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Sharks

All Santa Cruz sailing spots are within the so-called 'Red Triangle'. There are several species of shark and most are harmless. Blue Sharks and Thresher sharks get quite big. Blue Sharks get to six or seven feet and could inflict serious damage but no one worries about them. White Sharks on the other hand are BIG. Big as in REALLY BIG. Considering how big they are and how many big teeth they have, its amazing that more than half the known attack victims have survived. One victim described a Great White as like a '57 Buick coming at you with the hood open!

The Santa Cruz Surf Museum located in the lighthouse at Lighthouse Point has a small display related to shark attacks. One item is the surf board on which Craig Rogers was sitting when he was 'investigated'. The board sustained damage but he escaped with only a few stitches in his hands. The other display is of a wetsuit worn by Eric Larson who required over 600 stitches after his memorable experience at Davenport Landing.

Here are some pictures of Big Sharks

Kelp

Kelp grows in abundance around Santa Cruz and likes water up to 40 feet deep. It is home to many California Sea Otters and is a sure sign of the cleanliness of our water. Kelp beds keep wind chop off the nearby water and create fantastic speed zones. They also cause lots of problems for sailors who get stuck in it. If you have a weed fin, or even a wave fin, you can sail through it with a little practice. If you get stuck in kelp, turn around and take another tack. Don't fight it.

Sailing full speed into kelp with a blade fin is something not to be missed, at least not by the spectators! Most people believe that the big sharks never come into the kelp beds or shallow water. Its not true, ask Eric Larson!

 

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Copyright Jim Munro 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999