be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website:

be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website: (usually she updates her blog every Sunday evening but she can and will surprise you) **Special Note: all of Joan's archives are now up--almost ten years of 'bitter girl.' As Joan says, go wild!**

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Tale of the Disappearing Shark

Part 5 of the sequel is coming along but at a glacial pace because I am distracted by possibly having to sell my place if I don't find a job soon; so hang in there everyone--everything will get wrapped up.
In the meantime, I went to the beach again yesterday. The National Weather Service predicted it was going to be mostly sunny but it turned out to be mostly overcast and cloudy. I estimate they are wrong about one time in five and this was one of those days, but they didn't miss by much, because if the nice northerly breeze I enjoyed on the way up had shifted to off the water as they nailed a little bit later than it did, they would have been accurate on the sun part as well.
On my way north, there were a fair number of people fishing in the ocean. When I got up into Juno, one of three young guys asked me how far I'd walked. When I told him I'd started out in Ocean Reef Park, he then inquired of me if I'd seen anyone catching anything. I then informed him that someone had landed a three or four foot nurse or sand shark in front of the condos.
"They just left it there?" the young blonde guy with reflective shades incredulously queried me while dipping into his Skoal.
"Well," I explained. "They took what I suppose they considered the best parts of it, and they left the rest. They butchered it right there on the beach, maybe a few hours ago. It looked pretty fresh."
Then the blonde fisherman made some kind of appreciative remark about shark meat being expensive and desirable and I asked him what they were using for bait.
"Sand fleas," he succinctly replied, adding that he and his friends had started out north of there, presumably Jupiter, and had worked their way down the coast.
"And they're not hitting on those?" I in turn inquired of him and he waved this off by asserting they'd just gotten there. Sand fleas are considered the primo bait around here because they're free, fresh and plentiful--just dig them up out of the sand. If fish aren't hitting on sand fleas, they're not biting on anything.
I wished him good luck and resumed my walk north until I got to the pier. After getting a drink of water, I turned around to go south.
By the time I had returned, the three fishermen were gone. A couple that had been fishing with shrimp was still there with two rods, still not catching anything. My experience with shrimp is that it's a waste of time--the only thing you're going to catch with that is something you're not going to want to eat--e.g. garbage fish, such as catfish or croakers.
In the park, hundreds of turkey vultures were floating and circling on the updrafts. Not scrounging for food as the seagulls were, but just hanging around on a lazy crazy winter Florida Saturday. I passed many people who were out looking for shells, as the dredging up in Juno had transfered mountains of sand from offshore onto a newly widened beach. The shells I guessed were for collections or arts and crafts--my grandmother, who moved to Vero Beach a few years after my grandfather retired from Prudential, used to do crafts with shells--seascapes with a lighthouse, for example.
Anyway, I wanted to take a picture of the shark for this post but by the time I returned it wasn't there. Maybe the tide took it, maybe someone else made off with it or maybe someone buried it. Or perhaps that blonde guy I had spoken with and his friends had high-tailed it down the coast and scooped it up. All I know is that it was gone.

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