“The thing was huge and it made an incredible splashing sound.”
Just two days ago, the three-time world surfing champion Joel Tudor issued an urgent warning to surfers, sharing video of what appeared to be a Great White breaching in a Cardiff lineup.
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Shea Lopez, a former top-rated pro, responded that a pack of Great Whites had been seen at Lowers, site of the WSL’s Finals Day event which, as fate would play it, was forced into a holding pattern when a Great White breached in the lineup.
Juvie Great Whites have become a fact of life around Lowers and surrounds.
“I’ve seen three breaches out here,” said Kelly Slater.
In May, drone photographer James Glancy showed just how close the Whites get.
“The further south I go (in California) the more sharks seem to enjoy the surf,” said Glancy. “They’re right there next to humans most of the time… the humans sharing their home have no idea.
Now, and captured, sorta, by the Surfline cam on the same day and witnessed by a local surfer, is the breaching of a Great White at San Onofre, thirty miles north of Cardiff.
“The surf was good and I was having a blast,” says Gilbert Bonales. “A nice set came in around 7:35 am. I have seen sharks in the past but I have never seen a shark that size breach at San O. Thing was huge and it made an incredible splashing sound. Only a couple of us surfing farther out actually saw the breach and the splash. To tell you the truth, it was a bit scary but it’s been sharky at San O the last couple of months and I am getting used to them being around.”
White makes an appearance in the middle right of the screen. Squint for best effect.
Great Whites have been protected in Californian waters since 1994, although their presence around popular southern Californian beaches is a recent phenomenon.
Around 2015, an El Niño year that warmed coastal waters in SoCal, juvie Whites suddenly changed their migratory patterns, forgetting the usual winter hit to Mex, instead staying around San Diego.