Surfer, Shark View

The Time We Accidentally Ruined a Couples Vacation

While on a trip to Orlando we decided that we couldn’t leave Florida without seeing the infamous Daytona Beach. We booked a hotel for the night and while doing some research learned about it’s lesser known cousin: New Smyrna Beach.

Only 23 Km from Daytona, New Smyrna is known for two things: great surfing and being the shark attack capital of the world. As soon as Jay heard this we had to go. Despite boasting over 257 attacks, there have been no fatalities at New Smyrna, which is perhaps why people keep swimming there. According to National Geographic, anyone who has swam at New Smyrna has been within 10 feet of a shark.

Surfer, sharks view

Photo: Kyle Taylør

When we got to the beach Jay went straight in. I stayed on shore and waded in to about my ankles. It wasn’t long before Jay had befriended a couple in the water and, after some friendly small talk, Jay mentioned New Smyrna’s claim to fame. Apparently the couple had not known this fact and the woman came ashore almost immediately. Jay tried to explain the odds to her (about a one in 11.5 million) and that shallow waters were much safer, but she wasn’t budging. I’m pretty sure she never went into the water again.

Ironically, when we got home Jay did some research and found out, to his surprise, that many shark attacks have occurred in very shallow water. So if it’s any consolation to the couple, Jay freaked himself out too. Call it even? Maybe we still you one.