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