Now is the peak season summer rentals at the beach, and Shark Week is upon us.
A lot has changed since the summer the movie “Jaws” came out. Truth is, before that summer of 1975, people didn’t think much about sharks. You simply didn’t see them very often, and they rarely made the news.
Then Peter Benchley wrote that book, Steven Spielberg directed that movie, and John Williams composed those ominous notes. The summer blockbuster was born, and people were afraid to get in the water.
We’ve come a long way since then, and now, sharks are all the rage (in a good way). Think Sharknado. Sharknado 2, 3 4, 5 and now 6, due to be released on July 25th.
Shark merchandise is everywhere… shark T-shirts, sunglass holders, pet costumes, shark gummies, even shark-bite doughnuts at Dunkin (frosted like a life preserver). Their numbers have rebounded, thanks to conservation efforts and education.
Ever since 1988, the Discovery Channel has been airing SHARK WEEK, where its programming is saturated with all things shark. It’s become the longest running annual series on TV.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Shark Week, which officially kicks off July 22nd.
In honor of Shark Week, the South Carolina Aquarium is running its own version starting Sunday (July 22) and running through Saturday (July 28). A visit to the Aquarium during their Shark Week is a fun experience for all ages, and especially for any kids staying in your Charleston beach house. Aquarium admission includes Shark Week activities.
Shark Week activities include:
- Watch divers interact with sharks at the Shark Show in the Great Ocean Tank;
- Meet the new additions to the Aquarium, the sand tiger sharks;
- Vote on name ideas for the new sharks, and find out if yours won on Friday, July 27;
- Dig for shark’s teeth in the Sharkaeology station, and take home what you find;
- Watch shark feeding time each day at 3:30;
- Make your own I Love Sharks bag;
- Play Find Finzy the Shark in a shark-themed scavenger hunt, and win a prize;
- Take on all kinds of shark-related activities and Instagram-worthy photo ops throughout the Aquarium.
The SC Aquarium is located on the downtown peninsula, at 100 Aquarium Wharf. It’s a nice drive from our Isle of Palms vacation rentals. From the IOP, just head into Mount Pleasant, cross the Ravenel Bridge, and head down East Bay till you get to Calhoun, then turn left. Figure about a half hour drive from the beach.
Here’s a link to Shark Week on the Aquarium’s website.
Track sharks nearby!
Osearch is a non-profit group based in New England that has been tracking sharks for years. Perhaps the best known is local “celebrity shark” Mary Lee, a great white who has frequented Lowcountry waters. They have a great app and website where you can track shark activity not just near Charleston, but around the globe. Here’s a link.
If you are staying near the beach and swimming in the ocean, it’s wise to be shark-aware.
Sharks are a natural part of the ocean, and they generally have little interest in humans. Problems generally occur when they mistake us for their normal prey, like seals or fish. It’s believed that Pacific surfers have been attacked while lying on top of a surfboard because, from below, the silhouette resembled a sea lion or seal, which are common in Pacific waters and those around Cape Cod. Once the shark bit them and realized it wasn’t, they generally let go and left.
Around here, it’s wise not to wear jewelry while swimming in the ocean, since the sparkly reflections resemble fish scales. A good rule of thumb is also to avoid being in the water near large schools of fish.
So be safe and enjoy Mother Nature and all her amazing creatures (like sharks). And remember to call EP when you are looking for the perfect beach house.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger