Fanning pulls plug on my sea phobia
WHAT about Mick Fanning. I reckon it doesn’t get much more Australian than punching a shark because he was stopping you from shredding the gnar.
The would- be shark attack is some of the best viewing I have ever seen, but it brought back some memories of my childhood I thought I’d repressed.
Memories that reveal I was a sook, but am willing to share with you.
I grew up in a country town, hours from a beach and was terrified of the ocean, but not for obvious reasons.
The first time I went to the beach, I refused to go anywhere near the water because I thought someone would pull the plug and I would get sucked down the drain.
I was standing in the wet sand and felt the drag of the ebbing sea and screamed bloody murder for Mum to save me from going down the drain.
Now, I know that’s ridiculous, but listen to my flawless childhood logic.
In my mind, the tide and the ebb of the ocean was the big boats out on the horizon pulling the plug.
Stupid I know, but I was certain this would happen and didn’t go anywhere near the beach for a very long time.
It was about five years later and we went over to North Stradbroke Island for a family getaway, a trip that ruined Monopoly for me ( rarely played since, but that’s another story).
By then, I must have been eight or nine and my ocean confidence was slowly building. I’d realised there was no plug in the ocean, but had been introduced to Jaws by a friend’s older brother during a sleepover.
We’d been on Straddie for exactly one day, we’d been at the beach swimming and carrying on like country kids at the beach do. A great day was had by all. We’d just finished a barbecue when another family said there was a shark down on the beach and WE HAD TO GO CHECK IT OUT. So we legged the 50m down to the beach and here is the MASSIVE shark on the beach, people everywhere, loving it.
As we got closer, we saw why they were loving it, this shark – and I did mention it was MASSIVE! – had been bitten, and when I say bitten, what I mean is, its whole side was missing.
Whatever had bitten this bloody beast of the ocean, must have been massive … ANDDDDDDDDDDDDD the ocean was ruined for me once again.
If there is something out there that could do this to a shark, what would it do to little ol’ me. I “noped” the hell out of the beach again for years.
But seeing Mick Fanning survive a shark attack has given me confidence that if I ever did come across a shark, I would be able to give it the old rope a dope and survive.
Thanks Mick, you’re a legend.