– Unintentionally catching a shark –
Early in the morning – it was still quite dark – this beast struck like a freight train. I had brand new gear on and it was a miracle that the line didn’t break right away.
Before I had dropped the paddle and grabbed the pole with both hands half the spool had run out in a single wheeeeeeee, and when the fish noticed that there was resistance – at the moment I had no idea what it was – it almost ripped it out of my hands and very nearly tipped us over.
It took a lot of muscle and patience to get it closer and finally actually see to my horror that it was a shark. There was no way to get it close enough to do anything, its jaw wide open, it was ready to charge. We were on our way out and Parvin had the knife still stowed away. I held the pole with cramped hands and asked Parvin to paddle for shore – an island was about half a mile ahead. The fish pulled so hard that we made almost no progress. After twenty minutes or so, it seemed to lose energy, but so did I. When it stayed under the boat I finally jammed the pole between my legs and started to paddle too. Slowly we made progress; the fish came to the surface again and let itself be dragged like a log. Occasionally it tried heroic dashes that made the line cut into my leg, but we reached the shore. By now I really wanted to keep the fish – don’t ask me why, below a flimsy façade we are just born animals. I killed it and marveled at the double row of razor sharp teeth.
Did you ever touch a shark? The skin is like velvet in one direction and like sand paper in the other. It has eyelids that move up like a curtain from below.
Klaus Nov. 16. 2007