Three days later, I kept thinking about those trapped sharks…so I rallied a friend and we sped off on a quest to free the hostages.
…It was farther away than I’d imagined. By the time we found the trap it was late afternoon. I jumped in the water and peered through the fencing to see what I counted to be 16 sharks circling in the 15’ by 20’ trap. There was not a single fish left inside. Who knows how long they’d been in there, but by the looks of things, they were hungry. They nosed at the fence and lashed their tails, swimming lap after lap in search of an exit.
We had to work fast; not only was the sun going down but if anyone saw us, word would surely get back to the owner that we’d been messing with their trap…
I donned my mask and leapt off the dinghy, searching the perimeter for a place where we could simply open a hole for the sharks to exit and then close it up again. But after scanning the length, I found no such option. The trap was securely fixed all the way around. After brief discussion, we agreed there was no choice but to resort to ‘open trap surgery’.
I took my swiss army knife and a short length of rope, then dove down to cut three sides of a 2’ by 3’ square in the plastic fencing. The sharks swam by curiously—they were mostly black and silver tips, but there was also a decent sized lemon shark. With the dinghy positioned adjacently, I peeled open the hole in the fence and tied it back with fastest half hitch my fingers could yield, then rocketed back up to the surface and into the dinghy.
Oddly, the prisoners weren’t quick to find their freedom. In fact, it took another half an hour for us to shoo them all out, tapping and splashing the top of the water to scare them to the side of the trap with the exit hole. One by one, they finally all found their freedom. And when we were sure they were all out, I hopped INTO the trap this time (to be sure I wouldn’t meet any hungry lingerers) and sewed the fencing back together with a long piece of nylon cord.
…I smiled as we sped back across the lagoon. I knew I’d sleep better that night knowing the sharks were swimming free …and, my shark karma had never been better!