What to do if a Shark Attacks


Breakfast off Los Barriles, Baja, Mexico

Breakfast off Los Barriles, Baja, Mexico

Shelley: Do you think we’re far enough from shore to see a humpback?

John: I should think so. We’ve paddled for about fourty-five minutes straight out.

Shelley: I though yesterday’s trip to Cabo Pulma was pretty much a bust as far as kayaking and snorkelling goes but watching the shark fishermen sort out their catch made up for it. Agree?

This little hook catches...

This little hook catches…

Can't identify them all but was told Hammerheads, Makko and Zorro.

can’t identify them all but was told Hammerheads, Makko and Zorro.

A quick rinse in the sea and...

A quick rinse in the sea and…

To market in La Paz

To market in La Paz

All parts have a use. Bait for the next day.

All parts have a use. Bait for the next day.


Shark fin soup?

Shark fin soup?

John: Agree.

Shelley: You know, in the book, Unbroken, the main character, Louis Zamperini, ends up floating around the Pacific on a dinghy with sharks circling him and two other men. Can you imagine having sharks circle you?

John: No.

Shelley: And when the sharks weren’t circling the men, they would swim under the dinghy and rub their backs up against the bottom. I would have lost it. You?

John: Absolutely.

Shelley: And at one point, when the dinghy became so damaged it started to deflate and sit really low in the water, kind of like how we are in our kayaks, the sharks took turns trying to fling themselves into the dinghy. The men fought them off with their paddles. Guess that’s what we’d have to do if we’re attacked.

John: Dear God.

Shelley: And if we get tipped over, I also learned that when the shark attacks you, you punch him in the nose again and again until he eventually swims away.

John: We are not going to be attacked by a shark.

Shelley: You don’t know that.

John: Those shark fisherman were about twenty-five kms off shore.  We’re safe.

Shelley: I think it’s important to know what to do if a shark attacks because safety is no accident. Ha! Ha! Anyway, this outing has been pretty unremarkable; no whales, no dolphins, no flying bat rays. Nada. Hey! Two o’clock. A couple of black birds. What are they?

John: I can’t tell. They’re too far away.

Shelley: Let’s paddle towards them. That’s strange. They’re not doing too much.

John: Just lazily swimming.

Shelley: In a circle.

Shelley: Without a care in the world. As if they’re at the top of the food chain.

John: Isn’t it weird how shiny they are?

Shelley: And how pointy their heads are?

John: It almost looks like they’re one and the same like a… like a…

Shelley: You’re not thinking what I am. Are you?

John: I am.

Shelley and John: Shark!

John: Stay calm. Paddle nice and slow so we don’t attract his attention. Keep together so if he does notice us he’ll think we’re bigger than him. Ready?

Shelley: Absolutely. But first, a picture or nobody’ll believe us.

John: Jesus Christ Shelley!

No picture because the wind picked up but he was this big!

No picture because the wind picked up but he was this big!

 No luck capturing a pic of the shark but did manage to take a few of these guys who are always waiting, waiting, waiting...

These guys are always on the beaches waiting, waiting, waiting…


Day 152, Feb. 10th, 2015

Day 152, Feb. 10th, 2015

Shelley and John, volunteer travel reporters, for”The Comox Valley Echo” signing off.

33 thoughts on “What to do if a Shark Attacks

  1. We recently went too Sealife and had the following conversation with my 3 yo son: “I don’t want to go, I don’t want the shark to poo on me. If he does, I’ll pee on him. Oh, but then he may bite my penis”. Any useful tips there for your next encounter? 😉


  2. John was the calm one?! Didn’t you have the binoculars with you so you could scope out the objects in the water before paddling to it?! Okay, so I wouldn’t have either! But if you do get eaten by sharks, (please don’t), can I have the truck and 5th wheeler?


  3. Thank God you read “Unbroken” (loved it!) so you would know to punch the shark in the nose! 🙂 When I was in Yellowstone all I wanted to see was a bear contrary to everyone else on the trip. No such luck. Glad you saw some action even if it was from a distance.


    • Reading “Unbroken” could have saved our lives. I agree the book was amazing. What he went through. Can’t wait to see the movie. When we were in Yellowstone we bought Bear Spray. Saw lots of animals but no bears. Was OK with that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Akkk & EeeK! I think we’ve found the point where I draw the line… Who knew that point would be sharks… Good to know you haven’t lost your sense of adventure (or humor) in the face of all those teeth. Mega-hugs! 😀
    (Teagan, slinking away to find a teddy bear to hug and hide with… 🐻 )


  5. Gosh..in some part of the world, sharks are protected because their number is reducing 😦 there are certain species of sharks that almost endangered. Raja Ampat, Indonesia, is sharks sanctuary that all sharks species there are fully protected from fishing. Is it really ok to do shark fishing in Cabo Pulma?

    Additionally I have been diving in Jardines de la Reina (Cuba) where the sharks get fully protected as well, and there were tens of sharks were circling around our diving boat when we about to surface. I remember I felt intimidated but no one got attacked by them. It is truly depending on the sharks species and how we dive and swim. I wrote a blog post about it. For me sharks are not food but beautiful animals to watch and hopefully they keep existed for many centuries 🙂


    • The little research I did on the Baja sharks was that they were almost wiped out due to overfishing. Now, I believe, there are laws for the fishermen. The fishermen went outside of Cabo Culma’s boundaries because inside all sea life is protected. I believe they said over 15 miles.


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