Many cultures believe(d) that people can find connections with specific animals or that the spirit of a certain type of animal resembles a person and the way they live their life. Frequently, these associations were developed not just from certain traits or behaviors, but from frequent encounters with a species.
Do you routinely see a specific species that others around you fail to notice? Do you often encounter sitings of a specific species over and over again? Do you feel like you have a kindred spirit animal?
I routinely see sharks - white tip reef sharks, specifically. This isn't exactly odd for people who go into the water frequently, but it is the almost routine nature of shark sitings for me that stands out when I compare shark siting stories with other mermaids. For example, when snorkeling in Florida I spotted a lemon shark out at sea. I swam with a school of nurse sharks in the Bahamas. I accidentally swam with a giant hammerhead in Hilo - and quickly retreated to shore upon realizing he was so big and so close. In Hawaii I have swam with white tip reef sharks multiple times. This past weekend I counted three on just two dive trips. When snorkeling on Maui a few months ago I was treated to another white tip reef shark encounter.
By contrast, MW has been a certified recreational diver for twenty years and a commercial diver for four - before getting in the water with me she had seen 1 shark. A hammerhead at about 100 feet. Since we started to swim and snorkel together, she now has a handful of close range reef shark encounters and commented over the weekend how strange it is to suddenly see so many sharks.
Maybe the sharks don't feel the same way, but I will always consider them a kindred spirit and look forward to each encounter.