My band and I were in Florida and Alabama this past weekend. We had a CRAZY GREAT time with folks in both places. We had an outdoor concert at Village Baptist in Destin on Friday night (our thanks to Michael, Amy, Lang and EVERYONE for an awesome event). Saturday, all we had to do was travel from Destin to Mobile, which is only a 2 hour drive. So, we decided to sleep in, maybe hit the beach, and take our time on this leisurely day.
I slept until 8:50. I met up with drummer Kevin and bass player Wes, and we headed to the beach.
I threw on some shorts, and didn’t even put my swim trunks on, because we knew the jellyfish had been so bad for a couple of weeks, and we wouldn’t be able to get in the water. We had walked to the beach Thursday night as soon as we arrived, and the jellyfish were washing ashore in droves. It was pretty creepy actually. There was NO getting in the water. They were everywhere. I was so sad, because I’m an ocean guy. I LOVE to swim in the ocean. I love to just BE in the ocean. Bummer for us. No ocean this time.
So, on Saturday morning when we walked to the beach, much to our surprise, the jellyfish were gone! I mean, almost completely gone! Just like Tobymac sings. GONE. I couldn’t believe it. The water was clear and beautiful. My heart skipped a beat. I was so happy. I had two hours staring me in the face with nothing to do but ride waves with my buddies..
I called the rest of the guys back at the hotel and told them to get up and get to the beach. I left messages for them, and went straight to the water. It was really happening; the water was clear. The three of us were joined pretty quickly by our friend Stephen (guy who does all of our words and visuals on the screen). We were having a great time. Then, oops. There was a jellyfish. No problem, though. Just one. Well, and then another. And another. But not too bad. Just here and there. Then we started getting some slightly itching and stinging places all over us. Someone told us that that was probably from jellyfish tentacles floating around…what with the previous weeks’ jellyfish convention in that part of the ocean.
Then, we saw a family huddling around something in the water. We asked them what they were doing. They were looking for a sting ray that they had just seen. NICE. Okay. I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that, because I’m having too much fun. I’m in the ocean on a beautiful day with some of my best friends in the world. Sting rays, get out my house.
I swam to shore to check my voicemail and see if the other guys got my message. Seth was on his way. Alexis was on the
beach already…somewhere…so we saw each other from far away and I flagged him over to come join us. As he was walking over my way, I just so happened to look back at the water. My friends were pretty far out there.
ALL OF A SUDDEN…I looked at the water…about 15-20 feet in…where I just walked through to come to my phone…where
the water was about up to your knees…and I saw a SHARK. For real. A shark. A. SHARK. What in the heck? I couldn’t believe it. A shark. There were kids and people everywhere, and that shark was tearing through the water at a very fast pace, heading westward up the shore. Dude. This thing was FLYING. People started to see it, and a few people started screaming. The fine vacationing folks were hopping up from their beach chairs to get a better look. But in a flash he was gone. By the time Alexis got down to where I was, the shark was way up shore. But he was able to catch a glimpse of it just before it disappeared into the blue water.
And there my buddies were…bobbing along without a care in the world.
So what did I do? I went back and joined them. In the water. In the shark-infested, sting ray ridden water. I know. It was stupid. But what’s a sanguine to do? All of his buddies were in the ocean. If somebody’s gonna get bitten, the sanguine must be there for the drama. So I headed back out into the deep. Well, not the deep. But, you know. The sort-of deep.
No more sharks. No more sting rays. A few small jellyfish, and a couple of HUGE jellyfish. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the whole time, there were these schools of thousands of small fish swimming around us. But that’s pretty normal. They don’t bother you. You barely even feel them.
We were having a good time. talking, laughing, swimming. Then – again – all of a sudden, the little fish that were around us, all instantly began to attack all of us. At the same time. It would have been a great video. There we were – 6 guys – instantly and impulsively jumping up and down and yelling, trying to get away from the hundreds of fish jumping all over us. It was the strangest sensation. At first we didn’t know what was going on. Then when we realized what was happening, we started chopping at those fish through the waters like Bruce Lee.
We were kind of laughing and kind of like, uh…this is getting a little weird. It was at this point when some man close by said, “Uh oh. When that happens, it usually means there is something larger in the food chain close by.”
OK. Seacrest – OUT.
Done. Finished. It was time for my visit to the Destin Aquarium to end. I probably could’ve hung with it a little longer. But I think the sight of the 4 or 5 foot shark barreling through the waters like Jeff Gordon was a vision too tough to shake at that point.
We had a couple of hours in the ocean, and that was nice. It was great, actually. Amazing weather. Awesome fellowship with friends. I just think next time, I will wait and go when the fish are back in school.