Is It Rational or Silly to be Scared of Sharks in Maine Waters?
Listen… I know there will be many of you coming at me telling me I’m completely delusional to be scared of a shark in Maine but I really don’t think my fear is THAT crazy.
I am extremely blessed to live right near the water and have easy access to daily paddling in my kayak. I am an avid kayaker and it’s one of the many things in this beautiful life that make me extremely happy to my core. But lately I have developed a very specific fear of a shark nudging my vessel out of curiosity, me falling out, and ultimately getting attacked by a great white.
I know, you’re thinking I’m nuts, however, what used to be a far-fetched nightmare very well could be reality these days and let me tell you why.
Maine’s Warming Waters
Let’s start with the fact that our waters are warming at a faster rate than other places in the world. According to a Washington Post article:
“The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 96% of the world’s oceans.”
Direct quote, folks!
The Director of Climate Center at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) in Portland shared with WMTW that our waters are seeing the warmest temperatures on record that we’ve ever seen in the 40 years of having satellite data and this means new species are going to show up.
Are There Sharks in Maine?
Yes! And due to climate change and warming waters, we are seeing new guys showing up, just like the Climate Center director predicted. Last year, we had a hammerhead shark in our waters. That is absolutely insane!! Those boys only like warm ocean temperatures, typically in tropical coastal areas like Florida and the Bahamas, not up North here in Maine.
Maine has seen an increase in sharks in general and that is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it means our efforts for shark conservation have been a success, but it’s a bad thing because it’s also due to warming waters and it’s mostly a bad thing because now I’m scared to kayak and swim.
Do Sharks Attack Kayaks?
Ok… Not really, I can admit that. As Paddling Mag shares from the Global Shark Attack File, kayak shark attacks are extremely rare and only 21 have been recorded since the early 1900s.
So is my fear rational? Not reaallllly… But it’s also not that far-fetched. I’m not wrong to be scared that I’m kayaking over a shark lurking below but the odds of them coming after me are definitely slim.
I just can’t get it out of my head and it definitely ruins my vibe while doing something I genuinely love. I guess it’s something I just need to get over? Or is this a rational fear I should be worried about?? I don’t know!!!!