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    This is a picture that I found on the web of some World War II bags of shark repellent. I looked for a picture of the copper can that daddy had in the old refrigerator, which was located in the salon of the old wooden Miss Jerry. However, I could not find it. I guess I should have taken a picture with my old brownie Kodak camera!

    Back in the good old days, also known as the “wooden boat era” my father was afraid of getting in the water, at least what he called the “big water.” Big water was considered ocean water. We all used to swim at our docks, which was located on Turner’s Creek all the time. According to daddy just swimming at the dock was a little different. My father knew from firsthand experience that the big water had too many big hungry fish swimming around in it. According to him he didn’t want to become part of the ocean’s food chain. So therefore he started his quest of making not only himself, but also his customer’s safe in the event of his own sinking disaster at sea.

    The first thing I remember him purchasing was a ring buoy. It had a thin rope tied around the perimeter of the buoy so that when thrown to the overboard victim it would be easy to grab. However, to me at this point all you became while being pulled in was a big lure in the water. Then there was that big orange raft that was kept on the roof of his wooden boat. (Later referred by the coast guard as the chum basket) However, you couldn’t get in it you just held on the rope provided around the perimeter of the float. According to the United State Coast Guard this particular raft could hold up to 12 passengers. It wasn’t labeled for its capacity of passengers, but instead the amount of in-the-water passengers that could safely hang off of it without sinking it. Once again this was a floating object that those in the water could only hold on too, not get into. Now that I think about it, all we would have been doing once is the water is to aid the sharks into locating us. I guess you could say, “Our flapping arms and legs would have been the shark calling devices!” Once again this situation was not for me, but there is more safety onboard the old wooden boat, Miss Jerry. The final and last thing that I remember was the “shark repellent” that daddy kept in the old broken refrigerator, which was located in the salon area of the boat. It was a copper canister that also had a rope tied to the ring located on the top of the can. On the front of the canister in big black letters were the words “SHARK REPELLENT!” Just reading those words made my skin crawl. According to Daddy all you had to do to use it was remove the cap. The cap supposedly had some sort of fiber attached to it that was soaked in so called “shark repellent solution.” It was supposed to be the latest in shark technology. The directions stated to simply tie the cap off to the raft and supposedly the fiber as it was washed through the water would release the “SHARK REPELLENT!” This was in turn supposed to keep sharks away from the immediate area. All this seemed fine unless you were exactly the ones that were in the water. Thank goodness we never had an event that caused us to have to use any of the above safety devices.

    Julia Childs need no introduction...her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" is still in great standing!

    So, what does Julia Childs have to do with shark repellent? Let me explain: My good friend and computer whiz Captain Steve “Triple Trouble” Howell found out some pretty darn entertaining information about Julie in regards to shark repellent.

    During World War II Julie worked as a desk clerk for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was the forerunner of today’s CIA! One of her office’s projects was to convince the Navy to develop a shark repellent to help sailors lost at sea. According to the story her office couldn’t get any support from the navy for this project. You aren’t going to believe this...but the reason being is sharks do not eat Navy Men! And the real reason was that they would have rather said, “Your son, father, brother, etc was lost at sea!” They didn’t want to say, “Your son, father, brother, etc was eaten by a shark!” And since there was no way to know one way or the other about their demise the navy stood fast with their decision.

    Then it happened, one day a shark was caught and its stomach contents were examined. They found quite a few undigested human parts. The fact of the matter they were able to get a finger print and guess what? It was a navy man! Since it was proven that navy men could be eaten by sharks the stalled project got it’s much needed support! And the rest is history

    While I was watching TV on one of those historical channels I saw some footage that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. The show was called, “How to prevent Shark Attack.” This was a black and white documentary that clearly was filmed back in the good old days. I watched and finally they brought out an old canister that looked very similar to what I used to see stored in Daddy’s refrigerator. While in the water the film showed people demonstrating how to use the canister for best coverage. Then it happened a news flash across the screen showed a later updated statement, which had to do with this so-called shark repellent. It was a simple one. According to later studies, these particular “SHARK REPELLENT” in fact attracted sharks not repelled them! Once again, you now know the rest of the story!

    Thanks for reading! Captain Judy