The great white swiped for my head, but missed, because another had got there first

It was a warm winter’s day in South Africa and I planned to go surfing at Nahoon Reef. I was 15 and had just finished my first day back at school after the winter break. The reef is famous among surfers for its powerful waves and popularity with sharks. If you see lots of birds diving into the reef or notice a strong fishy smell in the air, you should not surf there.

But on that day in July 2000, the waves were perfect, just over head high, and there was no wind. The water was warm for winter, too. The conditions were too good to resist.

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