The Day I Almost Lost My Leg To An Evil Sea Monster

A few days ago, I finally got to enjoy the first beach day of the summer with gal pal, Arielle. It was a gorgeous day–clear blue sky, warm but breezy, and sunny enough to get a jump start on our tans. It was a perfectly normal, perfectly wonderful, perfectly unexceptional day at the beach.

After a few hours of sunbathing, we decided to head down to the water for a quick swim. As we approached the ocean, we noticed a small group of women yanking their children out of the shallows, waving their arms around and shouting at one another in warning. Curious, Arielle and I headed over to find out what the commotion was all about. A rather buxom woman in a pink bikini told us she’d just seen a sting ray on the bottom. And according to her, it was the biggest sting ray ever seen on the East Coast.
She stretched her arms so wide, it was as if she was made of silly putty.

Now, before you panic, there are 2 things you need to know about the South Carolina coast. Number one: the water isn’t crystal clear. In fact, it’s so silty you can’t see anything beneath its surface. That means that you’re swimming with the fishes without being able to see the fishes, which is both alarming and comforting at the same time. Number two: yes, sting rays can be pretty big. However, the children were playing in water that was about ankle deep. And in all the years I’ve been swimming in the Carolina oceans, I’ve never seen a sting ray. (Not to say that I’m a marine expert. I’m not. I’m sure there are a bazillion sting ray sightings in any given summer. I’m just saying I’ve never seen one.)
Also, it should be said that rarely does a sting ray ever grow to the size of a school bus,
which is what pink bikini lady was leading us to believe.

Undeterred, but erring on the side of caution, Arielle and I walked several yards down from the sting ray sighting, and plunged into the waves. The water was deliciously chilly, and we spent the next half an hour floating, and laughing, and splashing. 
We ♥ the ocean.

In the middle of a particularly funny story, a wave took me under and swept me away from Arielle. I wanted to hear the punch line, so I started walking toward her. And that’s when I stepped on something that was clearly NOT the sandy bottom. And how did I know that, you ask? Well, readers, it moved. And I reacted thusly:
In case the picture isn’t self-explanatory…ahem….”AAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH.”

Arielle was still several feet away from me and could not hear my distress howl over the sound of the waves. All I knew, in that split second, was that there were two major objectives that needed to be achieved, and quickly. One: get the hell out of dodge. And two: warn my friend of the impending doom beneath my feet. So I did the only logical thing.
I launched myself at Arielle and latched around her neck, legs kicking behind me.
She was utterly confused.

“What the…..?” she asked.
“Wiggle…slimy….trying to eat me…,” I sputtered.
“WHAT?” Arielle shouted.
“STING RAY!!!!!!!!!!”
That got her attention. And the frantic paddling for shore began. Neither of us would let our feet touch the sand, which led to hauling ourselves up on the beach like seals. We were safe, our toes uneaten, and butts unstung. 
And somewhere along the coast of South Carolina, the elephantine sting ray of death swims evilly beneath the surface, with an Abby-sized footprint on its back.

6 thoughts on “The Day I Almost Lost My Leg To An Evil Sea Monster

  1. Kindred Adventures

    And yet I wonder was it really a sting ray ??? The ocean does such a wonderful job of playing tricks on us (I do believe you) not being able to see the bottom, having to feel and guess, being warned by that woman who was probably told by her kids. Either way it’s freaky shit!

    Enough about that lets talk about the beach…. jealous here!! Sounds like such a wonderful time. Beach with a friend just lounging around relaxing and taking it all in… jealous (oh I said that already). Sounds like it was quite a day!!! -LV

  2. Stephanie

    I remember a trip to Florida when I was 13ish. We saw a half-dozen stingrays. The first sighting caused us to run screaming up the beach, like little girls…which, now that I think about it, is what we were.

  3. The380 Lady

    This is precisely why I have started wearing water shoes in any body of water which I can’t see through to the bottom of. I have this overwhelming fear of stepping of things I can’t see or having my toes bitten off by some aquatic creature. Also, due to a near drowning experience at Myrtle Beach as a kid in which my dad laughed the entire time because he didn’t realize the distress I was actually in, I rarely go in the water about my waist. But anyway, I’m glad that the evil sea monster of death didn’t have time to attack. I’m also glad that your mad life guarding skills from years ago were still with you and allowed you to do a jump/latch on for dear life/swim to safety move. 🙂

  4. Elena

    Ok I found you through a random search on the Mayan calendar and OMG you are hilarious! I have to make sure to keep checking in to read more. I LOVED this post…your pictures keep cracking me up!

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