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Bill Burns, San Clemente
Something is going on and I don’t think it’s good. I have been surfing in OC for over 35 years. I have never heard so many shark sightings as I have in the past six-to-eight months. A shark sighting in a line-up used to be unusual. Nowadays, it is just an interesting subject and common knowledge for OC surfers. The SUPs around Ol’ Mans see one or two on a very regular basis. During the same time period I have seen an unusual amount of sea lion pups on shore (either sick or dead).
About five weeks ago, I saw three different sick sea lions resting on the rocks in front of the nuclear plant on the same day. So I called a rescue operation in Laguna and they said they were overflowing with rescued pups. They just advised me to take a photo and forward it with the last known location.
On April 17, I had a close encounter with shark at Trail No. 1. I had just paddled for a wave but missed it. I paddled a little further north and then sat up on my board. I then swung around 180 degrees and got back on my belly. Suddenly, cruising toward me was a juvenile shark. If he wanted me, he would have easily feasted. The best I can do to describe his disposition is that it was as if he just came by to smell me or to just welcome me to the line-up. Spooky and scary.
Something is out of balance in the local waters.