Now that my buddies at Huckberry have blogged about the Farallon Islands I feel compelled to reflect upon my time there. I usually make it out at least once a year, but for 3 months in the fall of 2006 I spent 3 days a week going out with an ecotourism company in the attempt to share the experience of seeing white sharks in the wild and capture some footage. Upon first approaching the islands I felt like I was in the movie King Kong and that Skull Island had mysteriously emerged from the fog. This place doesn't like people. Next to the continental shelf, these jagged islans seemingly rise up out of nowhere to wreck unsuspecting ships. And as far as prehistoric animals go...well, they are actually present. The white shark, descendant of megaladon, is nearly unchanged other than its size from its original version hundreds of millions of years ago (picture a 50 foot white shark that fed on whales). Today, some of the largest white sharks known to be alive hang out at the Farallones to hunt some of the largest prey you can imagine...elephant seals.
Also named, 'Devil's Teeth', Susan Casey's book, while possibly taking a few liberties, is an entertaining way to catch yourself up on the history of these islands and white sharks. You may also view a short film I created documenting the 2006 season at the islands here.
Oh, the glory days of drenching the bay with the blood of majestic animals.
Site of the Richmond whaling station closed in the early 70s
Chopping the bait down to a smaller size. The bait used on this boat is skip jack tuna.
Sometimes the shark will launch itself from the deep in such a stealthy manner that the bait handler does not pull away on time. A small snack for the shark, but hardly a reason to stop eating its normal diet of large, fat rich seals.
First of all, no one, not even Andre Hartman or the guys from ‘Jackass’ are gonna get in the water during a feeding frenzy
The photographer managed to snap this photo just before the turtle ripped him to pieces. Witnesses say the turtle was actually 'smiling' as it tore through the poor diver's flesh.
White Shark Video