A 13 foot Great White shark washed up on the beach in Morris Island last month. Yeah, that’s an awesome thing to see on your pawn patrol session as you’re walking to water’s edge. The world’s deadliest shark staring back at you with its black beady eyes. Think anyone paddled out that morning? They have no idea what killed it, because the shark’s body had no battle wounds of any kind.
“pristine condition, a perfectly healthy shark, inside and out, lying dead on the beach.”– DNR fisheries scientists Josh Loefer
He thinks maybe the shark got lost in the shallow water and couldn’t find its way back out. That seems strange to me, because the land is one way and the deep end is the other. Seems Kind of hard to get “lost”. I’m thinking this shark flopped dead when it heard about Kelly Slater winning making 15 foot Pipelines on a 5’11” surfboard. That’s less than half this shark’s size. This shark was approximately 12 years old, and not yet fully mature. Great White sharks don’t start to mature until they’re 14 feet long, and are known to grow well over 20. Great White’s are eating machines, and don’t typically flop dead for no reason. The guy running the show sent off tissue samples to labs all over the country hoping analysis can shed some light on the shark’s death.
Suddenly putting 8 pounds of neoprene on and surfing Lake Michigan doesn’t sound all that bad…
Apparently Chicago is the only city in the world where surfing is illegal. The Surfrider Foundation is currently trying to get that law revoked, and I don’t see why. All the good waves are in Northern Indiana.
Did I really just say that?
On the other hand, that shark could have died of a broken heart. The Holidays are rough, and the suicide rate is at its highest this time of year.
It was a late August evening, approaching nightfall. I was surfing an undisclosed break in Marin County, when I and three of my fellow neighboring surfers saw an enormous dorsal fin breach the surface of the water. Our jaws dropped as our bowel and bladder control released. I forget which one of us yelled “SHARK!!,” but I was half way into the shore before anyone else had heard. Another group of surfers that heard the cry paddled in to shore only to join us as we frantically gasped for oxygen. We yelled it again, “SHARK, SHARK,” as we waved to the remaining 20 surfers out in the water. Several of the surfers came in, but there was a good amount that did not. These guys were either deaf, dumb, immortal, or possibly any combination of the three. I was almost positive that I’d witness carnage, but to my dismay, none of these brave souls got attacked. It was quite obvious that the shark had seen these floating appetizers only to snub its nose in disgust. It made me ponder whether or not white sharks are intentionally malicious toward human beings – or if this one was just full.
FYI – human beings do not have an adequate amount of fat to satisfy a great white shark – that’s why most attacks are one-hit encounters.
Well what do you know –August passed, and San Francisco and Marin were full of shark sightings. For the average resident or tourist, a summer shark sighting may be a tragedy; calling halts to all summer-rentals, tours, and outings. However, for the avid surfer of Marin waters a shark sighting in August is what we on “the in” like to call the norm.
If it seems like Marin and San Francisco have shark sightings EVERY August you may be correct. As the surface water warms in the summer months (typically late August), a plethora of plankton and fish conglomerate to the area. Due to this, other sea mammals come in to feed – in turn the sharks follow their prevalent prey. Although true Marin surfers will say that most sightings occur in August because there are more beach-goers looking to spot them, researchers state that the population of Red Triangle sharks drops one-tenth in the cooler months – thus, there really are more sharks in NorCal in August. So if you’re really freaked out about sharks, just remember that your odds of getting hit by one just dropped by ten percent, because August came and went already. You’re welcome.
Note: The Red Triangle is a coastal region of NorCal consisting of the waters between Bodega Bay, San Francisco, and the Farallon Islands – ummm…sharks live here.