Close encounter of the finny kind….

What a moment to catch on camera. So, Irish Australian surfer, Mick Fanning, was about to compete in final of the J-Bay open in South Africa when, literally out of nowhere, there’s a massive shark head-butting his board. If you haven’t seen this video, immediately stop what you are doing and check it out. Then carry on reading! It’s heart in the mouth kind of stuff.

You’ve got to give it to Mr Fanning. It is a serious fight or flight moment and he wasn’t going down without a struggle. I swear my blood ran cold when that fin burst through the water behind him. It was like a pantomime where you’re screaming at the TV….. He’s behind you! Turn around!!!! But all sharks aside, even just the thought of being out there in such deep water fills me with watery dread. I love watching surfers ride big waves, knowing that I can experience a little bit of adrenaline and excitement from the safety of dry land (usually at my desk), but to be out there, doing it. Hell no! And then to add a prominent shark attack on top of that! Wow!

I had thought at first that Fanning was probably so pumped after it, he may have wanted to go back out again. Of course he didn’t and he was apparently quite shaken, rightly so. But isn’t that what adrenaline is all about. Maybe slightly different in a life and death situation but when you know you’ve come up against the greatest predator alive and survived (spoiler alert! but really that’s not the kick of the video) I bet you want to be back out there riding those waves, feeling alive. Or maybe I’m wrong. I really hope it doesn’t shake him up too much. I would certainly be treading very shallow water for a while yet. Ha, but that’s little yellow belly me. A tiny part of me would like to experience the rush but at the same time I don’t trust that my fight would kick in and I wouldn’t just panic, screaming and flapping like a seal lion looking fool. No, I’ll happily watch from the sidelines, maybe paddle on the edge of the water. Jumping a wave is excitement enough. But I look forward to seeing Fanning and his competitors back out there. Hopefully the shark and his buddies aren’t waiting.

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