Judge the Dread

If you did a vox pop amongst surfers and asked what their dream surf break would look like, it’d probably resemble exactly that which stood before me - an empty 3-4 foot beachbreak peak. Great odds for a tube going left or right, with the odd bigger bomb to keep it interesting.

Clear water, blue skies, and untrammelled bush as a backdrop.

It was obvious that the waves were going to get better as the tide filled in so there was no great hurry to get out there. On the contrary, I found myself putting off going surfing as long as I possibly could. At first I just took a bit longer than necessary to assess the conditions. Then I decided to fish the deepening gutter behind the shorebreak. Whilst this was productive and I soon had a feed of tailor fillets chilling on an ice brick inside a cooler bag, I soon realised that the prevarication was putting off the inevitable: I’d surf now or I wouldn’t surf at all.

You may be wondering why would anyone hesitate to launch themselves into such a dreamy little surf session?

The short answer is that I was scared of the large carnivorous fish known as the Great White shark, AKA White Pointer, AKA White Death. Scared to the point that I’d perhaps even deny myself the joy of playful waves in a beautiful setting. This is a debilitating level of fear no matter how you slice it. I sat on the beach and watched the perfect waves breaking metres away and imagined the self-loathing I’d experience if I didn’t paddle out. Then I took far too much time to get in my wetsuit and walked slowly down to the water's edge, scanning up and down the beach the whole time, silently willing someone, anyone, to turn up and join me.

No-one was coming, so I paddled out alone.

Out there (John Dory)

The crazy thing about fear is the way in which it warps rational thought. I approached the water as though it held certain death. I tried to go over the top of waves I should’ve duckdived due to the outlandish notion that by submersing I was somehow more vulnerable to attack. I’d normally feel grateful for the rip which drew me easily into the deeper water beyond the break but now it seemed to act as a conveyor towing me towards a very large set of hungry jaws. The whitewash, which would traditionally invigorate my senses, felt as though it cloaked the presence of a malicious beast lurking in the clear water below.

Despite the apprehension building to an almost physical sensation, as I sat on my board and waited desperately for a wave to momentarily lift me up and save me from the gory death surely about to unfold, a funny thing happened: No shark materialised to violently take me in a shower of bloody froth. Not a single one.

A rare coherent thought penetrated my adrenaline-induced stupor: Was my fear rational? Was it justified at all..? 

I’d be the first to recommend trusting your gut and intuition as a reliable survival mechanism. I also place much faith in an animalistic sixth sense which alerts us to the presence of stalking danger. But when you begin to experience these feelings regularly and they invade your thoughts before the exposure to the threat, then it’s time to assume there is something less beneficial at play in your mind

It’d be stupid to think that no threat of shark attack existed; only a few days previously a surfer had his arm almost bitten off a couple of kilometres further along this very same beach. If he’d not been so lucky to have help immediately at hand he may have bled to death. It was also an area in which it wasn’t unknown to spot large sharks swimming through the lineup. A school of salmon had moved along the beach not long before I’d paddled out, and the odds of more salmon following were quite high. Despite the area’s low number of attacks over time, the last twelve months had at least three recognised attacks by white sharks upon people.

Quite the list of compelling factors.

Did this mean an attack was likely? No, of course not. While sharks regularly take up temporary residence in an area for a few days at a time, there was no certainty the shark responsible for the attack was still around and still hungry, or that any of its fellow sharks would be either. I’d surfed the same beach in the days leading up to the attack and had felt far less vulnerable than I did now. Commonsense told me that it was the sense of fear which had grown more imposing, not the likelihood of falling prey to a man-eating fish. 

I sat out the back between sets, occupying myself with the macabre undertaking of trying to calculate just how probable the chances of a shark attack transpiring.

Sitting in the middle of the ocean under a clear sky meant that the odds were smaller than that of being killed by a toppling vending machine, more marginal than getting my brain stoved in by a rearing stallion, and much better than being struck by an errant bolt of lightning, all of which are, strangely enough, the usual comparators when it comes to an untimely finish.

Like a castle surrounded by a moat, but what's in the moat? (Andrew Shield)

After a while it occurred to me that any slight leaning of statistics towards one likelihood over the other was meaningless and distracting from the only verifiable fact: My fear of sharks was entirely disproportionate to the threat.

My fear was irrational. It had no relation to reality. The irrational fear of sharks is called galeophobia and people who suffer from phobias, including myself, can often totally forget that what they experience is not an appropriate reaction to the scenario at hand. A phobia is a mental tic which perverts the mind’s interpretation of the information provided by the senses. The strange thing is that often the tic can’t be sustained without at least a partial indulgence of the mind. 

This makes the fear seem no less real and at times it doesn’t prevent fear from overwhelming rational thought. Like all things in life, sometimes we are stronger and sometimes we are weaker. The hold the phobia has over me waxes and wanes depending on variables I can’t even begin to understand. I’ve spent a life in the ocean and this has meant that sometimes I’ve been literally surrounded by sharks without concern, yet here I was, not a shark to be seen and an almost uncontrollable urge to exit the water without delay.

For myself, I’ve found that there’s no single best way to fight an irrational fear. Sometimes success can be found by simply trying to bullock it into submission, as I had by gritting my teeth and paddling out. Other times it works to mimic the fatalistic mindset of religion. Rather than disciplining yourself to override the dread which stalks you, choose instead to relax and accept that whatever happens, happens. The answer isn’t to fight a possible future beyond the realms of your control, it lies in embracing whichever future befalls you. If that’s your destiny, then so be it. The reason people take to religion so wholeheartedly is that the feeling of giving yourself over to a higher power is liberating and it’s hard to maintain fear once you’ve truly let go and have relinquished control to more powerful forces than yourself. This is what we do every time we enter the ocean anyway. If we were honest we’d probably realise that this is one of the main reasons surfers remain so attracted to surfing, long after the urge to perfect their cutback has paled into memory.

Unfortunately, the battle against a genuine phobia may be won on the day, but the war is ongoing. So while I managed to enjoyed the rest of my surf and caught enough waves to satisfy my needs, I’d be lying if I said that somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind, there wasn’t a feeling of relief that I’d somehow snuck another victory from the hungry sharks which patrol the waters of my imagination and beyond. 

The very next day and conditions dictate that the best option is back at the same spot. However, the glorious bank from yesterday has been eaten away by the ceaseless currents which limit any decent set up along this stretch to an extremely temporary proposition. The sky is no longer blue and is instead an ominous dull grey. The surfing itch needs a scratch and I start to look for a rideable opportunity amongst the dribble before I see a shadow flit through the face of a wave.

Or did I? 

Too late. The seed is sown and there’s no mental contortions which would get me into a lineup so shite now that my mind has populated it with a legion of murderous whites.

I turn the car for home and console myself the sharks will be gone tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.

// JOHN DORY

Comments

willibutler's picture
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willibutler Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 11:36am

a lot to relate to good read

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 11:46am

thats an awesome piece of writing.

Agitator's picture
Agitator's picture
Agitator Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 11:50am

As Willie Nelson sang "You Are Always On My Mind"....seems the norm for my surf sessions now days....unfortunately.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 12:11pm

How many aliases can one man have?
Good writeup nonetheless, relatable. I've had some very similar vibes surfing the outer bank of a similar beach not far north of there.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 12:14pm

Well written, JD, and props to you for having the knackers to paddle out solo especially after meddling with the ledger of karma by catching a few fish first.

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 12:16pm

Great yarn....
Baggin a few tailor before paddling out isn't really calming therapy though....

D-Rex's picture
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D-Rex Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 12:44pm

Excellent summation of most surfers feelings today, especially in northern NSW. However, as we've been told by those now holding the moral high ground on this topic, we know that whites (sharks) are the supreme creature of God's creation so just get over it. BTW John, you've obviously been living under a mushroom of late; no longer are we allowed to say 'shark attack' - it must be 'shark bite' - lest the poor sharks be associated with intentional violent behaviour, rather than cuddly innocent curiosity.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/scientists-urge-encounte...

Solitude's picture
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Solitude Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 12:53pm

Bravo. I’m sure most on here can relate to what you’ve described, worse or at least a watered down version of it.

Despite recent evidence I wonder if for most a digital and media detox might calm the storm the mind creates when it’s comes to sharks?

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 1:37pm

Nice article that I can certainly relate to these days. Potentially the very same day as your story, at a spot not too far away. I stared at piping left-handers, and proceeded to do the longest, most extensive pre surf stretching routine I've ever done. Waiting, hoping someone would turn up. Mid week, so there was basically no chance. Forced myself out there, and it was well worth it, but edginess prevailed the entire time.

Bungan33's picture
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Bungan33 Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 1:40pm

Beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing.

booman's picture
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booman Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 1:49pm

Recent researchers at local universities have found that people were actually... accidentally eaten by great whites because the shark that thought they were an injured baby seal (an endangered one), they have no interest in humans, simply a freak accident involving an accidental test bite.

They are working on giving them individual names associated with their new gps tags that are keeping us all safe. Name sponsorship will go towards a world first breeding program to get numbers back to 1884 populations.

The researchers were invited to paddle out at North Wall, Ballina with frozen chickens attached to their bodies by strings ( not their natural prey) for a sharkathon style fundraising event to highlight their research that these graceful creatures are really not interested in anything but their target food species.

Lukas_Z's picture
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Lukas_Z Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 10:05am

Did that actually happen or is that TIC?

Hoodie's picture
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Hoodie Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 2:01pm

Every time I paddle out at Johanna.

Joseph Hedditch's picture
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Joseph Hedditch Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 1:52pm

My previous 3 surfs there have all coincided with 3 shark encounters. One knocked me off the board, one launched out of the water (feeding I think)
and one simply swam past. Haven't been back for a while haha

JordanWilliam's picture
JordanWilliam's picture
JordanWilliam Friday, 23 Jul 2021 at 9:25pm

Wish I never read this. Especially as I often surf Milanesia solo.

owgoodaquads's picture
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owgoodaquads Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 2:18pm

The last 15 years, and fishing friends, have made me much more aware of the presence of our old grey mates, including a few paddle ins, without ending in paranoia. However, nothing brings on the survival instincts and anxiety like having your offspring next to you. I've found myself on occasion becoming this crazy, swivel-necking lookout for no other reason than 'seeing something'. It only takes a couple of possible factors and it's on!

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 2:29pm

Well written ......john .....or is it blowin......good job ...who ever.

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 2:32pm

Great read and soooo totally relatable. Many a time, surfing alone, it's top of mind. Winter sessions in TAS and at Wilsons Prom come to mind instantly.

Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
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Thegrowingtrend.com Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 2:53pm

A session in Tas comes to mind, 15 min bush walk in to a wedge that is around a corner.
After 10 minutes of frantic thoughts a thought I’d better paddle in and call it a day..
Fear

joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 4:07pm

Argh dredged up those familiar feelings.

I was surfing last summer by myself at 6pm at Caba Beach, just fun little A-Frames and I could see the schooling bait fish and birds about 200m away slowly making their way toward me, as they came closer my imagination grew wilder. In the end I just could not paddle out and was having zero fun so went and drank beer!

wiseautogas's picture
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wiseautogas Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 4:12pm

a few months ago saw a fin out of the water coming straight at me quickly ripped my feet out of the water (what good would that do) it disappeared then popped up again, side on it was only a dolphin, the bugger scared the shit out of me for second

scrotina's picture
scrotina's picture
scrotina Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 4:55pm

ah i've had this problem before, and left perfect waves because there was no one else around. some places i have surfed alone and felt ok, but others i pussied out and regretted it forever.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 5:24pm

Yep, have to agree with all of the above and been in that situation quite a few times myself.

Well written.

harrycoopr's picture
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harrycoopr Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 5:26pm

Years ago we watched our solo surfing mate surf straight in over the ledge at Chinamans. As he walked up the cliff i remember seeing for the first time someone "as white as a ghost". He was obviously in some degree of shock and told us he saw a fin about "3 feet tall" coming towards him. He knew the difference between a dolphin and a shark. I was glad I didnt go out. He was sheet white for quite a while!
Great read JD

cj_wilson_indo's picture
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cj_wilson_indo Tuesday, 27 Jul 2021 at 1:13pm

Surfing decent sized Chinamans by myself on dark in the middle of winter has to be one of the most terrifying experiences I've encountered. This just confirms I'm not doing it again.

Lukas_Z's picture
Lukas_Z's picture
Lukas_Z Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 5:39pm

A legendary surfer once said "you don't see the ones that get you" or something to that effect.

Possibly the same one that said "don't worry about being pushed underwater by big waves, you'll always pop up".

D-Rex's picture
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D-Rex Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 5:44pm

booman writes 'They are working on giving them individual names associated with their new gps tags that are keeping us all safe. Name sponsorship will go towards a world first breeding program to get numbers back to 1884 populations'. Never mind chipping in for indigenous surf comps or funding shark 'bite' victims, let's adopt/sponsor our favourite GWS (or maybe let them choose their own donor, so they can feel 'empowered' like the kiddies in Africa can do with World Vision).

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 6:44pm

Good writing b.
Plenty to relate to.
Thanks for sharing.

FEAR - Fantasy Experienced As Reality.

t-rex's picture
t-rex's picture
t-rex Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 7:25pm

Great read having moved to WA from the relative safety of Victoria I can relate. I am slowly and proudly overcoming my mental demons and enjoying the benefits of more time in the water. F.E.A.R - False Evidence Appearing Real

Lukas_Z's picture
Lukas_Z's picture
Lukas_Z Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 10:18am

Why is Vic more relatively safe? Because of the cold?

etarip's picture
etarip's picture
etarip Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 7:28pm

Good read Mr DunDoree. Thanks.
Felt the same way many a time at my usual (relatively) deserted stretch of beach. Sometimes the spookiness just gets too much. Other times it doesn’t even cross my mind. Always somewhere between intuition, rationality and paranoia.

Fliplid's picture
Fliplid's picture
Fliplid Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 7:34pm

Nailed it with this story, a good read.

And yeah, I reckon fishing after a surf is a better option

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 9:04pm

Enter at own risk ...
The psychology is simple , it's not the statistical odds it's the manner of death you may suffer that holds the power . The comfort of having a companion only alleviates the fear partially, because it really doesn't reduce the odds of you getting bitten by much . It's more of a distraction from your wandering thoughts and also ,not many people want to disappear without a trace having no-one at least witness the 'crime' .

hamishbro's picture
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hamishbro Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 9:53pm

Great read. The fact is though if you’re a surfer you are drastically narrowing your odds of a shark attack. And especially if you surf between Coolangatta and Newcastle, or WA/SA, and even more if you’re a proper surfer who chases quiet perfection at offshore banks. Victorians and Queenslanders seem the safest - Queensland because of their exceptional world class shark control program (which should be emulated everywhere else where there is a problem) - and Victoria because god knows why.

fishnsurf's picture
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fishnsurf Friday, 16 Jul 2021 at 10:09pm

The fact that both the whales and the sharks are both protected. And the whale numbers have flourished, It's only logical that Great white shark numbers have also flourished. And are going to continue to multiply, Given we were the only predator of them . I think the fear we all have at one time or another is going to increase as attacks/bites become more common. I wonder , given the ocean is 2/3rds the earth. Does it really matter if we cull them along the coastlines. There must be heaps in the rest of the ocean. If it was on the land and a predator was attacking and killing people there would be a response to protect people from harm. I know the " its not our home its theirs" bullshit line. Im not giving up surfing and I don't want to see my kids eaten or anyone else's.

dandob's picture
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dandob Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:22am

The ocean doesn't work like that. Sea creatures congregate near their food sources. Mostly that's near coastlines. Large areas the oceans are largely "deserts" devoid of much sealife activity.

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 2:06pm

Dan - why were so many from the navy and airforce eaten by sharks during WW2 in the open ocean?

frog's picture
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frog Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 6:51pm

In the open ocean food is scarce, so any explosion during war time would create very intriguing vibrations for long distances.

You can imagine a navy battle and out go the vibrations. Sharks all around suddenly stop cruising aimlessly, shift towards the noise source and start heading in coverging on the action.

Also anything floating attracts interest. Jacque Cousteau back in the 60s did some dives off their reseach vessel mid ocean. Somehow or other, during most dives, sharks appeared out of the gloom after a while. Mostly oceanic white tips. Very hungry, very persistent and not much fear.

FrazP's picture
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FrazP Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 4:45pm

GW off Crescent last few days again. Surfed those back beaches south and nth alone for years without concern. Not a sighting and never heard of an encounter until several years ago. Stories are regular now, and it's odd a few in these pages suggest you're a pussy for having fear of GW's now. I certainly think twice now. It's always been an area with a lot of bait fish so I feel we need to stop the bullshit, there are simply more sharks in the area now. A lot more hanging where we surf.

spenda's picture
spenda's picture
spenda Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 5:15pm

When it’s crowded i wish everyone would piss off. When they piss off, and i am on my pat malone, i wish they would come back.

Dylan Gilford's picture
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Dylan Gilford Saturday, 24 Jul 2021 at 11:02am

lol, very true

H2O's picture
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H2O Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 5:30pm

Good read and examination of what crosses every surfers mind from time to time. Interesting that it is not always.

MutantPig's picture
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MutantPig Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 5:35pm

Yep great article, captures the feelin well. When I was young and had no ties etc I'd surf Strickos and West End Rotto alone (I worked there for 6 years in the 80s) and then surfed heaps of sharky spots in South Africa by myself in the 90s and just got used to the feeling and reckoned fate would sort it out. Now I'm an old fart with family etc I can barely surf some spots down south without freaking out :) F.E.A.R. - Fuck Everything And Run?

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 6:11pm

Sharks love a good man sized John Dory. Great read thanks i can relate.

JohnN's picture
JohnN's picture
JohnN Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 6:59pm

Would having a shark shield type device fitted to the board help if only for the placebo effect?

D-Rex's picture
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D-Rex Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 7:09pm

'In the open ocean food is scarce, so any explosion during war time would create very intriguing vibrations for long distances.

You can imagine a navy battle and out go the vibrations. Sharks all around suddenly stop cruising aimlessly, shift towards the noise source and start heading in coverging on the action.

Also anything floating attracts interest. Jacque Cousteau back in the 60s did some dives off their reseach vessel mid ocean. Somehow or other, during most dives, sharks appeared out of the gloom after a while. Mostly oceanic white tips. Very hungry, very persistent and not much fear.'

frog, this hardly answers my question - thousands of miles from land yet sharks (who, according to dan, only frequent coastlines) attack humans.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 7:17pm

he said mostly, not only.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:01pm

Round the world sailors often report very poor fishing in many parts of the open ocean. Some parts are like a desert.

But the Kon Tiki expedition had heaps of sea life around them through their trip from south America to Polynesia.

In the open ocean currents, unseen underwater mountains, upwellings and migration routes of whales all create food sources in some open ocean areas. It is patchy. Coasts are best.

The oceanic white tip has been observed following pilot whales and eating their poo! There is food if you look in strange places.

Makes you wonder what is eating all that whale poo off the Australian coast. Maybe stinky breath GWs! They just sneak a lazy snack and never tell their mates....

willibutler's picture
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willibutler Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 8:40pm
Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 8:51pm

That helps willbutler... fish are friends, not food.

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 5:18pm

Evidently if there's been Orcas around then sharks make themselves scarce. We see a lot of Orca around here and basically no sharks.

Check out this clip I found. You don't really see the Orca till towards the end but it's worth watching for the hilarious commentary. I live above this beach and I was watching them swimming round there. They were there for most of the day. As you can see not one fuck is given by the surfers. Imagine if they were Great Whites, it'd be a different story. So anyway, as I mentioned we basically never see sharks here but Orca are quite common.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 5:55pm

Why do orcas not attack humans, yet whites do? They both eat the same food sources. Orcas are more intelligent and know the difference between a seal and human??

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 6:07pm

Some very good writing and research there, and thank you for teaching me 'tic'.

I'd like to ask, for those that have been there: that moment when the preconditions of galeophobia melt away and the shark is on the surface and coming at you - how did your mind respond? I found my mind was actually very clear and factual and fast. From the moment the shark went under just before it got to me, I had already calculated where the shallow points on the reef were (70m offshore), and had gelled an idea of how I would get in. That the shark did not strike, but rather 'drove by' gave me time to assess how long to stay, when was right to move toward the shallow parts. As I couldn't see the shark after this, there was an uncertainty that passed as I followed shallow parts of the reef. It was hardest paddling the last deep gutter before the shore, but the mind remained level. Adrenaline hit hard once I was up on the rocks.

Supafreak's picture
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Supafreak Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 6:43pm

@goofyfoot , don’t know if you have seen this before , The killers of eden , worth a watch when you have a spare 1/2 hour .

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:45pm

Thanks supa will watch later

willibutler's picture
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willibutler Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:39pm

Cheers that was interesting can’t believe how smart they are. Classic these people held such a strong connection with these animals no wonder Eden was such a strong whaling area with the help of the killers. Remember once looking for novelties in two fold bay and thought I’d spotted a long pointbreak with so many surfers out in a large ECL. Turned out once we got the binoculars out it was just a lot of rocks sticking out in the break. Bit disappointed ahhaha

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 8:01pm

During the Ballina cluster 2014-16ish, I often surfed a 9ft log in quality waves because there was no one around.

The fear stopped me from surfing a small shortboard alone, but not completely.

And the people that continued to surf all seemed to go out where others were surfing except for a small few.

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 8:24pm

Cool Doco Superfreak.....
I did a couple of seasons as a freelance skipper for 2 whale watch operators out of Port Stephens. Generally, the whales were pretty easy to find anywhere between Birubi and Broughton Island, but there was one particular week where it was pert near impossible to spot any whale action.
One late afternoon we were heading back in after spotting nothing on several of the 3 hour tours when we encountered a huge pod of at least 500 plus Oceanic Common Dolphins high tailing it north.......Pretty amazing sight as the pod was massive and they were putting on the pace.
As we came in between Cabbage Tree Island and Yacaaba Headland, we came across a large pod of Killer Whales just meandering along, also heading north. There must have been 8 or 10 of them with a couple of Juveniles in the middle of the pack. We actually sat with them for half an hour or so and they were not one bit perturbed by us........Will never forget it...
Certainly explained the lack of Whale sightings and the dolphins getting the buggery out of there quick smart.
Also had a tiger shark induced involuntary bowel movement surfing a grinding little wedge peak alone at Zenith Beach early one morning, but that is a story for another time.....

mysto83's picture
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mysto83 Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 8:46pm

Remember solo surf trip to Margies region about 10 years ago and lucked into pumping North Pt about 5ft with 1 guy out on a grey day with light rain. Couldn't believe my luck. Quickly turned into deep fear after guy paddled in. Managed about 40 mins and couldn't do it any longer and paddled back to boat ramp.

Look back at video footage and still one of my biggest regrets to this day haha

Supafreak's picture
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Supafreak Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 8:53pm

@megzee , there’s a fair bit of info on the killers of eden if you google it , books and a longer version of the link I put up . Apparently when old tom died so did the business as they lost their most valuable asset. Be nice to have your own bodyguard when going surfing

megzee's picture
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megzee Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:16pm

mysto83.....don't regret instincts mate....."Procrastination is the thief of time"
Supafreak.....for sure....will look further into it..... love this sort of stuff...great story.
Every surf spot should have it's own resident Killer Whale bouncer....Pull into the carpark and the sign says "Don't forget to feed the Whale"
Wettie on, wax up, and paddle out with a couple of kilo's of pillies......Feed old mate and surf worry free....

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:29pm

@megzee , I think they prefer tongue , not sure if the old bait shop sells them

megzee's picture
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megzee Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:46pm

Bugger.........good point mate..

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:53pm

Thanks for the hook up Supafreak...
Fascinating listening and vision into some killer whale history.
Has our current times looking interesting...

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:02pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whales_of_Eden,_New_South_Wales. Have a look under the Indigenous Australian section

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:10pm

I will. Thanks again.

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Remigogo Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:05pm

May I just add...

Even a killer bouncer can be out smarted or out numbered so paddling out with a dripping hand full of pillies or tongues would most certainly not have me feeling secure bobbing around between sets.
My thoughts..

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Remigogo Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:15pm

... one would have to offer payment as a lifestyle thing.

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megzee Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 11:21am

@Remigogo, yeah the idea is fraught with all sorts of hurdles....
More of a Sunday night lockdown brain warp......Not sure they can overly trusted either..

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Remigogo Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 9:51pm

Blackfish. Likely most well documented killer whale story of our, at least, my time.

Held in captivity. Sad, sad story.

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Supafreak Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:13pm

F655-E99-D-B470-49-DC-AF29-6-B41-A58-D9177

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Remigogo Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:18pm

Spuddups vid is proof.

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harrycoopr Tuesday, 27 Jul 2021 at 5:29pm

Does anyone know the story of someone being chased onto the ledge at Caves? Supposedly the shark was up on the ledge flailing around in chompchomp mode? Regional Myth?
Also, anyone know if GW's make good flake?

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Ray Shirlaw Tuesday, 27 Jul 2021 at 8:01pm

Maaaaate. Hardly a week goes by WITHOUT something like that happening over there .

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harrycoopr Wednesday, 28 Jul 2021 at 8:25am

Lol