Was it shark week that fashioned the series of events leading up to the Corolla Baby Toss last weekend? Or was it the meteor shower. Or a perhaps a combination of both?
This past weekend was far from boring to say the least.
As you have heard me whine for about three months, winds and upwelling have caused Outer Banks waters to remain between 58 and 64 degrees. There has not been a single day where we could actually get in the water and SWIM.
That is… until this weekend.
Sunday morning I plopped myself down in a beach chair, fishing rod in hand. My son began to surf while a few people began to wander in to the water. There was something different, though. What was it? Why did I feel things were off? And then I realized. ARMS DOWN.
Indeed, the minute you reach the top of the stairs heading towards the beach you can tell what the water temperature is. Arms up? So cold people won’t even put their arms in. This has been an arms up summer. But arms down? OH SWEET JESUS. Everyone had his or her arms DOWN.
I gingerly placed my foot in the water and took a step. And then another. Then I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and dove in to the crystal clear water.
It only took a moment to feel a complete sense of home rush through my body. Wholly submerged, my mermaid’s tail quickly unfolded after a long winter and cold summer stretch. I opened my eyes in the briny sea, felt the waves crash over me and thought, “I am finally home.”
For the rest of the day my mother, daughter and I frolicked in the warm beautiful ocean water. Every twenty minutes one of us would exclaim, “I can’t believe we are in the OCEAN!”
Little did we know that just a few minutes up from us, surfers watched a bull shark swim under their boards, following a group of cow nose rays.
Little did we know that something even more dangerous was lurking near, swiftly sweeping towards us in the ever-increasing current.
Cue the Jaws song.
Dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun dun dun Dun dun dun dun.
Mom and I were waist deep in the trough when I saw it. What is that? Could it be? AHHHHHHHH! For there, coming straight at me was a full grouping of poop!
POOP?! REALLY?!?! I pretend people don’t pee in the ocean… but number two? WHO DOES THAT!
I dodged the cluster while screaming to my mother, “LOOK OUT LOOK OUT LOOK OUT! IT’S POOP!”
In a rush of fright, she flicked her hand up, causing water to immediately splash in her mouth. I’m not quite sure if the final floating log actually hit her, but it sure was a near miss either way.
Our frolicking came to a quick end.
The baby toss, you ask?
I noticed my mother squinting at a circle of people far out on the sandbar. In order to reach the sandbar, one must wade through chest high water with waves breaking overhead. The sandbar leaves you in waist high water, but a few steps further finds the water instantly deep.
“Is that a doll? A ball? What is that?”
Yes, you’ve guessed it. Picture a baby young enough that she cannot hold her head completely still. Now picture a circle of people tossing a ball up and across the circle. Back and forth, up and over. Now change the ball to a baby with a wobbly head. On a sandbar. Just feet from a huge drop-off.
These people were flinging a baby hard and high over the deep ocean’s water. With no life vest in sight. Even better? Mama carried baby out of the water by one arm once the Corolla Baby Toss was complete.
It Takes All Kinds.
I think I saw the bull shark watching this activity with a fork and knife in hand. I’m just sayin. And people? If I had my camera handy, there would be an amazingly viral YouTube video with my name on it right now. With emails and links sent to every social services office in North Carolina.
Meteor showers. Rogue poop. Bull Shark. Corolla Baby Toss. Shark week is over, right?!