More people in the water equals more encounters with wildlife. Below Tony Johnson talks about a recent NorCal shark attack experience. Dillon Beach is about an hour north of SF. Never surfed it, but friends have reported the place feeling “sharky”. Good thing Tony and friends decided to go for a kayak session before a surf. Be careful out there!
The following report of a Great White Shark attack was provided by the Shark Research Committee: Dillon Beach — On December 20, 2008, Tony Johnson reported the following:
“Lucy, Anders, Cristina, Bill, Gordon, Jonathan and I were returning from a beautiful day of paddling. We were all gathered just south of Tamales Head in front of Dillon Beach. The group was deciding on surfing options when I asked Lucy if she wouldn’t mind if I went in. While going in I remember trying to make a conscious effort to use proper torso rotation and form while using my Greenland paddle. When half-way through my right stroke, a Great White Shark, with a girth larger than the width of my 22-inch kayak, hit my paddle from behind with such force that it slammed me forward to the front of my deck. Feeling the turbulence on my boat I sat up in shock at the speed, power, and size of this creature. I wish there were some way I could relate, or explain, how fast this creature was in water. I was facing the beach with my paddle out of the water, holding it in preparation for a second hit and saying to myself, ‘stay frosty.’ I was afraid to move and started yelling to my group that was behind me, ‘Great White’ – ‘Great White.’ I did this for several seconds before I decided to turn the boat around and head for the group. I stayed very still and slowly extended my paddle to turn towards the group. While turning the boat I looked to my right and there, 15–20 feet away, was the Great White, its dorsal fin out of the water. Its dorsal fin was large and shredded at the tip. The Great White was moving slowly, turning with my boat, this really caused me to panic and I paddled as fast as I could to the group yelling ‘Great White’ many times until someone heard me. We all gathered together and paddled in to Dillon Beach. While on the beach I examined the paddle and there were no bite marks, which I can’t explain.”
The interesting bit (no pun intended) about this shark attack is that this surfer was bitten on the foot, and may have lost a few toes. This makes you wonder: did this victim wiggle his toes? If he didn’t, would his phalanges down low be spared? Maybe he had a toe ring? Who knows? I heard that sharks like to “test” their prey before going for the kill – maybe that’s what it was. Or maybe it just wanted to play footsies.
I can’t think of a better reason to look at someone’s art. The art is surf related, or ocean related, making it a little more compelling to look at. But, hands down, having a picture of the artist holding a shark on the About page of the website–Euphoria Graphics–is the best reason to look at someone’s art. It tells you two things about the artist:
1. He is a little crazy, which means his art won’t be some kind of regurgitated rip-off of aloha themed crap.
2. He would be a great companion for a surf session and a beer afterwards.
Luke Taaffe happens to be the name of this unhinged Australian surfer/artist. You can learn about Mr. Taaffe through an array of sites, which I thought about putting here, but realized all of that would just take away from the single most important fact: he his holding a shark. A shark!
Are you a Sydney surfer looking for a good reason to quit surfing? Are you surf-curious in Sydney and thinking about giving surfing a go? If so, check out the above video for a reminder of what’s lurking out there below the surface.
Granted, there are sharks near enough to every shoreline in the world, but we’re not usually seeing them from the vantage point that shows just how close they get to us while we’re out there in the water. Many of us have seen them, all of us have thought we have seen them at one time or another, and an unfortunate few of us have been attacked by them, but none of us like to think that they could be swimming circles around us and below us while out for a surf. We’re definitely not the kings and queens of the aquatic domain.
Be sure to show this to the next future-kook who tells you that they want to get into the surfboarding thing. Enjoy… and keep your eyes open out there.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the photos featured in the above video were plastered all over the internet and news in mid-2008. Many surfers and non-surfers alike dismissed the creepy photos as being photoshopped, unwilling to believe that the shark in the image would really be twisting up and out of the water like that so close to the beach. Florida surfers knew the truth, having seen plenty of spinner sharks doing their thing over the years.
Recently, some surfers in Florida had yet another run in with a spinner shark on camera. This time, the action was caught live on video, where we can see exactly why the spinner shark has earned its name. Wondering who was more shocked by the jumping shark, the surfers in the water or the guy filming it. To the video guy’s credit, he quickly switched back from filming the shark to catching his buddy doing a longboard cutty on a clean left. In case you’re wondering, about the danger factor of the spinner sharks, these little beasties do indeed bite. Enjoy!
Spinner Sharks? This video was just put on YouTube on the 10th, but I feel like maybe we have seen something like this before? A five or six foot shark jumping out of the water, and spinning around in circles like some trained dolphin b*tch at Sea World. You can’t dominate a shark like that, and it’s clearly swimming up from the bottom end at full speed attacking something. By attacking I mean eating, and better whatever fish that is than whatever foot you put your shoe on first. Everyone has had that creepy feeling when you seem to be the only dude in the line up on an early morning, and there doesn’t seem to be a set for miles. You suddenly start glancing down at your feet, looking around behind you for your friends, and would pretty much pay anything to catch a wave right then. There’s a shark out there – you know it – and he’ll be choosing your leg for its morning snack. Panic! But then a six foot set rolls in, and those worries wash away…
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.
Irish Surfer Fergal Smith shared a nice set with a great white shark estimated to weigh in at 500 lbs recently, as first reported by The Sun, here. Fergal said he believed the shadow in the water was a dolphin, until he got to shore an the photographer showed him the shot. Locals were able to determine that it was indeed a great white shark, and would be a serious threat to the surfer, who was doing tow-ats some 2 miles off shore, in Perth, Australia. Some nice surfing here despite the aquatic life.
There have been a few shark sightings around my area over the past couple of weeks. This photo just surfaced today and it looks like someone may have caught a cruising shark in the background. There have been lots of dolphins in the area, too, and I’ve been fooled before by them breaking the surface simultaneously giving the impression of a dorsal and tail (what you would see if it were a White Shark cruising the surface). HOWEVER, there wasa legitimate shark sighting last week at the south end of Ocean Beach (where I’ve been surfing everyday for a couple weeks), followed by the beaching of a large, headless seal a couple days later. So this photo evidence turning up now doesn’t surprise me. Nice wack!
Let this be a lesson for all to think twice
Karma Shark knows when you’ve been bad
and when you’ve been nice
Karma Shark is very big and can eat you whole
even if a SeaDoo is how you roll
Karma Shark is very real
So don’t be selfish, greedy, and mean
or you might end-up a Karma Shark meal