A calm paddle off the waters of Massachusetts’ Nauset Beach was just what Roger Freeman wanted on Monday. The next time he goes out, however, he might consider take another person with him — just in case he needs to spot a shark.
It was his last day in the area, and though he’d heard about sharks in the water, it was too good an opportunity to pass up, he told the Cape Cod Times.
“I remember thinking to myself, a little melodramatically, someone might think it’s crazy to be out here with sharks in the water,” he told the paper. “But on this glorious Cape Cod morning I say it’s crazy not to be.”
While he was out on the water, Freeman had no reason to think differently. He paddled around without a care, just as he’d intended.
But later, a man came up to him and told him there were some drone photos he needed to see.
“I came in, and a guy waved me over, and he was like, ‘dude, you got to check this out, my buddy took a drone shot, look at this!’” Freeman told NECN.
Freeman took a look at the photos, which were shot by photographer Cody DeGroff, and suddenly realized what a close call he’d had with danger. The photos showed him alone out in the water as the menacing, unmistakeable shadow of a great white shark loomed nearby. In one picture, the shark was only a few feet away.
The whole time, he’d had no idea the shark was nearby.
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shared the photos to Twitter and called it a “close encounter of a peaceful kind.”
“My first reaction was, ‘Wow! That’s an awesome picture. Who is that guy?’ ” he told The Boston Globe. “Then this surreal feeling set in.”
Freeman told the Cape Cod Times the experience reinforced his respect for the power of nature. “We’re going into their world, and we have the knowledge and capacity to adjust to their behavior,” he told the paper. “They don’t.”