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Shark Attack at Davenport
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l_loperena8002



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"how big do you think is the shark if its fine is knee high?"

Big.

A couple of weeks ago Joe Ray of Davenport Surfsail saw a 16 foot shark while surfing at Davenport Landing. No shortage of big sharks there.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3056
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pleased to read the broken mast report here, meaning it otherwise would not have been given......

Sounds like they have enough to feed on, not us.

Read Joe's report elsewhere as well.

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naylor



Joined: 16 Feb 1999
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as trying to water start when the wind dies, don't do it! Get an uphaul and learn how to use it. You are at your most vulnerable splashing around with your ass hanging in the water while trying to waterstart in light winds. If a shark attacks while uphauling, the worst that can happen is getting part of your foot bitten instead of getting your ass bitten off water starting.
Also, Great Whites almost never come back for another bite, that's why most attack victims live to tell the tale. GW's usually go for one big bite and then wait for the victim to bleed to death so they can have a nice quiet meal instead of doing battle with a wounded and still very dangerous Elephant Seal.
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kevinkan



Joined: 07 Jun 2001
Posts: 1145
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to clarify.... I was not involved in this incident... I was merely relaying the story the sailor wrote for the Shark Research Committee!
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 990

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naylor, while it's common conception that whitey is a coward, don't bet on it.
I've seen sustained attacks by a white several times, from the water and also from a fishing boat. Not all whiteys are cowards, or bid their time during meal time.
I can see older, 20' whitey's having some restraint, but most of the near shore bites are by juveniles in the 12-17' range, meaning by dumb kids!
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 990

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, windsurfing at Davenport.
Most surfsailors ride boards of less volume their their own bodyweight, making uphauling a lost cause.
Even old farts like myself who use bigger wave boards for coastal sailing don't bother with an uphaul, since my 72 liter wave board might in theory float my 68 kilo wide butt, but add a 10lbs. wet wetsuit, a harness, booties, hood, trunks, I just cannot uphaul 72 liters even if a white was sniffing my feet.
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bonuslife



Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey folks. After years of lurking on this forum, I never thought this would be the thing that gets me to post!

Thanks, Kevin, for posting my story.

LeeD wrote:
You DO know that DavenportLanding, just 2 miles S of SwantonRoad, where they now windsurf, is considered the most sharky spot N of SantaCruz, don't you?


Hey LeeD. Yes, we know. We understand the risks when we sail there. I used to freak out every time I botched a jibe. After a while you learn to relax around the unknown a bit more. You realize how infinitesimally small your chances of having an encounter are, but you maintain a healthy respect. My respect just got a lot less abstract.

tomg wrote:

And not doubting your story one bit but I am curious about the following:

Did you land on your rig? If not how do you figure the mast broke? Did the tail of the shark hit your rig?

Did you find any scratches or dent in your board? - Wondering what part of the shark impacted you. (obviously not the mouth!)


The shark hit the board in the widest part at full ramming speed. The impact was so great that I was tossed into the air. There's a small crack in the bottom of the board there and this is a new board as of May, so I notice every scratch. Their snouts are supposed to be sensitive, so perhaps it hit with the top of its head, although maybe it was the nose and it was surprised at not hitting a nice fat fleshy sea lion. Thankfully I didn't see it again after it swam under my board, to the North (at that moment though, I had a feeling that every second counted because he might just be observing and planning the second part of his attack). I believe the impact broke the mast. I'm told that they are trying to break the back of the sea lion when they attack like this. If you've ever seen a sea lion up close, you can just imagine how much force that would take.

As another windsurfer said to me, we are in a better position than surfers to escape injury in these kinds of attacks since we're standing on the board, rather than lying prone. I was acutely aware of that when I was on my belly, paddling in from 1/4 mile out. Surfers don't tend to go out that far, so there's that tradeoff.

In the end, I think I lucked out. I think the shark realized its mistake and moved on. After that, all I did was make a couple of quick decisions and do a self rescue. I don't know how much was up to me as far as why I didn't panic.

Thanks for your concern, everyone. I'm filled with indescribable gratitude for every moment from now. This is an amazing sport, not just for how much fun it is, but for the amazing community that's grown around it. See you on the water.

Gunnar
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mch13



Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bonuslife, you sure earned your handle! That's quite a first time post. I sailed Davenport a few times a week for over 10 years (85 - 95 or so). I could so relate to freaking out at a botched jibe at first.

I never saw a GW, but was around before and after sightings and attacks many times. So true about just relaxing.

Unfortunately, I only get to the coast a few times a season, which doesn't give me much time to "just relax".

Thanks for telling your story and its a good one. I glad for the happy ending.

Mark
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cbknap



Joined: 03 Jun 1997
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job staying cool, Gunnar. Had you done something rash like swim away from your board the ending might have been different. Thanks for sharing your story.

--chris
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2377

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When in doubt, forgo everything else but stay with your board!
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