Reality Check | DeeperBlue.com Forums
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Reality Check

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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OceanSwimmer

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2002
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I've been avoiding the press info about the recent swimmer death on Avila Beach here in California.
Apparently Whites are being seen off San Onofre.
My family (mom, of all people) is going bonkers about this.

I know fear is contagious, and it's gotten to me a bit. :eek:

Would the members here care to throw in some reality?

It may be self-serving to admit I am looking for a bit of reassurance where none may exist; but that's where I'm at.
With 3 years of roughwater swimming solo, you'd think I wouldn't fall for this publicity driven sensational press.

I'll certainly admit overcoming my fears of the open water involves prayer.
Thankfully, the Big Guy always provides. :cool:

Peace.


"The stars would not be in the heavens
if we were meant to walk in darkness."
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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I would ask myself what is really important: Is freediving in the ocean and possibly beinging attacked by a GWS really worth it?

I would much rather spend a weekend afternoon with my wife drinking a glass or two of one of the local vintages of Reisling or Pinot Gris and know that I'll wake up next to her in the morning than be in the gullet of a GWS.

I personally couldn't enjoy my time in the water with the amount of anxiety that would create - knowing I was probably being scoped out by a GWS.

Although it is true that the media tends to sensationalize things like this, let's also not forget that freedivers do look like seals from underneath - typically where a shark will attack from.

It was reported in some of the wire releases that the diver who ended up being fatally attacked was swimming with seals (A wrong decision that cost that divers life and inflicted a great sense of loss to her loved ones)

I guess you have to ask yourself what are your priorities in life...
 

OceanSwimmer

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2002
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Thanks, Cliff. Now that the point about priorities is addressed, and a good item to consider,
....I'm going diving! :inlove
 
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icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
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I dunno, Cliff... waking up next to you makes me want to go the shark route! :D

Butt seriously, the whole shark thing is just one of those 14-16 foot facets of diving that serve to keep you humble. Like the very real possibiltiy of getting hit while driving to the beach, like having a heart attack while lugging your ass and gear to the water, like getting smeared on the rocks while attempting the entry and later during the exit, like going too long/deep/often and having the lights go out and floating face down (while still having your belt on :hmm ) and like choking on that little bone missed during the fish cleaning. And then there's the possibility of slipping on the floor after washing the gear and cracking the melon. Much more is made of the proverbial lightning strike than of the electrical outlet.

Does that mean I'd go tempt fate by heading down and over to Avila and San O to try it? Uh, no. When would I go back in? The last time I got seriously buzzed by the Boss, that I know about it was a solid six months before I felt Kosher and went back and then it was with a buddy. I figure I could stab him to gain a few kicks to the beach. ;)

We here in Arnold-ville are blessed with lots of beach front and they can't be everywhere, so drive a bit and give the Big Guy some props. :king
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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Originally posted by icarus pacific
I dunno, Cliff... waking up next to you makes me want to go the shark route! :D

Butt seriously, the whole shark thing is just one of those 14-16 foot facets of diving that serve to keep you humble. Like the very real possibiltiy of getting hit while driving to the beach, like having a heart attack while lugging your ass and gear to the water, like getting smeared on the rocks while attempting the entry and later during the exit, like going too long/deep/often and having the lights go out and floating face down (while still having your belt on :hmm ) and like choking on that little bone missed during the fish cleaning. And then there's the possibility of slipping on the floor after washing the gear and cracking the melon. Much more is made of the proverbial lightning strike than of the electrical outlet.

Does that mean I'd go tempt fate by heading down and over to Avila and San O to try it? Uh, no. When would I go back in? The last time I got seriously buzzed by the Boss, that I know about it was a solid six months before I felt Kosher and went back and then it was with a buddy. I figure I could stab him to gain a few kicks to the beach. ;)

We here in Arnold-ville are blessed with lots of beach front and they can't be everywhere, so drive a bit and give the Big Guy some props. :king
rofl rofl rofl

I love you too man...
 

Roan

Deeper Blue Wayfarer
Jul 12, 2003
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This pesky job of mine has been cutting into my dive time as of late (gotta do somethin about that). I did manage to do an afternoon dive at Crystal Cove State Park on Labor Day but when I got down to the beach a lifeguard flagged me over and informed me that they had a confirmed shark (7-9 ft.) sighting directly offshore about 3 hours earlier. Directly offshore, I might add, of where Pezman and his family were camped just a few short weeks ago!:cool:
At this exact spot (only), (what the sharks can't just swim upshore?) they were still keeping out swimmers and boogie boarders but riff-raff like surfers and freedivers were allowed in the water.:confused: Anyway, I geared up and walked two hundred yards to the south to my (current) favorite spot (where there were no warnings or restrictions) and swam out to a kelp paddy to do some diving. I considered all the factors, but I have to admit I wanted to overcome (in my own small or perhaps misguided way) a kind of fear that comes in a situation like that. The reefs and kelp were fairly loaded with good size fish, some nice size calicos, so I wasn't spooked like I might be if the place was barren. But on the other hand, I didn't stay out very long either.

I try not to give Kamo too much free rent in my head, rationalizing that that might attract him to me. But I do try to stay aware of possible environmental changes that may make what historically has been an almost non-issue (Great White attacks in So Cal coastel waters) more of a factor.
For instance: GW's are protected; what if their food sources aren't? They don't all eat pinnipeds (protected); the smaller ones that have been sighted around here eat fish. What if So Cal is fished out? According to many old timers, it is. What about a significant change in ocean temperature or pinniped populations, or a big increase in GW populations? Of course we all want GW's to survive, but I don't need them teeming off our shores either. If things like that were happening, I'd want to know, but I doubt I'd learn that on the 6 o'clock news. We need useful information. Maybe the marine mammal centers could publish the numbers, if any, of bites they find on the pinnipeds they come in contact with. For instance if 1/2 the harbor seals @ La Jolla have chow marks on them, maybe San Diegans should take back the Childrens Pool!

Just thought I'd rant on this subject for awhile. Wonder if anybody has any thoughts on the possibility of ecological or environmental factors having an impact on shark populations or behaviour?
:wave
 

DiverD

New Member
Jan 3, 2003
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I wonder if the great white sightings have anything to do with the recent cold water that's been coming in?

But the reality is, Oceanswimmer, the woman was swimming 200 yards out to sea with sea lions at the time of the attack. If a shark shows up 200 yards out to sea, the sea lions can scatter and disapear in half a second, the woman is then left on her own, a seeming wounded or slow sea lion. Not a good dive plan.

I'd be a little scared of the ocean swimming but you may not be 200 yards out. I wouldn't free dive with any sea lions in the area.

I've scuba'd with sea lions lots of times at the Santa Babara Isl. Rookery but then I'm more scared of the sea lions :duh then of seeing a shark.
 
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w3ac

I should be working
Nov 8, 2002
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Hey gang,
First of all I flat out refuse to watch Jaws or Shark Week or anything of the like that would otherwise scare me out of the water. I know what is out there and choose to jump in or not. Case and point, my favorite blue water spot. It just so happens that the blue water (can't see the bottom in 100+ vis) isn't more than 150 yards off shore. The wind blows off shore most days and land fishermen send out inflated trash bags way the hell out there with some bait attached. Target fish include Mahimahi, Ono, Ahi, and even a rare billfish. Species that are not targeted but occasionally get hooked include Tiger and Mako shark. Before we had the Zodiac or even when things go wrong with the Zodiac (damn you Murphy) we swim out into the blue. We have seen all target fish but so far, I have been very fortunate and have not run into a Tiger, Oceanic White Tip, or Mako out there. Numerous Galapagos but no bad asses. There have been times where one thought runs through my head when I bail off the boat: "welcome to the food chain" but this doesn't stop me. There are times when nothing is seen but I just get a sense of uneasiness and get out of the water. I guess what I'm trying to say is you gotta use your head. When I hear that a large tiger has been spotted, I tend to let the area cool down for a long time before I go there again. With the green sea turtle population exploding, the tigers are going to show up more and more. From what I understand, this is similar to the seal population and GWS. More food, more sharks. I honestly think you are in more danger driving to the beach than of being attacked by a shark; especially in Hilo. Ever see how some of my fellow Hilotians drive? Scary stuff man. Be safe and use good judgement.

Brad
 

OceanSwimmer

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2002
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...Reality duly checked :)

Thanks, everyone!!


"Life is not measured in the number of breaths we take but by the moments that leave us breathless."


Cynthia
 

caymandiver

give me gills!
Jun 18, 2003
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I used to be freaked out by baracuda's all around the Cayman Islands. Those 6 footers can be scary. But I have learned to view them as nature's police men. They come over to us and check us out, almost coming over to investigate. It's like they are keeping an eye for big fish bullying the little fish. If a fish is being a bully the baracuda tells him this is not your turf, go and pick at things you were ment to pick at, leave my fish in peace!

Well, maybe its not quite like that but..

Now the sharks. They are almost like.. soldiers. They can be quite scary and it makes me humble when I'm in the sea. I got those big brothers and sisters watching my back! As my teacher would say, they are our elders!
 
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