Ok, my wife said enough scary pictures of human teeth with problems for now. She says no one wants to see them anyway. So, I thought I would share some interesting/scary photos of another kind involving teeth on the beach in Carlsbad .
Is this a ship wrecked shark? A shark with a swim floaty? A shark with a fashion sense for colorful accessories ? A shark who collects trophies from his last meal?
I am driving along coast highway by the warm water jetties and I see what looks like a guy struggling with a torpedo on the beach. It’s a beautiful day completely calm with no waves so I interupt my surf check , pull over and walk back to warm water jetties. As I get closer I realize it is a young man struggling to bring a huge shark up on the beach. A small crowd is gathering in awe. I did not hear the whole story from the diver so this is pieced together from what everyone was saying on the beach.
The young man himself was just interested in getting the shark in his truck so he could take it home and fillet it. The young man is huge and dressed in a camouflage wetsuit. After hearing the story I am sure you will agree he is either crazy or a serious waterman /free diving spear fisherman. Probably both.
This area off the power plant is popular for mako shark fisherman because the deep canyon leading to the old tanker port and the seals who resided on the buoys used by the tankers afforded a great feeding opportunity for sharks. The young diver was fishing for lobster off his kayak about a hundred yards off the beach in front of the power plant when this huge shark went under his kayak and bumped it. At this point I would have headed to the beach at full speed. Instead he jumped into the water with his spear gun and chased it, eventually shooting it. The spear obviously was no match for a shark this size and simply slowed it down. I would liken its effect to the spears the picadors use in bull fights to slow the bull down for the matador. Undeterred, the diver then proceeded to jump on the shark and stab it in the head with his knife. If you look closely you can see the stab wounds on the top of the sharks head. He looses the knife but the shark is still trying to get way by going deep or perhaps it is just sinking so he grabs the life vest off his kayak and wrestles the shark into it. How do you get a shark to put on a life vest? Not even in my wildest dreams can I imagine it. He ties the shark to his kayak and drags the shark onto the beach. I have to give the guy credit, if nothing else he is crazy and he has cajones. Once on the beach, out of the water the shark is almost impossible to move. The size and weight are one thing but also the shark itself is still struggling; whether the movements are reflexive or intentional I don’t know, but the mouth is opening and closing and when people attempt to lift it the tail easily flings people across the beach.
Carlsbad is a small town still and so even though the crowd was relatively small I encountered several patients and friends who provided me these photos. I don’t think my technologically challenged flip phone has a camera. One patient, Justin Birks, who works as a life guard identified the shark as a seven gill. The good news is that researching the internet there have only been four attacks by seven gill sharks on humans. They prefer other fish. As an aside the newspaper confirmed my skepticism of their ability to accurately report anything by describing it as a seven foot shark, not seven gill.
How big was it? You can judge for yourself. How much did it weigh? I don’t know but lifting into the pickup took at least six guys. I am sure the diver feed quite a few people off his barbeque.
Personally I have an aversion to eating shark. I have an agreement with sharks: I don’t eat them and they don’t eat me. I have had several encounters with sharks over the years surfing, one very close to this area and so far my agreement with sharks has been working. I will share those stories at another time. At this point I do not want to further scare anyone or empty the beach next summer. On second thought that would mean fewer people surfing. Perhaps I will share those stories sooner than later.