We met around 7 am again and were joined by Zack from Australia who wanted to improve his surf skills but had already 5 years of surfing under his belt. The waves were quite a bit rougher than the previous day and I felt a little nervous. After riding 3 super fun waves with Edison’s help, with the last one being my first ever wave standing, even so for just a short while before falling off, I felt super excited about the conditions and going on to riding my next wave. I had already an idea how to stabilize myself better while standing. I was just puttering along and trying not get taken for a spin while approaching the waves going out to return to Edison to catch the next wave. Then Edison started yelling for me to go in from the far. I just wondered if he wanted me to catch a wave all by myself? Not quite getting it, I finally went towards the shore, still not sure why I had to go back. Before we reached the beach, Edison came alongside my board and told me that there was a shark very close to me as I was coming out for my next wave. Though close to me, he was aiming for Edison and Zack, as they were sitting on their boards and still dangling their feet in the water while deciding what they were seeing was just driftwood, a sea turtle flopping over, or a real shark. We were the only 3 people in the water at that time. The usual surf schools hadn’t started their lessons yet as it was just around 9am. In the end, all is good, we are unharmed, but Zack and Edison were pretty shaken up while I had absolutely no clue. Edison has been living here in Hawaii for over 39 years and this was his 4th overall and first close encounter with
a shark on the North Shore. Sharks and shark incidents are way more likely in October as in any other month as a lot of female sharks will come from the colder climates to give birth here. Though sharks don’t really like people, it’s more the case of mistaken identity thinking their pray is a sea turtle or other creature of the ocean. Needless to say, we ended our surf lesson for the day right then. The rest of the day fades in comparison to this adventure. I went on to visit the Dole Plantation, a coffee farm, explored a local food market and had my first bowl of delicious Poke. I ended the evening with new friends talking about living in Hawaii and sharks.