Jul 18, 2013

The beach: Day 2

So we set up Our Encampment on Monday, our second full day at the beach, around 9 or 9:30 a.m. We're nice beachgoers ... there may be 26 of us, but we keep to ourselves, don't let the kids run amok, don't play loud music, don't litter. We're basically just an army of umbrellas and squeals.

I like it when people follow The Rules of the Beach. And to me, The Rules are:

  • Camp out in front of your own house.
  • Don't let your kids steal our shovels.
  • Wear a swimsuit that fits the body you have, not the body you want.
  • Don't litter.

I personally think every public beach should have a designated live-bait fishing area that is well away from swimming areas, because what you're fishing for, I don't want anywhere near my family.

So I get a little irritated when people show up with nine-foot industrial-strength poles, stick bloody fish heads on the end of them, cast their lines out past the breaking surf, set their rods in holders they've staked into the sand, and then sit in their beach chairs 15 yards behind them and drink cold beer while they wait for something to bite. THAT'S NOT EVEN FISHING.

Anyway, on Sunday morning, these two guys showed up next to us and did exactly that. Grayson had our big boys out in the water jumping waves and didn't see what was going on, so I carried Amelia out there. I pointed the fishermen out and asked Grayson to move the boys well up the beach, which he did. They were still out there jumping waves, maybe 75 yards North, when one of the guys reeled this in:

That is not a dolphin, a ray or a starfish, Internet. That is a shark. And she was NOT happy to be caught. She jumped out of his arms and almost took a chunk out of Smug Coral Top's leg.

I had Amelia in my arms and Jakey wrapped around my legs. Jake was yelling, "HI, SHARKEY! HI, SHARK! HI, PRETTY SHARKEY!"

She was a beautiful animal, albeit one that I'd prefer only to see in an aquarium, not in the shallow waters where I'd be spending the next five days.

In this picture, you can see our umbrellas in the background and our kids playing in the sand literally RIGHT BEHIND their fishing poles. I mean REALLY, Internet. Ridonkulous.

She jumped out of his hands one more time before he finally set her free -- as much as I didn't really want her swimming around near us, I WAS glad he set her free. She swam off with a few really PO'd swishes of her tail, and he went back and baited his hook again.

Uh huh. He sure did.

I sent Jake over to the other kids on the beach and Amelia and I headed out toward Grayson and the big boys as quickly as we could. I was waving my arms and yelling his name, trying to get his attention. He could tell something was up, so he brought the boys in to the shallows, and I told him about the shark.

I said, "So you know, before there were just some random sharks in the water, sharks we couldn't see and could ignore. But now there's at least one REALLY PISSED-OFF SHARK out here, and I want you guys to come out of the water for a while."

To my surprise, I didn't have to say anything else. They came in. And I was relieved.

The boys spent the rest of the morning working on a big Sand Something with their cousins. (If you squint, you can see the three white pole stands near the edge of the water in the background of this picture.)

First riptides, now sharks. But the kids were having plenty of fun anyway. I'd say they were oblivious, but they weren't. If they had been, they'd have been in the ocean. But the important thing is that they were happy.

And they built quite the fortress. TEAMWORK! I'd say they worked way harder than the "fishermen" did on their project that day.

Once we went inside, there was a lot of time for snuggles that evening.

What. Doesn't everyone cuddle with their Crocs?

It's a shame no one loves Amelia.

 Poor thing, she can't get anyone's attention to save her life.


Still much more beach to come. No more sharks, though. Promise.

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