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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One Step Closer To A Dream

During a trip to Pier 39 in San Francisco, my wife and I enjoyed lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe with my dad and later explored the Aquarium Of The Bay. I have never been there, nor did I know it existed as I've always considered the Monterey Bay Aquarium as the place to go for sea life in our area.

After travelling through the tunnel and viewing a variety of sea rays and sharks, including the leopard shark, we found ourselves in an area with touching pools. I've seen these before, usually involving starfish and rays, but my eyes lit up when I saw a two beautiful leopard sharks laying still on the bottom as visitors came by to brush their unique skin.

**In case you don't know me, I am completely fascinated with sharks. I respect and admire them from afar and have done so for many years. I have two sharks tattooed on my body and have plans to expand. I am known online as "SharkByte" because I love sharks and I work for a computer company, hence the 'byte' instead of the conventional way to write shark bite.**

Anyhow, I've known for long before touching the amazing leopard shark that their skin is made up of tiny hooks that play a factor in their speed in the water. The hooks "grab" the water much in the same fashion as an oar does in a rowboat and pulls them through the water as their tail sways from side to side to propel them. However, even having that knowledge doesn't quite translate until you feel it for yourself. The skin is smooth when you go from the head to tail, but if you glide your hand against the grain from tail to head you'll get the feel of sandpaper as you go over those tiny hooks.

One thing I did learn during that visit is that
Speedo has engineered "speed suits" based on the same principle of sharkskin to help you glide through the water in shark-like fashion, though probably not achieving their speeds.

Now that I got to touch a shark, I'm ready to jump in one of those tanks and have them swimming all around me.

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