Drive-by shark

The dog and I were cruised by a 7-8 foot shark early one morning last week while swimming off our local boat ramp in Tavernier  – about 40 yards offshore, 4-5 feet of water. It came up fast from behind, went by below us and about 5 feet to our left. Long-time Keys residents/neighbors say “not to worry, it was probably checking out the dog, not you.”  Local biologist: “It was probably feeding at that time  of the day, when phytoplankton come up through the water column and kick-off the foodchain.”  I haven’t gone back in yet. Still in “risk assessment” mode, waiting for the flashbacks to subside. I’ve seen sharks diving, mostly benign nurse sharks,  but I always feel safer underwater with them, at the same depth, where I can see them and assume they can see me.  This one came out of nowhere. And the sheer SIZE of that beast going by so close! I felt like a bite-sized SNACK floating helplessly on the surface. My primitive monkey-brain survival neurons could only scream “MONSTERRRRRR!!”.