Monday, February 13, 2006

Hey captain, what kind of fish is behind us?

Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The captain, admiral and chief engineer of Sabbatical spent a nice weekend doing some bay boating but mostly maintenance on the ship, getting ready for the good weather that is soooo close.

It's 70 degrees again today and the shorts are coming out of the dresser, it's springtime.

Let's hear it for California, especially after the thumping the east coast just got with record snowfalls. Ouch.

But the sad news yesterday was to see that Peter Benchley died, the author of the book Jaws that spawned the movie by the same name that scared the crap out of me and, well, is still scaring people.

If you take a look at the healthy Great White Shark in the photo with today's blog, well, respect is definitely called for. I would not want to see that fellow, or any relative of his, doing that jump-out-of-the-water routine anywhere near my boat.

In our travels on Sabbatical, I've only seen a few sharks, small ones, maybe five-feet long, lounging on the surface. Snorkeling I've never spotted any, but we tend to snorkel in shallow spots where Moray eels and jellyfish are more likely hazards.

And I'd like to keep it that way.

Ironically, the likelihood of us seeing a Great White is dramatically higher off the California coast than the warm waters of Mexico. The Farrallon Islands, just off the San Francisco coast, are believed the be a breeding ground for Great Whites.

And up in Tomales Bay, just across the Golden Gate Bridge, there is a 'shark derby' held each year for fisherman who want to test their skill at angling by hooking raw meat on their lines and tossing it into the bay.

The resulting catches are impressive, if frightening.

It all just reinforces the Golden Rule of Sabbatical: Don't Fall Off The Boat.

Aye, aye, skipper.

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