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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 1:13 am | Fair 49º


Captain’s Log: When You Take an Ocean Dive, Leave the Shiny Stuff Behind

A girl came blubbering up out of the surf yelling, “A fish bit me in the face!” I took one look at her and slapped my forehead in disbelief.

She wore a shiny nose stud, lip ring and a pair of earrings. She’s lucky the school of fish didn’t chew her face off!

Small shiny objects look like food to fish and other sea critters, so if you wear them, beware. Wise and experienced sea swimmers, snorkelers and divers take great care to minimize the shiny stuff that can become targets for toothy or thieving sea life.

One thing that shivers me timbers is seeing someone go into the ocean with a gold chain around their neck. Are they nuts? Think about it!

The smartest swimmers and divers also pick colors and shapes that make them look as unlike a sea lion as possible, because the “Landlord” is swimming around out there looking for slow lumbering sea lions to sink big teeth into.

Even cute little fish gotta make a living, and that frequently entails eating small shiny things which are usually smaller forms of sealife — expect when they are jewelry on a swimmer. Some critters want to steal shiny objects apparently just because they like them.

Don’t expect any wild animal to respect your rights. They understand might, but not right. Once a critter does steal something from you and you decide to go get it back, understand that you are challenging that critter to a fight and perhaps to the death. Be careful because it might accept the challenge!

A fact we should face is that without man-made weapons we are pretty slow and we don’t have much in the way of teeth or claws.

I’ve had people jump into the ocean for a refreshing quick dip from my charterboat, WaveWalker on a warm day, and that’s fine. Folks are quick to strip down to bathing suits, skivvies or less, but it surprises me that they often don’t think to take off the dangerous stuff like necklaces, bracelets, earrings and wedding rings.

Before you enter the ocean, lose the shiny stuff. You’ll get bit less.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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