A storm rolls in at Myrtle Beach We spent this past week at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach for a big family gathering. Among the many unique experiences I went through during this marvelous vacation — besides spending quality time with family — was swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. It was a first for yours truly.

What was so exhilarating about this activity was battling the "ferocious" waves and eventually learning to ride/surf them. If memory serves, I don’t recall ever facing high waves while swimming in the Red Sea – the site where most of my outdoor swimming experiences took place. Is this what distinguishes a sea from an ocean? I wonder. I must admit, being whacked by a strong wave can be painful but it’s loads of fun.

Another fascinating moment was watching a fisherman catch a shark, drag it and gut it out to get its meat. I was not the only spectator either, as many tourists gathered around the fisherman to take pictures of his most recent acquisition. However, I was the only one who asked the fisherman: "Is that a ‘real’ shark?" Somehow the whole thing was just surreal. Anyway, I’ll let the pictures [they enlarge on click] speak for themselves.

Shark attack! Off with his tail Sunset at Snug Harbor