Shark week is here and it’s one of our favorite weeks of the year. For 30 years The Discovery Channel has been demystifying the undersea shark world. For most areas around the country that’s not as big a deal as it is right here in our own backyard. Just a few steps away from the Flagler Tavern lies the entrance to the Shark Bite Capital of the World.
My fascination with sharks started in 1975 at the tender age of 9. Trailers played on tv non-stop that year for the new summer blockbuster….JAWS. My mother ran into the room telling me not to look every time she heard the ominous DA DA…DA DA…playing. She didn’t want me to be, “afraid to go into the water”. Of course, that made me want to watch it. Who doesn’t want to do exactly what your mom doesn’t want you to do? And like most things in life, my mom turned out to be right.
A few years later I watched JAWS for the first time when it premiered on tv, maybe I was 11 or 12 years old and it scared me beyond belief. I still can’t help but watch it every time I happen across it on TV. I’ve seen at revival movie houses on the big screen. I’ve been up close and personal with the original mechanical shark when it made its debut at Universal Studios in California. I know it wasn’t real. Yet still, there isn’t an instance when I’ve dipped my toe in the water, that I haven’t looked for sharks. Thanks Steven Spielberg for making a generation afraid of sharks!
Fast forward to this week 16 years ago, when I was packing up my house in San Francisco, destination New Smyrna Beach. I fell asleep watching Shark Week videos and woke up in the middle of the night to a video of hundreds of swarming sharks on the ocean side of a sand bar and people swimming in the water on the beach side of the sand bar, completely unaware of the frothing menace so close to them. As you probably have already guessed it, the photo was an aerial shot from our Central Florida coastline and I was moving to the Shark Bite Capital of the World and didn’t know it.
As is often the case, we make light of that which we fear the most. New Smyrna locals will argue that the sharks are small, and you won’t die from a bite in New Smyrna waters, and in general, that’s true. While statistically New Smyrna still retains its Shark Bite Capital title, there are no confirmed deaths from shark bites outside our front doors. Perhaps we make a better snack than a meal.
New Smyrnians are a crazy krewe. We hunker down for hurricane parties instead of bugging out; run to the beach to watch the lightening storms and of course, swim with sharks; we are just that kind of crazy-stupid-cool. So how does one celebrate Shark Week in the Shark Bite Capital of the World? Well of course, WE BITE BACK!
In an irreverent celebration of Shark Week and an attempt to face my fears, my Flagler Tavern family has humored me with some fun and tasty ways to commemorate my 16-year NSB anniversary. Join us all week long for our homemade Mako Shark Bite Appetizers and Shark Bite Cocktails including The Bull Shark!
Our first Tavern Shark Week celebration 4 years ago I thought it would be really cool to get one of those flying shark balloons. Here is a picture of it actually flying. Well let’s just say I won’t try that again. Can you say ceiling fans???
Last year we launched our first ever Shark Week shirt and they are back again in limited supply available at the Tavern and online now through Shark Week, while supplies last. It’s one of my new favorite things about Shark Week, I get to go around screaming at everyone for a week with a stupid grin on my face, HELLLLOOOOO CHUM! Can you picture me giggling now? I am.
Food for Thought–
SIDE NOTE: This blog is meant in good jest and in no way meant to be disrespectful to those who have injured by sharks, near or far.