Day 27 – Florida 2016

Wasn’t just on the beach, there were shops involved, but we decided to start the day on the beach. It’s only a short walk across the road to the golden sands and clear blue sea, and we were there in five minutes. Apparently, it’s low season at the moment, and so the beach was pretty much deserted. Three miles of golden sand, and about ten people in sight. I did manage to find a pair of sunglasses. Not sure how long they’d been in the sand, but they had barnacles on them….I’ll be writing a letter of complaint to the good people at Piranah sunglasses for not crustacean-proofing their lenses. I’ll let you know about that one when I get a reply…

We decided to go for a dip, and as it turned out the sea was warmer than any pool I’ve ever been in. Beautiful and clear. And it didn’t matter how far you walked out into the Gulf, it stayed shallow. We just kept walking and walking, right to the point where I saw a shark breach and roll. Twice. Now, I remembered my training from Peter Benchley. Rules for when you see a shark…No splashing, so I couldn’t panic and rush out of the water. No loud noises, so I couldn’t alert Nikki to what I’ve seen by shouting to her. Run away in zig zags because sharks hate that…I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere, and avoid bleeding in the water, as sharks can smell a drop of blood from about seven hundred miles. Now, I haven’t told you this, but I’d nicked myself shaving earlier, so, as you can imagine, I shit myself. Not literally, I didn’t dare do that in case there was any blood in my stool- I am approaching fifty. I froze, and when I say froze, I mean I ran for the shore screaming like a girl, zig zagging myself to the safety of land, leaving Nikki as bait.

When she eventually re-joined me, in the safety of a nearby hotel, on the third floor, I told her what I’d seen. She insisted it was just a dolphin, but to be honest I wasn’t going to interview the fucker to establish its identity. It was a bastard shark, and despite it being a few hundred yards away, which by my estimation made it about fifty foot long, I wasn’t hanging around……..*

*Nikki here….it was definitely a dolphin.

After several sessions of counselling, I was talked back into the water. Slowly, and in a chain mail diving suit, but I was back in. I decided that, as history tells us that sharks attack mainly in just three feet of water, I’d stay in just 2.5 feet of water. I knew that exactly, thanks to my shark-o-matic depth knife recently purchased from Wal-Mart. As I knelt there, I thought I’d do a bit of beach combing, and see what my hands could find, as I drew them slowly across the bottom of the ocean. Lot of sand. More sand, and even more sand. Then, I stumbled upon a brooch. I looked down. It looked gold, shiny, and was about three inches across. As I lifted it up, a sharp pain ripped through my body. A second scream of the day filled the air. I’m told that the air ambulance was launched , but to be honest all I could think about were my last moments on earth. I looked down to see that the thing I’d picked up, the brooch, had legs with scissor like talons, that were slicing their way through my fingers, it’s eyes piercing my soul as it grinned at my pain. A scientist later told me it was a “Penny Crab”, named due to its size.

Nikki heard my screams, and turned with a start causing her to have woman’s whiplash. This is the same as normal whiplash, but is caused by several unusual things, such as turning to notice a bargain you think you’ve missed in a store, turning away from a loved one because they’ve not done as they are told, and hearing your husband shout in pain because he invaded a crabs private space. Unbelievable…

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