You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat…

This week marks the 38th anniversary of the original release of the movie Jaws. When it first hit the big screen I made every attempt to avoid it. I’d read the Peter Benchley novel. I like to swim in the Pacific Ocean. We have sharks off the coast. I was Not going to see the movie.

Of course, eventually I did, and I am NEVER at the beach that I don’t think of it. NEVER.

As police chief Martin Brody, played by actor Roy Scheider,  gets a better look at the shark circling the small fishing boat he’s on, he remarks in an understated tone, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” becoming perfect shorthand for bigger than anticipated life situations.

First thing Monday morning I received a message from my primary credit card company alerting me to fraudulent activity on the card. This is the card that gives me Amazon points, so I have every conceivable automatic payment associated with that card.

Last night we had an evening with Internet outages and combined with other interruptions to flow, I wondered…sun spots?

When things get a little crazy, I like to think about other things. So why don’t I tell you about our off-the-coastline Jaws story, just perfect for the movie anniversary.

Southern California has been called a “nursery ground” for mako sharks, but they are typically caught somewhere between 2 and 6 feet long. How about 1,323 pounds–caught off Huntington Beach? That’s a Jaws-worthy shark, don’t you think?

If you’re interested in some photos and a bit more of the story, go ahead and click HERE.

One of the last times we were at Huntington Beach we saw a small shark caught by a gentleman fishing off the end of the pier. There was quite a buzz with people lining up to have their photos taken next to the big guy.

There is a high demand for thresher steak, and over-fishing has led to a dramatic drop in the thresher population. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad…I’m more of a catch and release kind of person.

I didn’t share the photos at the time because for some, seeing a shark in its last moments of life is not  very pleasant.

So, here are the photos if you’re interested. Click HERE–they’re not that graphic, I promise.

And whether you look at the shark photos or prefer not to, don’t you still hear that deliciously ominous John Williams’  score playing in your head?

“Doo Dum doo dum doo dum“–scariest two alternating keys in moviedom.

There are so many wonderful things about the Southern California coastline. Just don’t think about what’s under the water–or try not to!

California Surfer Dude

California Surfer Dude

And I do hope your boat is just the right size this week. Mine is getting back in balance. Just a temporary waylay.

PostScript:  Here I was so careful to link the thresher shark photos so that viewing them is optional, but I now see they are displayed as the primary photos on my blog page. I don’t know how to suppress the view, so I’m off on another learning curve. If someone wants to hand me the “how to” suppress linked photos from automatically showing, I’d be happy to learn! Sunspots, I tell you!

40 thoughts on “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat…

  1. Love this… Yep, bigger boat… That is the goal… More time for family and fun… all part of my bigger boat this year. Thanks Debra. Judy…

    • I do wonder how it is we don’t have Internet crashing all the time! Think of the continual overload! I did handle it with more patience than is my typical reaction. It was almost a brief relief…like the good old days. LOL!

  2. EEK, Debra. I hope everything is all sorted with your card now. The worst time for the internet to go out.

    I’ve actually been reading a lot about hackers overloading the internet of late. I would not be surprised if that were somewhat to blame for outages………unless you live in Charleston, where Comcast cut a major fiber optic cable a couple of weeks ago and took the entire region down for most of the day.

    I relate to this one, too, because I’ve been trying to build a bigger boat this year. As much as I hope an agent will agree to represent my current novel (I’m down to two considering it), I am facing the reality of having to go it alone. While I laugh and joke a lot on my blog, I have shed buckets of tears in recent weeks. I don’t think I have the skill to build a big enough boat to make that a success, and I’m scared to death. Thank you for giving me a picture to put that in perspective. I don’t like sharks, but sometimes thinking about them can motivate us to try harder to outrun them and win.

    • Oh dear Andra. I think most of us who “know” you are sure that the lightness of heart you share in your blog isn’t the whole expression of what you’re going through. I can easily imagine that waiting and navigating through today’s questionable publishing future, especially in traditional publishing modalities, has you very concerned and wondering whether to “stay the course” or move in new directions. There is stress in those questions.

      I do think a “bigger boat” is an excellent metaphor for how we need to challenge any limitations that get put on us. I think you have a whole cheering squad believing you have the skill and ingenuity to build a boat any size you need to get to that success, Andra. I don’t do pep talks any more–but I do encourage people I know have what it takes! ox I’m glad you shared a little bit more about how you’re doing with this waiting. I have definitely wondered, my friend!

  3. Dear Debra, I’ve never seen “Jaws” nor read the book. I’m very visual and pictures just stay in my mind. I once edited a book on child abuse and I’ve regretted that ever since because I’ve never been able to let go of those horrible scenes the book portrayed.

    As to sun spots, last week I spent 1 3/4 hours on the phone with an AT&T technician trying to figure out why I couldn’t go online. He tried so hard to help me–with great good patience–but we couldn’t solve the problem. Then the next day the problem seemed to solve itself. Strange. I hope your “sun spots” disappear as quickly. Peace.

    • I think Jaws is just one of those movies I could easily have avoided, and didn’t, Dee. I was still quite young, and since that time I’ve learned to be a great deal more cautious in what I consider entertainment–or news. I have a lot of trouble blocking out disturbing images, too, Dee. Your Internet trouble is similar to what we experienced. We couldn’t solve the problem, and then it just self-corrected. I do laugh at how impatient I feel when the Internet is down…I should be amazed at the ease of connection and that most of the time it works at all, don’t you think? I hope you’re doing well, my friend.

      • Dear Debra, thank you for your well-wishing. Life is going well for me. I’m learning some things about publicizing books and social media. I’m also trying to write 1,500 words a day at least three days a week. And I’m trying to read 22 blogs each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (I follow 66 blogs.) And of course there are family gatherings and errands and library visits and reading, reading, reading. A nonfiction book I’m reading right now has totally captured my heart and mind. The slim volume has a one-word-one syllable title: “Wave.” It is a memoir by Sonali Deraniyagala who was caught in the 2004 tsunami and lost her husband, two sons, and her mother and father. She writes so well and with such fierce honesty. Peace.

      • My goodness, Dee. You are really busy, and I think with such wonderful pursuits! That you are even attempting to keep in touch with blog reading is quite admirable. It takes so much time, I know. I feel I have made a friend in you, and we’ll find a way to keep in touch with or without the blogging rigors! :-) I am so glad to hear that you are committing to your writing schedule. I really do admire how actively you pursue the writing life, Dee. Somewhere I recall hearing about “Wave” and thinking it sounded amazing. I would like to read it, although it must just rip your heart out! You are sensitive to these things, so it must be very well done. Peace to you, too, my friend. I am always so happy when I see your name appear. :-)

  4. I saw “Jaws” during my year in Scotland. A bunch of us exchange students went to see it together. It was such a cultural phenomenon that we all HAD to see it. It was the only movie I saw that year.
    Then I spent half the movie trying to explain to the guy sitting next to me, who was from somewhere in Africa (Ghana, I think), that no, not all small towns in America are like that.

    • What a funny memory of trying to explain “America” to someone using a movie to understand life and culture! I wonder if that doesn’t occur quite a bit–USA via television and movies. Imagine the impressions. :-) I never did see Jaws on the big screen. I suppose it was VHS–and peeking through my fingers, I’m quite sure. I do hold onto many of the images, however, as though I just saw it! *shudder*

  5. I always prepare myself for stuff, sometimes (many times) obsessively but it gives you huge benefits in later days, you can laugh at the dumb small sharks that cant get you then.
    I live around tons of interference but I dont think I got the sunspot. Im using a router at a large range, it goes annoyingly down but it stays stable enough, I think the normal bradcasting signal for wireless modern devices is like 10m, I must be at the last meters.

    about the postscript, I have no idea how to fix that, maybe posting a tasty recipe of how to cook them.

    • I’m actually a bit spoiled with good Internet coverage. But when it doesn’t work I’m rather impatient which is a bit silly. It’s like being irritated if something takes too long to microwave! How soon I forget that these are rather recent conveniences! :-) I would like to solve my “photo” question, but that will just have to wait for another day! Thank you so much for commenting.

  6. Your home page is the only place the photos pop up: the email alert looks just like this page, and only the clip of Jaws shows on the reader page. We have to actually click your Home button to see the pictures on accident, and only a small percentage of people would do that, no?. The coloring on that shark sure was pretty, the blue and grey kind of smearing together in a marbled effect.

    • Thank you for responding about the photos, Janine. I suppose it must be related to the blog theme. I would like to control which photos show, however. Some other day…I’ve done enough battling with technology and the web this week! :-)

  7. I hope that things get sorted out for you . . . no matter what size boat you’re floating. :D

    I tend to stay close to shore and around other people when I wade into the water at the beach. Shark Wrestling is NOT on my Bucket List.

    • I don’t venture out nearly as far as I once did, Nancy. Some of that is about strength and not being quite as “fit” as I might once have been…but a lot of it is thinking about the BIG fish. LOL!

  8. This made me laugh Debra! I actually managed to avoid seeing the film – well I saw a lot of clips but they don’t count do they? Anyway, love that remark. I’ll have to remember that. Glad your boat fits this week – mine was also rocking a bit, but I think calm seas have returned for now! :D

    • I could write quite a story about the number of movies I’ve seen or books I’ve read that I didn’t have enough sense to avoid! I’ve at least learned a bit more about that wisdom through the years. I think avoiding Jaws would have been a good decision, but perhaps with all the hype that surrounded it at the time I wouldn’t have been much better off. I do remember watching it with my eyes closed much of the film. LOL! I’m glad your rocking boat is a little calmer now, too, Cathy. My largest problems this week weren’t very significant, but they did take a lot of time!! :-)

  9. Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw were a great casting for this film – though the shark did for Robert Shaw both in the film and afterwards (it was his last film). Jaws was a superb film that still frightens because it deals with real world fears. I don’t like horror and other forms of scary films (give me real life frights as a preference – I can handle them).. The nastiest I’ve watched has to be Event Horizon.

    • I’ve never seen Event Horizon, Martin. I don’t like horror either, but even some real world scenarios end up being too much for me. I’m kind of a lightweight! I was a very big fan of both Scheider and Shaw, and had forgotten it was Shaw’s last film. He was such an accomplished actor! Makes me almost want to see the movie again…almost! :-)

  10. I have to admit that Jaws was never a hit with me – maybe because I don’t live in waters where sharks are a threat. I certainly don’t think about it when I go swimming. But I enjoyed reading your post. I hope your credit card didn’t get scammed.

    • I think sometimes I have a very distorted view of what is popular in movies and entertainment worldwide, Otto. Jaws was HUGE in Hollywood, and even Universal Studios had rides and exhibits for two decades following. I really did avoid seeing it for probably about ten years. Sharks are fascinating creatures. But I prefer watching them swim in tanks at the aquarium! :-) And the credit card mess is all cleared up now…the poor credit card companies are very cooperative and in the end, they take the losses, which is a shame!

  11. I think I was 11 when Jaws came to our shores. My parents wouldn’t let me see it as they said it was too scary for me. I was furious. Especially because if you couldn’t see the film at the movies, you never had a chance to see it – no DVD’s back in those days. We have plenty of sharks here in our waters off Australia. There’s always a few deaths every year xx

    • I think at 11 your parents definitely made the right decision! I don’t swim out in the deep where there’s much danger! It’s usually the surfers who have the dangerous encounters. So did you never see Jaws? You’re probably better off! LOL!

  12. “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat” A classic line if ever there was one. I never read the book, Debra. Started it and that was enough. It took me years to watch the movie, longer to see the opening scene. I use movies as escapes and this is hardly the escape I seek. Having had a credit card compromised a few years ago, I feel your pain. My thief used my card to buy tickets to Rome. Do you believe it? Rome! Oh, the insult! I hope you got yours straightened out without too much of a hassle. Good luck!

  13. The movie was a thriller. I went to visit my wife-to-be at the time. She didn’t want to see it, so I went to the theater while she was working.

    Most of us seem to forget that shark are like the rest of nature – they eat in order to survive, and survive to reproduce so their species can continue.

  14. Debra, I have to tell you that when you swim off ANY coast you think of Jaws. I have swum in the English Channel and wondered about what was underneath the water! Lovely Jawsy round up: most entertaining, thank you!

  15. Like Dee I’ve always studiously avoided watching Jaws, though I love documentaries about sea-life. I’m a coward, I tell you. :-) So sorry to hear about the card problem and all the other rough bits of our modern technological lives. i do hope things have sorted themselves out by now.

  16. Hi Debra! I hope that the credit card activity is all sorted out. That is such a major pain. I hope your bought is right-sized again. :) And, yes, I too think of Jaws every time we’re near an ocean. I swear I saw a shark fin at the beach this past winter. No one else did, but you can bet I got Mr. N out of the water in a hurry. :)

  17. Yep! Sunspots – or maybe the supermoon that should be up and about this weekend.
    Isn’t that one of the best movie lines? I’d read the book, which in those days I could do in two days. Then, we went to see the movie, which was so suspenseful and unique for the time, wasn’t it? that doodum still illicits terror. I think what was so terrifying about the movie was one never knew when that shark would spring up. To someone seeing it for the first time these days, it isn’t all the frightening, but, back in the olden days . . .

    My boat was much too small this week, Debra. Besides my usual busyness, our upcoming garden walk . . . we were up to our elbows in gardening, er, weeding. Garden club ladies were stopping here for lunch on Thursday, in between two destinations for a field trip nearby. What we thought would be 10, maybe 12, turned out to be 28 at the eleventh hour. Ha! It seems they wanted to see our garden, and heard there was free food! I was making more chicken salad at 5:30 am. I am definitely looking to breath lighter this weekend.

    Doodum, doodum, doodum.

    I hope the credit card damages aren’t too bad and you get that resolved asap.

    • I agree with you, CCU. Sharks are magnificent animals, even if they do inspire a little fear! I respect a shark’s need to survive and find food wherever instinct takes him…but I’ll admire him more from the shallow edge of the ocean. :-)

  18. I love to be around the Pacific, it’s beautiful to view and maybe get my toes wet, but that’s as far as I go. It’s way too cold to enjoy and I prefer the coolness it offers us in the evenings.

    • I think back to my high school years when I would get way out in the ocean and really swim! I am glad I had those experiences when I was young. LOL! I don’t have the wherewithal or strength to trust that now anyway, but I think I’d get spooked. Toes wet is fine with me, too!

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