I haven’t shared anything funny in some time, so I thought we were due. On a trip to Nassau, Bahamas – one of many to what I call my second home, I had an unforgettable experience while swimming. Who here loves frolicking in the sea? Just, as a matter of reference, when I’m on a Caribbean vacation, I’m a hard-core beach person. For me, being out there close to the shore is as near to God as one can get. Now, if it’s not a sightseeing or shopping day, the routine is as follows: get up, shower, swimsuit, cover-up, head out for breakfast, after which I locate my perfect spot on the sand, lade on the suntan lotion, and begin the ritual. That would involve sunning, swimming, sunning, more swimming, snorkeling, and a definite spin or two on the large yellow banana. You know, the one that’s pulled behind the boat. Then, sometime around three or three-thirty I head in – get a second shower, and a clean swimsuit. At which point I head back out, only this time it’s to hang out, socialize, and enjoy the sunset.
On this particular day, the water beckoned one last time before we headed back to the room that afternoon. So, without my snorkel gear I set out to splash around. I am traveling along in a westerly fashion, probably just a few yards out, stroking, floating, peering ahead of me, when after about fifteen minutes something brushed my right ankle. When this happens, what is the first thing a normal person thinks? I don’t know, because my brain automatically went some place else. Mind you, this is all taking place within a matter of seconds as I glimpse a dark object coming up behind me. Then, another touch. Only now, it’s a bump against my calf. Okay, without a doubt I know it’s a shark. It doesn’t matter that I’m in the warm water of the Bahamas, and close to shore. Flailing, and drinking in a few gallons of water I propelled myself upward. I attempted my way out of the ocean, mouth open, letting out a gurgled squeal as I tried not to scream, while entangled with this large form. At this point, racing through my mind is – oh God, it’s got me. At the same time I am also thinking, I must get to the shore – I’ve gotta get to shore. Because, what else could be after me, fish see objects and it wants me. However now, my thrashing, and being out of control, has seriously entwined me with whatever is trying to eat me.
Suddenly, and out of nowhere I heard a male voice, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
By this time I’m frantic, and just about ready to throw up. But, my brain is screaming, a person – not a shark? You just know that he has definitely earned attitude, even if I did have to reach way down for it. I growled, “Are you trying to give me a heart attack? What in the world are you doing?”
His response, “I am really sorry.” He mumbled, “I was swimming with my eyes closed.”
My only thought by this time screamed….What! Excuse me? I only had to put my extremities down, because the shore lay only a few feet away. I trudged out of the water. Now, I mumbled – highly agitated, “Tourists.”
Has anyone reading this ever been to the Bahamas? Have you ever seen the water? How can a person go for a whirl in that part of the ocean, and not want to take in the sights. In fact, if you go onto Google Earth it is the only area in the entire world where you can catch sight of the ocean floor through the emerald waters from space. Later on as I thought about it – actually, every time I think about it or tell the story, I have to chuckle. I guess all of my trips to Nassau made me think I didn’t qualify as a tourist. I mean, really, with his eyes closed? Please, do everyone a favor, if you are one who takes a dip with eyes closed, become swimmer friendly; learn to open them. Otherwise, you may run into a real shark, the human kind.