. I relax and catch my breath. Looking down at my feet, I can just make them out in the murky water. I'm getting pretty used to it out there, and its really peaceful.
Right about the time I was going through my talking-to-myself, "I'm all alone and okay in the water" confidence routine, an inter-species communication problem occurred. The big grey finned creature that appeared a few feet away, surfacing as it swam in front of me was probably just saying, "Hello human, I am dolphin. You are in my waves, and I am curious about you. Long have we tried to befriend you by saving drowning swimmers and attacking sharks and being cute, and long have you repaid our kindness by catching us in fishing nets, capturing us for dumb circus shows and eating our dinners. But that is the past. Let this contact be the beginning of a new future. Let this morning mark the beginning of a great bond between our two peopl... hey, wtf where are you going?"
What I heard was, "I am the biggest fucking shark you've EVER seen."
Because what I saw was a big, veiny bastard of a body and a big haggard fin. If that thing was a dolphin, and I'm not sure it was, then it was to sea world dolphins what my Cairn Terrier is to a big bad ass mountain wolf. It was a steroid abusing, shark killing, fast swimming ass whooping ocean machine. I saw no blow hole, but I was looking at the fin. The fin did have a moon shape going, but it was not pronounced. And the top was rounded all shark-like and not dolphin-like. I only saw one fin, and it looked exactly like the one shown here:
I did not see the tail fin, but the angle it was at I'm not sure I would have. I'm not sure it wasn't there and I was too busy with my mental pan-and-zoom to notice.
I paused for a second, weighed my options and then screamed like a woman and paddled for shore, laughing at myself half the time because I was running from a dolphin but willing myself to keep going because that thing was a big god damned shark.
I'm still not sure what it was, but it wins. I'm out of the water. Its hard enough for us to communicate within one species, and I hope I didn't snub that dolphin. On the other hand, the shark can go fuck himself. Nany nany boo boo, I got away! Or rather, Mr. Sharkie, can't we all just get along?
An Interspecies Communication Problem OR Big Veiny Fin Chased Me Out the Water