First the orcas came for the yachts and I laughed. Then the depths of the ocean lured in a throng of fate-tempting billionaires and I watched in bemused horror. Now, an otter off the coast of Santa Cruz, California, is stealing surfboards and kayaks and I am forced to ask, “What is the sea trying to tell us?”
On Sunday, a 5-year-old female otter known to local officials as Otter 841 attacked a surfboard and, after a brief struggle back and forth, hijacked it from its rightful owner. It then cruised around triumphantly on the board and only disbanded when a nearby catamaran spooked it off. When the surfer was reunited with his board, it had several bite marks in it.
According to local station KTVU, the otter had also acted aggressively towards another surfer on July 8, as well as a couple other surfers over the past month. Santa Cruz-based photographer Mark Woodward captured a handful of those standoffs. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials told KTVU that, “while the exact cause for this otter’s behavior is unknown and highly unusual, aggressive behavior in female southern sea otters may be associated with hormonal surges or due to being fed by humans.” Otter 841 and other hostile otters, while cute, they said, are not to be approached.
I agree it isn’t cute! But not just because people could be potentially in danger or because otters are hopped on on ’roids and raging along the coastline. It’s not cute because it falls way too neatly into the continued pattern of the ocean turning against us, the humans.
I am no scientist but I believe that the ocean contains the Earth’s soul and the Earth’s soul is sullen and resentful. She (yes, she) is instructing the orcas to sink luxury sailboats on Spain’s coast. She’s commandeered the Titanic to entrance more people to their deaths. But now that she’s on the offense against one of mankind’s more gentle and harmless creatures—surfer dudes—she must be very, very angry. Ocean, this humble blogger hears you! I stand with you (or like, beside you). But I don’t think the surfers are the ones to attack. Stick with the yachts and those weird jet powered hoverboards Mark Zuckerberg likes to ride. The people on those are your real enemies.