Would you surf with sharks?

WOULD YOU SURF WITH SHARKS?

Have you ever been in a situation where you hesitated to jump in the water? Was it because of anxiety? Perhaps it was because of what was living in the water? Have you ever been in a situation where you are being pulled back and forth by the question, “should I or shouldn’t I?” A friend of Tinka Blu’s, Debbie, has been in a state of indecision quite a bit lately. Here is a tale of her thoughts:

I’ve visited some amazing surf destinations these last few weeks. In La Réunion I visit a bay, Commune de Trois Bassins, with the most attractive long peeling wave I’ve seen since I was at Batu Karas in Java. Heaven rolling out in front of me, and warm Indian Ocean water.

Surprise! There are two SUP boards on the beach. I ask, “il n’ya pas des requins aujourd’hui?” The lady replies with a smile, that yes she was sure they were there, “under”, she emphasises.

I watch mesmerised as she catches wave after wave alone at the empty point, never once even dipping a toe into the water.

Stand up paddle boarder at Commune de trois bassins, La Réunion. Photo: Debbie Krupski

Would you surf with sharks?

Do you?

Have you?

Will you?

This is my story: I’ve only surfed in places where there is no threat of sharks.

This is also my story: I haven’t been near good waves since I moved away from the coast in 2015.

My urge to surf is strong, but so is my will to live and keep all my limbs. There’s the familiar pull of the ocean, the excitement of being near great waves as I prepare for my trip to Cape Town and La Réunion earlier this year. I know you understand: you, like me, love the ocean. There’s therapy in being in the surf, not to mention fun, connection – it’s a hugely rewarding experience on every level, even when it involves hard lessons. But there are some lessons harder than we may wish to choose.

Do I really want to take my chances of being mistaken for a seal by a Great White?

 

These boards were at every beach. Photo: Debbie Krupski

After my arrival in Cape Town I take my time to visit the surf. I finally meet with friends who surf regularly at Muizenberg. ‘Do you want to come out with us on Sunday?’ I don’t give a committal response.

Should I or shouldn’t I? They live there, what else should they do if they want to surf? But I am a visitor, my choices are different.

We drive around the coast to the next bay and sit down for a drink at a surf café next to a completely empty break. I look across the tables: a group of surfers are sitting together – you can tell by the physique, the style, the locale. One of them has an arm missing.

So, if you were me, would you or wouldn’t you jump in?

 

Sunset over an empty surf break. Photo: Debbie Krupski

Written by Debbie Krupski

First published on tinkablu.com
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