Little Ray worries he may have acted like shark bait after drawing a shark to friendly boaters with his entertaining motions, displayed at 50% of viewport width.
September 2019 by V. R. Duin


Pressed against the hole in the boat,
Little Ray could keep it afloat.
And once the leak began to slow,
the engine could be checked below.
(Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up)

Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up combines stingrays and sharks into a shark bait feeding frenzy adventure involving a boating family while nobody is shark fishing.

One of Many? Colors may lure sharks. In Hawaii, mainlanders are called “shark bait”, suggesting pale skin attracts them. The excellent bright light vision of sharks induces strikes on familiar-looking prey.

Art of Camouflage? Some fish, including stingrays, hogfish and gobies, can change color to blend their presence into new habitats. Cuttlefish, octopus and squid are well-known, quick-change artists of the marine mollusk family.

Pops of Color? Fish usually are light underneath and dark on top. Sharks may be attracted by jewelry or shiny swimming suits with patterns similar to those of fish scales. It's not clear what lured a shark to Ray's friends' boat.

Defining Moment? Sharks are beckoned by erratic or splashing motions. Little Ray worried his leaps and flips and bends might have tempted the shark. The entertainment took on a different tone after the shark arrived.

Island Prime? Sharks come close to shore. When leaving a craft or a beach chair to step into the water, it is safer to stay in guarded areas. Fishing from beaches may attract these big eaters. They go where food congregates.

Sewer Snatch? Bait fish are lured to the solids in sewage releases. Sharks are attracted by these sludge-eating morsels. Farmed fish may have a poop connection. Some countries raise sewage-fed fish for human consumption.

Good Taste? People get sampled by curious sharks. It is wise to stay in shallow, clear waters close to shore. Avoid swimming or wading in murky waters. If you cannot see a shark, it probably cannot see you.

Good smell? Blood attracts sharks. However, they seem capable of differentiating human blood from that of preferred prey. Blood proteins differ among species. New smells of urine entering their habitat may intrigue them.

Puppy Love? Dogs paddling in the water seem to invite curious sharks. Swimming with a dog may increase the risk of unwelcome interactions. Sharks have been known to snatch yapping dogs from beaches.

In the Bag? Large sharks in seal territory savor these blubbery meal-sized marine mammals. A shark may mistake a swimmer or surfer in a black wet suit. Looking like a seal may meet with dire consequences for the wearer.

On Board? Surfers are adding bold stripes to the arms and legs of wet suits and the length of their boards to look less like seals. They install electrical pulse-emitting devices to frustrate sharks' prey-sensing reception.

Getting Personal? It is risky to block a shark's travels. An adult person looms large in the water. Aggressive species may launch territorial attacks. They eat many types of food. Fortunately, they do not eat many people.

New Meaning? Shark bait describes someone in a vulnerable position. Little Ray and a boating family meet this definition in Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up. Shark did not abandon ship after making a hole in it.

Feeding Frenzy

Says it All? Sharks prefer easy meals over huge battles. They display no guilt or remorse after maiming prey to swallow it when the struggling stops. They steal catches from fishing lines or by chomping into heavy nets.

Chain Reaction? Tossing food into a fish bowl or pond gets attention. Diners arrive and hang around, competing for the biggest share of supply. The resultant feeding frenzy can get the water churning, galvanizing viewers.

Bohemian Rhapsody? Predators caught up in a feeding frenzy may spare other prey participating in the fray. For example, turtles and sharks may dine on the same fish school. Sharks can eat turtles, but fish are easier to swallow.

Fish Feeding Frenzy? Players of these game apps start out as little fish, then try to eat their way up the chain. The goal is to become a big fish, capable of eating anything, before getting eaten by a winning predator.

Out of the Shadows? Sharks hunt and scavenge at night. These opportunistic feeders eat dying, decaying flesh of dead animals or refuse. They swallow food and non-food items whole or gnash them to bits.

Big Bites. Sharks have full use of their upper and lower jaws. Fish-eating species have pointed teeth. Shellfish and crab-eating species have flat crushing teeth. Species that eat seals and sea lions have razor sharp teeth.

Blech! Sharks spit out small mistakes. Smell and appearance are deceptive in food choice. Food can look good and taste bad. It can look terrible and taste delicious. Flavor preferences are individualized in humans and animals.

Mouth-Watering Food? Sharks do not have saliva. Water gulps and mucus mouth linings help them bolt down convenient or inconvenient morsels. They have strong stomach chemistry to break down the heaviest of foodstuffs.

Taking the Lead? Anything can become shark bait. Shark Sider presents The 14 Weirdest Things Sharks Have Eaten. License plates, tires and a chicken coop may have traveled long distances to wind up inside sharks.

Stingrays and Sharks Deserve Respect

Scratch-and-Sniff? Stingrays and sharks deserve respect. It is not a good idea to bump into or touch them. Angry or frightened specimens can endanger perceived enemies with harrowing speed and fierce weapons.

Natural Hierarchy? Small sharks may respect larger, better-equipped ones. Sharks have been observed to wait in line for their turn at food placed in the water by humans. Females rank supreme. Sex and large size put them first.

Annual Pilgrimage? Sharks are not mindless, aimless or purposeless. Every year great white sharks swim for about 40 days to hold a hunting and mating party halfway between Mexico and Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific.

Structured Environment? Ocean-themed activities are educational. Toddlers learn numbers, colors, alphabets and facts by feeding homemade cardboard sharks. Artificial fish, like their natural cousins, give and take.

Shark Crafts? Pull kids from screens. These fierce fish can be drawn or given three-dimensional form as puppets and games. It doesn't need to be Shark Week to get everyone celebrating these household names.

Making Waves? Users of a natural park in Palm Beach County, Florida opposed funding for a disruptive Shark Wake Park water attraction run by Australian golfer Greg Norman and his Great White Shark Enterprises.

Never-Ending? People show up with bait or for money. Sharks hang around ledges, holes, sandbars and wrecks. Sordid shark bait dives associate people with food. Many controversial activities for lucre are drawn to water.

Get Proactive? Join conservation and preservation efforts. Support scientific research, improve public safety, and educate the community about the importance of sharks to the health and balance of the marine ecosystem.

Feed Missions? Raise funds or partner with organizations lacking public funding. They rely on private donations, grants and earned revenue from admissions, merchandise sales and events to support continuing good work.

Shark Fishing

Bans and Permits? Shore fishing, shark finning and targeted fishing is increasingly coming under regulation throughout the world. Pulling sharks from the water or delaying their release for photography may be illegal.

Uncharted Waters? Laws protecting sharks are under consideration for unregulated international waters in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Laws do not yet prevent commercial trade in imported shark products.

Open Season? In the Pacific, few countries ban shark fishing or finning. Demands for shark fins and meat in Chinese cuisine are sending rogue fishing fleets into sanctuary waters. Frozen and dried fins are prized for soup.

Dealer's Choice? Where allowed, shark fishing is popular. Bait is bought, netted or hooked. Bonita, mackerel, mullet and similar fatty fish are common baits. Anglers chum for sharks by tossing fish parts overboard to lure them.

What? Stingrays are not a protected species. They may be caught for use as bait. In match, tournament and recreational shark fishing, parts are scattered in advance to attract competitive feeders and improve sporting odds.

Reform? Sponsors of monster competitions are under pressure. Harvest of the largest fish harms reproduction. Mama Ray reports bigger fish have more babies. No Fishing discusses the environmental distress of trophy fish.

Raising Standards? Beach goers and boaters must be good custodians. Messes make their way into hungry residents of the world's waters. Unnatural foods are hard or impossible for these bold predators to digest.

Boating Family

Stand Out? Yellow, white, silver and highly contrasting colors seem to entice sharks. People put a lot of thought into bottom colors for boats. Colors or patterns may attract or repel fish. Reflective metal may intrigue them.

Peak Season? Shark territory moves. Sharks migrate north in the summer and south in the winter. Anyone who is terrified of sharks should reverse this pattern. They are less likely to meet up with a shark or risk becoming bait.

On Location? Take care filming these apex hunters. They are known to grab cameras. A hand or arm may go along. Boats get rammed by incited sharks. Great White Sharks punch holes in boats and damage shark cages.

Spirit of Travel? Sharks often avoid boats. Immense size repels them. Dorsal is a free application, available through iTunes. It gives real-time shark reports and alerts. Boaters can visit shark populations or avoid them.

Spiritual Connection? Boaters often feel a special calling to the water. They are drawn to the physical health and wellbeing experienced as they circulate within the aquatic world. They may develop intimate bonds with nature.

Be Moved? Do-it-yourself responsibility makes a difference. Items carried away, reused, recycled or re-purposed lighten environmental footprints. The effects are not merely local. Waves, winds and sea life add locomotion.

Communion? A Florida Softshell Turtle dines with fish prey in an unpredictable feeding frenzy. When the pickings are easy and ample, turtles and the fish they savor can get along. This is a book theme. (10 seconds)