« Looks Like Lipstick, Tastes Like Blood: My Face Goes Ice Sailing | Main | Winter Rules: Special Puffin Report to Windsurfing Magazine »

February 03, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

you forgot choice 2b: Minimize the chances of attack.
freak out, but pretend to calmly go back to the beach and get all your buddies that haven't seen the shark to get back out there and hope they fall in first to see what happens.

If you sail the cove in Hatteras, you've probably seen a shark. Last time we were there, the cove was the call for the next day. A sailor who we will keep anonymous really wanted to do the cove the next day but is REALLY afraid of sharks. i told him that if he was really concerned to just ask the local shop manager who happened to be at our house. I knew there had never been a windsurfer attacked by a shark at the cove. So anonymous asked the shop manager what his chances would be of getting attacked while sailing at the cove the following day. "50/50" the shop manager said, "When you fall in, you either get eaten or you don't." I laughed my ass off while anonymous never quite made it out the next day.

Whoops! Sorry about that, anon.... Had I known the stakes were so high I would've chosen my words more carefully!

Odd, that this story came up, because I HAVE seen spinner sharks at the Cove. And yes, we just kept surfing... My friends were ribcage deep on 6'3" pin tails, but I was high and dry on a big ol' standup paddle board. : )

Mike, I think choice #3 covers the 2B thing. Meanwhile I think Andy would have freaked me out with the same comment! There was someone killed in Hatteras by sharks about ten years ago...he happened to be a cousin of a friend (who still goes to Hatteras...and windsurfs on the sound side.)

Well maybe I can check out the Cove deathtrap myself this spring!

In all reality, Hatteras is not a "hungry shark" kind of place. They have lots of other food here. There have only been 2 shark fatalities in all of North Carolina, ever. Since the beginning of record keeping.

That's not very many.

I think more people have succumbed to flying champagne cork incidents than sharks. When it comes down to it, one should be much much much more fearful of walking across highway 12 than going for a surf in Hatteras.

(insert sound of knocking on wood, here) : )

No doubt shark attacks are rare! However the stats from the International Shark Attack File for North Carolina for "confirmed, unprovoked shark attacks" since 1935 are 31 attacks and 4 fatalities (that last fatality being my friend's cousin, in Avon.) I understand the desire to play down the statistically unfounded fear of sharks...however the statistically founded fear (sometimes sharks do eat people) are worth noting. No doubt crosing 12 is way more dangerous, and I actually once met a woman who was blind in one eye from a champagne cork hit. I couldn't believe it! But now I'm more careful with uncorking bubbly...

Like we said. When you go in the water, it's 50/50. You get eaten or you don't.

I've never seen a shark while windsurfing personally, but I would like too. Maybe I'm just crazy that way, but I was kind of obsessed with sharks as a kid. That's how I could identify one, BTW. I just happen to know what a lot of them look like. From the surface it's pretty tricky, but underwater it's easier.

So, if you see a shark, just dive underwater and look at it up close. Then you can identify it! ;-)

If I had seen that shark jump close up, I'd have left the water too (then cleaned out my wetsuit). Most sharks really aren't dangerous, but it's smart to give any shark healthy distance. Unless it's a spinner shark. They're quite cuddly.



i say change the subject.

Michael, great peice in Windsurfing!

Yeah, I really liked your article! There were some great tips on cold-water sailing. I think East Coast windsurfing dominated this month's issue if you count my article.

Since you're now the “expert” on winter windsurfing, I've got a question: What's the coldest you can wear a 5 mil neoprene suit + hood, mittens and booties and be safe? I see everybody seems to wear a dry suit, but what if you don't want to go that extreme?

Now, back to talking about sharks ... :-)



That is a great issue of the Mag! Both of your contributions are a good read! Nice work!

Concerning wetsuits- I personally don't like quoting temps, because everyone has their own level of internal furnace intensity (usually indicating temperature threshold as an inverse relationship to density of chest hair). But if it's a GOOD suit, you'll be safe in the 50s, ok in the 40s, and maybe make it to the 30s if you're burly.

If it's a $59 crap suit, then it's a crap shoot, even in the 60s...

Just my (unsolicited) opinion

Ian, I hadn't seen your article...nice piece! This is indeed an East Coast spectacular of an issue!

Re neoprene, for myself, I have sailed in a 5/3 semidry in air temps down to the high 20's (here's a post from the coldest session). I did this at a shallow water location (ie I could stand) and was able to enjoy sailing for two hours. This is of course with heavy high booties, glacier gloves, and a heavy hood and helmet (I'm of the belief that helmets contribute to the effectiveness of hoods in cold weather.) In agreement with both of Andy's points:

1. It was in an excellent suit (Neil Pryde), and
2. what's comfortable for me may not be for you. I bought a drysuit not because I wanted to be warmer (though the drysuit is warmer than the 5/3) but because my 5/3 is old and I had concerns about it coming apart in the waves. If I had to give up my drysuit tomorrow in exchange for a brand new 5/3 I wouldn't think twice about windsurfing in any conditions that I'd be happy with in a drysuit.

Thanks Mike, that does answer my question. I'll probably be out sometime in March, once the ice clears the river and it heats up a little.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

windsurfing van

  • Bulkhead_wide
    "It's good to have a shredmobile" my friend Caldwell said, so I made one. It's a Ford E150 cargo van done up with lumber and k-mart plastic boxes.