17 May: More sharks in Sydney

No kite action this weekend. But more shark tales...

Within hours of returning from Maroubra for a surf with N on Saturday, we got the SMS: There'd been a shark attack that morning in Bronte (a few beaches north). All over the papers etc - some local hero dude who went back in the water that afternoon. Well, no heroics from me & N. We'd avoided Botany Bay after last week's brush-by-biting (though admitedly, not because of it). And then funnily enough ended up in tasting-range of the local column-inch filler.

Got some "surfin" in though. I'm about 4 weeks into my new and first board. Long way to go I think. Not really stading yet, except for the odd nanosecond.

Sunday I was fearlessly facing the 7-footer again swimming the length of Bondi (about 1km) about 100 yards out from the surfers, thinking of nothing but sharks and freaking out at every dark shadow.


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An aside: R&J are exploring WA at the mo and have just reported in, with a tale worthy of publication on this catalogue of errors:

...we are now in Exmouth about 1400 ks from either Perth or Broome. Awesome conditions here - has been blowing 15-20knts most days. Had a couple of setbacks - poor launching sites mainly. However, got the kite out down at Carnarvon (great water and wind, but not v. pretty) and round the corner from here on the NW Cape - lovely beach, nice flat water, cross-shore 20 knots. Was getting into the groove again - up and down wind, even managed a wave to Jess on the shore. Then disaster struck - , just as I was the farthest out, getting ready to turn, one of the lines broke, so with my safety-first hat on, I let the bar go - then realised it was the F****ing safety that broke. Mad swimming ensued, but to no avail, the kite had the wind and current behind it, I had just the current. So my kite is now going on a safari down the edge of the ningaloo reef. Wind was pulling it in, tide pulling it out. Coastguard reckons its on its way to Indonesia


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Kiting 2005 #10 (Sat 9 Apr):

"Now that was one for the blog" I said after I'd regained my normal senses. There was still blood dribbling down my leg but ProtoCole had come over and assured me I had no big chunks of flesh missing from my arse, and that the scratches were merely superficial. Not that my heartbeat agreed with that appraisal.

It all seems rather silly now that I'm safely tucked up 20kms away and 26 storeys up from the dark shadowy sundown waters of Botany Bay. But when that "thing" made a grab for me 60ft from shore "silly" was the last thing on my mind. The kite was also low down the list, which is probably why it ended up spinning around it self and heading towards the rock groyne. What was on my mind was: What the fk is it; and If it's a shark should I stop flailing around madly and do that pretend-to-be-dead thing, or am I ok to carry on flapping?

Well I flailed around madly and - according to Proto's recounting of the scene of turmoil, squealed like a puppy that had just been trod on. Maybe that was exactly the frequency of sound that scares those Tiger Sharks away. Because I lived to muse over what really touched my leg and caused such cuts.

Well, the board could've caused the cuts as they were very straight lined, though somehow on the front of both legs and the back of one. Or maybe some metal railings or fences left behind by the builders. Or a chain with no buoy. Or. Or. Or some gigantic underwater octopus with long razor-like tentacles. Probably not a shark though.

I'd spent my day's adrenaline, but Proto was still up for going out again - though a km back up the beach from its lair. I'd had a good kite session by the way, before the incident pit opened: straight on the board and away, no pissing around. But some falling off still. Proto managed upwind action and one decent turn. He also got some Air - though of course not intentionally.

Can't wait to get out there again.


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