15 July 2015

Sixth Sense

We know. Somehow we know when there's a shark around. It's a kind of sixth sense. I don't think we'll ever be able to document what it is exactly, but if you have it while you're surfing, I'd pay attention to it.
-Peter Pyle, lecture to Surfrider members, San Francisco Chapter, June 10, 2003
With the left side of my face still swollen and painful to the touch, and the southwest groundswell no longer lighting up the reef break beside a calm channel, I'm out of the water, not fit to crash through windswell at the beach. It's given me a chance to finish reading a book by Susan Casey that I picked up as research for the young adult fantasy novel I'm writing (working title: Marinea and the Fountains of the Farallones). The whole of The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks has been interesting to read. But the quote above from the Epilogue really struck me. I've had that feeling before, and blogged about it in An Absence of Dolphins. There's no way to know of course, but I still remember that sense of being watched by something malevolent. I'm both fascinated and viscerally repelled by the Landlords, and hope never to encounter one who's looking to collect the rent.

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