Surfing With Seals

 

When the seals come through it is usually a good idea not to go surfing. Don’t get me wrong. Seals are like dogs, they can be very personable. The best is when only one seal is in the water when you’re surfing. One seal is never a problem. (There is a joke there, but I’m going to let my great grandfather rest for a while…) One of the worst and stupidest things that you can do, as a surfer, is to get out there when there are a lot of seals. Some guys are like, “but the waves are perfect at this break.” And I’m usually like, “you’re going to die.” To all those guys out there trying to extend your summer here on the east coast just because you went and got that 5 mm wetsuit, I’ve got some bad news: great white sharks are looking for seals right now. I’m actually writing a proposal right now for a surfing contest that I hope will be held in Long Island two weeks after Labor Day, every year, and there is something about it that just doesn’t sit all that well with me. 

September has already seen one of the ocean’s top predators just cruising and hanging out in Massachusetts. If you are ever unfortunate to come across a great white shark in feeding mode then the chances are that you will never know what hit you. I’ve never worried about the Great White Death (some Polynesian cultures actually revere death by shark as an honorable way to return to nature) for the same reason that I don’t fear getting struck by lightning. I stay off of the golf course when it rains, and I don’t go surfing with seals. It’s that simple. Two seals has always been my limit, no matter where I’ve surfed: Long Island, Breakwater, Cardiff, or wherever. If there is more than one seal in the water, you won’t see me out there surfing. You see, seals attract sharks. Those great white sharks weren’t out there cruising for nothing, you know?

The seal colonies are always going to be there, but the colder waters seem to make especially good hunting for the sharks on the east coast. The great whites that might happen upon Long Island New York, for instance, are likely coming from around the horn of Africa and will attack just about anything after crossing the Atlantic. Right when the weather starts changing the game gets dangerous because great whites lead a relatively nomadic existence. We really have no clue when or if they will show up from year to year. One great white shark can swim around the world in about two and half months. And I don’t even think that shark knew that it was in a race. Think about that for a second, and let that sink in. The fastest vessels known to man cannot transverse the globe in six months, and even that time might be dependent on the weather.

Great white sharks in Cape Cod, Massachusetts probably indicate great white sharks off the coast of Long Island. Great whites are always on the move looking for seals. They will go wherever the seals live, anywhere in the world. They are one of the few global animal ocean species. If the temperatures are cold enough, the great white will eventually roll through. I still think that California is the worst for the great whites though. There is something about the cold Pacific Ocean water that seems to be a favorite for the prolific killers. There are also a lot of seals in California. I think that great whites generally have better hunting experiences in California, although this probably can’t be proven at this time.

Anyway, that is just something to think about.

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