Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Shark! Shark!

The global nature of Google. There was a young man, a university marine biology student, I think, taken by a shark while diving on an artifical reef at a suburban beach here today. The top report on Google comes not from our local metro daily or even the national breaking news service. No, it comes from an Irish newspaper - a world away.

It is strange and melancholy, the shark story - another shark death in the gulf waters. I was looking out on those waters today, just a couple of hours before the attack. I was delivering a test car back to the dealer at a seaside suburb and en route I paused to have a quick gaze at my inimical friend, the sea. It was utterly beautiful. Today was a sunny, mild, spring-like day. The sea was flat calm except at the shoreline where small, flat waves shusshed in on the smooth, hard, white sands. Retirees walked with their dogs exuberantly off the lead, darting along the beach, bounding into the water. At sea there were small fishing boats in each direction, some quite far out, some close enough to sea the silhouettes of the fisherman standing in the stern. It was a vista of immense peace and beauty. I could see small disturbances on the water where schools of fish were at play. And I scanned the sea for fins - for it struck me as a dolphin day and a shark day. Yes, a shark day. And so it turned out to be - and one bright young man is the tragic toll.

A colleague turned my stomach with a foodie joke in the worst possible taste. "Sharks like manshimi," he said. Shudder. It is sticking in my head and won't go away.

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