Monday, September 29, 2008

Why I Don't Snorkel

One day in the Spring of 2006, my neighbor Esther came running down to my house to show me the pictures she had just taken on North Beach. Actually it was on the beach across from the Hotel Posada del Mar. Looking at the pictures, for me, was like watching a car wreck, complete with dead bodies. Gruesome but fascinating.

This is what she had seen.

It's a 10' Mako shark which had been caught in some fishermen's net. About 100 yards out from the Hotel Avalon on North Beach. Waaaaaay to close to the swimming beach for anybody's taste.

It was still alive when the fishermen pulled up their nets. But just barely. They clubbed it to death and brought it in.

After a few photos were taken, it took a matter of minutes to cut it up into pieces for sale and to get rid of the evidence before tourists could see it and freak out. It evidently was almost a bidder's war to get the jaws.

Before I moved here, there used to be a lot of sharks in the waters all along the stretch in front of my house. The slaughterhouse which is practically next door to me used to dump the slaughter leftovers directly into the ocean. Thus attracting these critters. That practice stopped long ago and I have never heard of a shark in the waters around here.

But they do exist.

I couldn't resist bringing my nightmare to life. Thanks to my friend Roger for photoshopping this for me. I think he did a great job.


Beck said...

All I can say is -- Holy Shite! Denial is a GOOD thing!

Beck said...

P.S. Forgot to tell you great photos!

Anonymous said...

Look at the bod on you! DAY-YUM!

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That’s one scary looking shark. It sure would have freaked out tourist if they had seen it.
I like the new header photo. It looks good.

Steve Cotton said...

Great post. Great photoshop.

I must confess that sharks have always fascinated me. My only close encounter was in Greece in the 1970s. I was snorkeling at the tip of a head. I came around the point just as a small shark was coming around the other way. We both had a startle reflex. My memory, of course, has both of us lifting up like cartoon characters. In truth, we simply went our own cautious ways.

CancunCanuck said...

LOVE this post, great photos and I adore the photoshopped finale. Very nice! I have to admit to saying "Poor baby!" about the shark, I think they are a very cool animal. That said, I sure wouldn't want to meet that guy in the shallow waters of the beach!!! I've seen lots of sharks snorkelling and it's always the highlight of the adventure.

And damn you look fine in those red trunks. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I was snorkeling off of North Beach a few years back, and I SWEAR I saw a shark fin break the surface about 20' from me. I scooted out of there fast, and talked to a few people about it ... the response was, "Awwww, there's no sharks around HERE!".

.....and I let it go, thinking it musta been something else.

Now, I'm not so sure....


Islagringo said...

Beck: even though you won't catch me in the water, denial is probably appropriate. This guy was caught out where the fish are plentiful. No reason to come into shore. And thanks for the compliment but my friend took the pictures. (except for the last one)

heather: remember I said this picture has been photoshopped! It is me, but maybe slightly altered!

jackie: nowadays they would have taken it to the fishermen's co-op and no tourists would see it. I know it freaked me out and I wasn't even there! Thanks for the mention of the header photo!

Steve: sharks have fascinated me since I read JAWS non-stop on a flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany. Had nightmares for weeks. I now read everything I can find about them and love Shark Week on Discovery! Have never encountered one and never want to.

cancuncanuck: I sort of agree with you. I don't think we should needlessly and randomly kill anything, but this guy got caught in a net. Otherwise he would probably be wild and free. Still....! As for the red trunks, see my comment to Heather!

Robert: no doubt in my mind that you saw a fin. Probably just a nurse shark though that wouldn't hurt you. Still a shark is a shark and you never know! You were probably lucky you got to see a fin. Sharks really are very rare here near the beach. No fish for them to eat.

Babs said...

Man, those teeth would make a FINE necklace. We use to search for shark's teeth on the beaches of Galveston. I have jars full but NONE those sizes......

American Mommy in Mexico said...

100 yards! Yikes

Calypso said...

Looks great with your new header - but damn man shark infested waters - hmmmm!

Anonymous said...

its the funny pics whit you leg in the teeths.i no like the sharks but only to eat yum yum.
*Thomas merida,yuc

lisaloveloca said...

That is a very skeery fishy! I can live without seeing one up close and personal!!

Pssst- Can yer friend photoshop that background guy into my life, errr I mean, a photo with me!?? I heart photoshop! lol!

Anonymous said...

Did you see or hear this? Man saves dog from shark. YIKES!

Anonymous said...

Hi lisaloveloca,
You want me baby?!?
-Doug the background guy

ArizonaKelly said...

Oh. My. GAWD! One of the reasons we bought here was that there were suposably no sharks in the area. You'll never see me snorkeling out in front of our house again until the fat lady sings. (Oh wait... thats the next post.)
Eyyy yi yiii!

Islagringo said...

babs: why on Earth do you keep jars of shark teeth around? What are you going to do with them?

americanmommy: it's all relative isn't it? 100 yards is a relatively short distance on land but I sure wouldn't want to swim that far being chased by the world's fastest shark!

calypso: thanks for mentioning the header but I never claimed we have shark infested waters. Just that we do have sharks around here.

thomas: I have eaten Mako steaks and shark tacos. didn't really like either one.

Lisa: see comment to Doug

Jackie: my dog would have been shark snack for sure. If I had a dog.

Doug: you and Lisa have already met. At the Blogger Meet and Greet upstairs at Fayne's on Friday night.

Kelly: I would say that snorkeling out front is safe. Look at all the locals out there everyday diving illegally for lobsters and such. B and L snorkel out there on quiet days. I stand on the porch with binoculars and a whistle ready to call them back to shore! Have you heard the one about no snakes on the island too?

Kathy said...

Yikes. I am quite certain we have an unwritten agreement down here. The big fish stay on the outside of the reef and we stay on our side. That way we don't bother each other.

AFter reading about the Bull in Tulum I was sure this was going to be a bull shark (shivers).

Still...Yikes. Glad they're up there with you guys cause then they can't be down here in our waters. :)

Daniel Justnes said...

But I still can`t let this stop me from snorkeling!
It`s just to beautiful under the sea!
Has there been any shark attacks reported in Canc├╣n the recent years?

Islagringo said...

kathy: did you know that bull sharks are responsible for more human attacks than any other shark? They are able to survive in both sweet and salt water so are incredibly dangerous.

daniel: welcome to the blog and comments section. Hope to hear more from you! There has never, to my knowledge, been a reported shark attack here on near Cancun. I can't remember of any all along the coast here either. In fact, this was an oddity and I have never heard of a siting either. Probably nothing to be worried about.

Daniel Justnes said...

Thank you :)
I just got back to Isla the 29. of September, and looking forward to starting up our courses in 2009 :)
Paperwork really takes time here.. hehe