Great White Sharks at Trestles — Again

6 08 2015

Today’s surf session was mostly forgettable, except . . .

About 9:00 am, we were all looking outside for that infrequent set wave when several of us got a good, fairly closeup view of this:

Yep, an  8′ great white shark breaching about 25 yards outside the lineup.  The author was lucky enough to be the person closest to the event.  It appeared to be jumping for one of those large warm water fish that have been hanging out on the Southern California coast for the last year or so.

This photo was clipped from a travel site.  Nobody got a photo of our shark.  But, we got pretty much the same view as this photo, except the shark was completely out of the water,  with its spine perfectly vertical.  It was definitely a shark, not a dolphin.

According to some articles, sharks breach, completely jumping out of the water, to surprise their prey with a speedy ascent from the bottom.  We were all just glad we weren’t the prey in this case.

Our first reaction was “Was that what I think it was?” followed by “Yeah, let’s get out of here quick!”  As it turned out, one of the bigger sets of the morning was just rolling through.  So, several of us seemed to reach the beach simultaneously.  We all looked at each other quizzically and decided it was definitely not time to go in.  After all, we are always surrounded by sharks of some variety.  We just got to see this one up close and personal.

This one may, or may not, have been the same 8′ shark that got hooked and released at San Clemente Pier a few weekends ago.  And, the media have been filled with So Cal sharks stories over the last year.  Trestles was even closed a couple months ago when the lifeguards thought the shark(s) were potentially aggressive.  Still, nothing more than a nose bump for a couple surfers.  The experts say these juveniles are more afraid of us than we are of them.  Some of us are just wondering what we will think when they are no longer juveniles and take us for sea lions.

Sweet dreams tonight.  Supposedly more swell on the way tomorrow.  You might want to wear less black wetsuit and stop imitating seals.

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Surfing Rules for Upper Trestles

7 07 2014

Welcome to all who want to surf Upper Trestles!

Visitors by the Thousands

Visitors by the Thousands

But, let’s get something straight — there are some rules.  Contrary to the opinions, or perceptions, of some guests (and I use the term loosely), Uppers is not some sort of free for all where you just paddle into any wave any time you want.

Most of us on Dawn Patrol are pretty nice guys, easy to get along with.  Unfortunately, sometimes that easy going approach is misinterpreted to mean “go ahead snake me.”

On a related issue, because Uppers can be one of the most crowded spots on the planet in the summertime, it may seem to some that there is no order to the crowd.  On the contrary, it is only because of the strong order in the water that everyone is usually able to get waves to themselves, even on the most crowded days.

All this to set up my social comment.

This morning, I watched as some infrequent guests showed up late, about 7:00 am, and immediately started snaking anyone and everyone.  Yes,  including me.  When I paddled back out, I heard a couple of them congratulate each other on their endeavors.  It went something like this.

Funboarder:  “Hey, I just saw your buddy blatantly take off on a guy who had perfect position on that last set.  He even looked the guy straight in the eye before paddling in front of him.”

Overly tan baldy:  “Yeah, what a great wave.  Lucky guy.”

Funboarder:  “It didn’t seem right.”

Overlly tan baldy:  “Yeah, but I guess that’s the way it works at Uppers.”

Funboarder:  “Yeah, I guess.  I just did the same thing.”

My official response for the record is:  “No, that is not the way it works at Uppers.”

Sure, we all occasionally shoulder hop someone, usually by accident, or because we didn’t try as hard as we should have to look way up the line.  But, we at least need to be somewhat remorseful, and owe the other guy a wave or waves they can bank for later.

If you want to come to Uppers, keep that in mind.   A simple “Oh, sorry about that” goes a long way and helps keep order in the water.  It also keeps us all a little safer.

Visiting surfers need to realize that there is order in the water.  If it seems otherwise, it is because you are probably just projecting your own chaotic, reckless demeanor on The Crowd.  So, take a few minutes to be perceptive about the order and integrate yourself into it.  You will have a lot more fun in the long run.

And, you may just make some new friends in The Crowd.

Namaste.