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August 29, 2007

Shark Tales

Oh, crap ...

Shark Attack in Monterey Bay

Remember the post I wrote last year about how I frequently swim alone in the Bay, and I didn't understand what the big safety fuss was all about? Well, um ... have I mentioned before that I'm an idiot? Let's just say I'm rethinking that policy this morning.

In a strangely-related-but-not-really story, it was also announced yesterday that our Monterey Bay Aquarium has once again acquired a white shark for its Outer Bay exhibit - although, in light of the news above, it might technically qualify for an exhibit of the shoreline habitats as well. (No, the Aquarium shark wasn't involved in the attack - it was already in the tank when the other shark struck. It's an airtight alibi.)

This is the third time the Aquarium has displayed a great white, and it's a pretty awesome creature to see. I also wrote this article last year about how it might be fun to test the attack behavior of the shark from the safety of dry land. You could say I'm rethinking my policy of shark attack humor this morning as well.

So within the past 24 hours, Monterey has suddenly become the white shark capital of the United States. I'm hoping to visit one of these new neighbors someday soon - you can probably guess which one. As for the other one, I'm hoping that nobody ever lays eyes on him again.


Paul 8/29/07, 11:49 AM  

Yup they're out there! That's the main reason I don't like swimming in murky water. Good visibility is key. No sneak attack and you can see them coming. At least this one was only 12 feet. Little guy...

21stCenturyMom 8/29/07, 1:13 PM  

When I signed up for Sharkfest I joked about how there are no sharks in the SF Bay. I was wrong. There are at 5 types of sharks that inhabit the SF Bay and there was a great white sighting - once. With all this global warming and changing currents I would not be surprised if we saw more. *shudder*.

Backofpack 8/29/07, 6:04 PM  

Yikes! I think that is scarier than our cougar sightings...

craig 8/29/07, 8:48 PM  

And I thought fire ants were a problem...

rick 8/29/07, 9:13 PM  

Uh-oh great white sightings in SF Bay. I'll think about that when I swim at Aquatic Park.

So is there a limit to the number of times I can play that song in your widget? Cause I've played it a bunch and now it won't play at all. I've specifically visited your blog just to listen to the song. Ok time for me to just buy the album.

Debby 8/29/07, 9:35 PM  

Hey I just happened to stumble upon your blog looking through other Tri blogs. I have to say I loved your recap of Pikes Peak and say I agree there does not seem to be much more talk out here. I just completed the PPM for my first time this year. It was amazing!

Darrell 8/29/07, 10:43 PM  

Not so sure I agree with Paul...seeing a shark doesn't necessarily equate to escaping a shark.

I hope your only sighting is at the aquarium.

Thomas 8/30/07, 6:20 AM  

Cripes. Now there is a scary thought.

Paul 8/30/07, 9:06 AM  

Hey Donald,

In response to your questions: Sharks are generally ambush predators... so they tend to attack more often in low visibility waters (i.e. river mouths) Waddell Creek, Half moon bay, etc..) That applies to pretty much 90% of the shark species out there, whites in particular. It's not so much that you can avoid the attack if you see a shark speeding at you. And 12ft is small for a white shark :)

Last I recall SF (ocean beach in particular is pretty sharky one of the main reasons I never surfed there)

I doubt I'm crazier that than you ;) I don't like swimming in murky water (like most of the monterey bay) Unless it's a race with lots of other bait with me.. It's a good thing I'm not the fastest or slowest swimmer at Big Kahuna. :)

Addy 8/30/07, 11:22 PM  

ack! I've always been afraid of sharks (generally why I tend to stay out of the ocean :) )but to have an attack so close is pretty unnerving!

On the other note though, I might have to make the trip down to visit the shark at the aquarium. It'd be an awesome sight to see (from the safety of dry land of course!)

I think I agree with Michelle, sharks are scarier than cougers (though I wouldn't want to be attacked by either!)

Mike 9/1/07, 1:33 PM  

HOLY CRAP!! I always felt like I was dodging a bullet when I was surfing in Monterey. I tried to spend most of my time either at Asilomar or Carmel but even Asilomar had the Lew Boren attack awhile back. I only surfed out at Marina a few times on the rare occasions when the wind wasn't an issue but always felt a "presence" out in the water there...pretty desolate!

Maybe open water swimming in these Oregon lakes isn't so bad!! ;-)

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