North County, San Diego experiences a shark boom!
North County, San Diego is not what would be called a “dangerous” place. Hugging the gentle coast just south of Camp Pendleton, the communities of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Del Mar are upper-ish-middle-class and impossibly comfortable. Very little violence and Mexican restaurants owned and operated by a woman named Diane Powers. Many Lexuses. The beaches are sandy and the waves that roll in are inviting, playful, easy to catch and easy to push children into, sharing the Pastime of Kings with future generations.
Many Sprinter van conversions.
Except these days, chances are if you are out pushing children into waves in North County, San Diego you will be pushing them directly into the gaping maw of a shark and it is true. This tranquil seaside paradise has been transformed overnight into a Great White-infested hell.
I don’t know how it happened and I don’t know what is to blame but beaches have been shuttered, from Oceanside to Del Mar, as the angry beasts patrol just offshore. Nibbling on seals but just waiting for a plump human belly filled with sizzling fajitas from Diane Powers. Never in my almost decade living here, and four decades visiting, have I even thought about sharks. They were Mendocino County’s problem. Byron Bay’s. But now they are everywhere, multiple sightings per day by trustworthy sources like professional snowboarder Todd Richards.
Surfers chased from the water every hour. Surfers congregating in parking lots, around Sprinter van conversions, washing the sand of their feet with customized hoses and staring at each other, wide-eye’d.
Del Mar’s chief lifeguard, John Edelbrock, told the Coast News Group that most of the sharks the lifeguards have seen in their area have been juvenile sharks, which are about 6 to 7 feet long. The sharks’ behavior has been docile — “not aggressive in any way,” he said.
Maybe I got a little carried away here.
But also, just wait until one of these juveniles nibbles on a plump human belly filled with seafood chimichangas from Diane Powers.
It will be the end.
And tell me, do you ever think of sharks when you paddle?
Will you now?