So, when I turned 20, I started playing games on a website for shits and giggles. I began talking to a woman on there and things escalated pretty quickly. Now, my first red flag should have been that she lied about her age and was twice as old as I was but that didn’t matter to me because here was this older, beautiful woman who was totally interested in me and heaping all of this attention on me and so when I turned 21 we began planning a trip to meet up with each other.
Both of us flew to Orlando to meet before going to Ormond Beach where she had a condo. So we meet up, grab a bag of liquor and head out. The first night we were just tired and slept but the next day the weather was okay, overcast and rainy but we were sloshed and wanted to go swimming. It was windy and grey but we did our swimming thing for a while until she wanted to come out and sit for awhile.
I stayed in the water. It was at this point that I noticed I was in water so deep I couldn’t touch the bottom. So, I’m floating on my back and she’s just a little dot when behind me, this splattering rang out. I started treading and turned around. About a foot away were all of these small fish. Some were medium sized mullet breaching the water. It was kind of cool watching them but they were getting closer and closer until they were jumping all around me, some of them hitting me in the chest and face but then they just moved on and I started floating again.
A minute goes by and I hear this splash behind me. Harder than the little fish, bigger. I turned and saw nothing but when I turned around to face the shore a huge splash happened to my left and in front of me cruised a dorsal fin, about 9-10 inches tall with a black tip. I froze and it went under to my right as it curved around me.
I immediately start swimming toward shore when this massive splash happens in front of me and this time I saw its body all the way back to the caudal fin. It was definitely a shark and probably about 7-8 feet long too. I stop swimming as fiercely and start creeping forward.
And that’s when I felt the huge thud into my left thigh. It was rough like sandpaper as it slid across my leg. I then surfaced and circled me again but I didn’t panic. I slowly went back to floating on my back and started stroking forward to the shore. As I got to where I could stand, the water was still up to my neck and the shark surfaced again. Now I started to move with urgency because the shark was tracking me. It was stalking me. Getting closer to me, inch by inch at first. Inches became feet.
As I got to shoulder level water, my legs were swept from under me by a rip current. I tumbled in a cartwheel and I knew to just ride it out but I was being pummeled with a shark nearby. The rip current dragged me all the way to the shore and I came to rest right by a Horseshoe Crab. I was pissed at the current so I stood and yelled “Fuck you!!” at the ocean just as a huge wave crashed into me, breaking my nose. I had been swept a quarter of a mile down the beach by the current and had to stagger all the way back to her and she had no clue that I had just gotten really lucky. Although, in retrospect, the river of blood pouring out of my nose was probably more jarring and alarming.
So, after I went back home, I was watching the news and they were doing helicopter fly-overs that showed thousands, and I mean thousands of sharks swimming right where I had been swimming. In fact, experts named that summer the “Summer of the Shark” because of all of the attacks. And, to top it all off, there was a major tropical storm to the southeast of us at the time.
My own personal Perfect Storm.
I had a friend who was a Marine Biologist and she said the only reason that shark didn’t bite and tear me apart was because I was too drunk and they apparently don’t like the smell of alcohol and so it moved on.
This is the only time in my life where being drunk actually saved my ass.