By Ariel, age 14, Hawaii
On May 25th I was involved in a surfing contest at a place called Lahaina Harbor here on Maui. Lahaina Harbor is about an hour's drive from my house which is all the way on the other side of the island. It is a boat yard, and the surf break is right by a channel where sharks go so they can get the dead fish that the fishermen throw off their boats.
It was a super hot, sunny day, and a really long day. I surfed about five times. By the end of the day I was a lobster. In a surf contest you go out surfing for 15-20 minutes against six people. The top three advance into the next heat. It goes on like this until there are only six people left, and that is the finals. So I was in my finals heat and there were no waves for seven minutes. During that time a couple fishing boats passed by dropping off their dead fish.
My friend Kelci was right across from me when she saw it. The fin was about a foot above the water. It was a shark! She was yelling and screaming before she yelled "Shark!" Once Kelci yelled "Shark!" another girl named Kulia saw it and started panicking, almost crying. The other five of us then looked back and saw the shark. All of us girls paddled into the inside and caught the little baby waves. It was a good thing there was only five more minutes left of the heat. We were the only people who saw the shark except for one other boy named Dylan who was waiting for his heat to start. Once the horn blew that the heat was over all of us were out of the water in at the most five seconds. We came out of the water shaking and telling everyone to watch out.
It wasn't my first time encountering a shark. One time my friend Jonathan and I were surfing, and a shark jumped about five feet in the air only about two feet from us. It was sooo scary! It's a good thing they don't always bite!!
My friend Jonathan and I - the shark is in the background, but it's difficult to see.