On a clear Sunday autumn morning, I ran along Lands End on the Northwest corner of SF – west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Lands End is a series of cliffs that overlook overlook Marin and the entrance to the Bay. I paused to watch some fisherman casting for a 50 foot cliff near Mile Rock Beach and the labyrinth. The fisherman mostly caught snags, but I did watch one pull in a decent sized, prehistoric looking lincod. There were a number of sea lions and sea birds fishing along the surf at the base of the cliff.
Then ~50 sea gulls flying toward the middle of the channel caught my eye. I saw water splashing I assumed it was sea lion frolicking. The commotion continued, and I made out a large fin, the back of a large fish, and a struggling sea lion. I finally registered that I was watching a shark attack. The sea gulls dived in the nearby water to pick up what available morsels. I only had my iphone, but i was able to take a few Loch Ness monster quality pics. The best pic captured the distinctive shark fin next to a splashing water that obscured the seal.
The Great White Shark has made a remarkable California recovery with an estimated CA 4000 sharks. They are migratory and appear in the Bay Area in autumn to catch seals. I believe shark I spotted was an adolescent Great White since it tooks about a minute to subdue the sea lion. The attack was not clean.
It was a thrill to watch the battle unfold. I had never seen anything like that before. In life sometimes you’re the shark. Sometimes you’re the seal. I was just glad that I watched the spectacle from dry land.