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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Fishies

Finally, I was going to spend hours upon hours swimming while N stayed with Klara. We walked into the water and saw bathers stand in a neat row, peering into the water. 

“Weird people,” we thought and kept on marching. 

We noticed large shades moving towards us in the water. 

“Fishies,” we smiled. “How cute.”

And then we finally saw that the multitude of huge “fishies” moving towards us had triangular shapes and long tails. 

When we realized what we were seeing, we cleared out of there in a minute. And thus ended my day of swimming. 

And yes, the exact same thing happened to us 2 years ago and one of us got bit back then. 

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9 thoughts on “Fishies

  1. Welcome to Florida! Where the wildlife wants you dead!

    As small children my mother took me and my brother to a beach (no longer exists) until she saw a bunch of fins one day just as we were running into the water and found fresher water options for us (pools and a fresh water spring).

    Klara’s pool preference isn’t looking so foolish now is it?

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    • cliff, regarding “a bunch of fins” – were those real sharks?

      If yes, I am surprised people swim there at all.

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      • “regarding “a bunch of fins” – were those real sharks?”

        This was her report. I remember going to that beach as a kid and then we stopped going there and started going to pools and a fresh water spring (and the beach disappaeared when they put up a seawall and shopping center on it).

        Sharks are always around in the water in Florida, but usually they’re just not that interested in attacking humans. My brother (a pilot) reported seeing swarms of sharks a few hundred meters away from a crowded Gulf of Mexico beach (they didn’t seem interested in approaching the swimmers).

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  2. Were those jellyfish? They are usually numerous during Israeli summer in the Mediterranean Sea too. Yesterday we went to the sea, and it was a pleasant surprise not to see dozens of them lying on the shore – the way it was the last time we visited. And yes, I was bit too then, but in a slight way. The signs disappeared by themselves in a few hours.

    Btw, don’t you have any piece of sea “fenced” with breakwaters? On the beach I like, stones in the sea create a small beach without waves and with less jellyfish.

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    • “And yes, I was bit too then, but in a slight way”

      jellyfish don’t bite – they sting

      “Btw, don’t you have any piece of sea “fenced” with breakwaters?”

      I’ve never seen them on the Gulf Coast, I think there are some on the Atlantic Coast (especially around Miami) though I haven’t been there in a while so who know what they have now….

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  3. Dreidel on said:

    🙂 More information than you probably wanted to know:

    If you saw creatures with “triangular shapes and long tails,” then you saw “stingrays,” primitive fish with venomous stingers in their tails.

    Rays are relatives to sharks, who like rays aren’t considered true fish because their primitive skeletal structure is composed entirely of cartilage and not the more advanced bony skeleton of true fishes. Primitive doesn’t mean harmless, of course, but at least their stings are rarely lethal, just painful as hell. (Famous Australian Steve Irwin was a fatal exception.)

    The Atlantic coastal waters in the deep south (east coast of Florida and the inner Gulf coast beaches) are by far the most comfortable U.S. locations to swim in because of their lukewarm temperatures (much warmer than the chilly northern Atlantic waters off New Jersey, or the cold Pacific waters off California or Hawaii). The Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East a bit chilly for my taste, too.

    Unfortunately, the cozily warm southern Atlantic waters bring some unwelcome guests to the party.

    If you ever get back to Israel, try swimming in the Dead Sea. The ultra-salty water is so thick and buoyant that you can’t sink and drown in it, and it has no large predators, because the salt concentration would kill them.

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  4. “If you saw creatures with “triangular shapes and long tails,” then you saw “stingrays,””

    I was wondering, but I think of them as being more diamond than triangle shaped… Supposedly the way to keep from stepping on them by accident is to shuffle your feet instead of lifting them. When your foot moves close they swim tranquilly away.

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