Saturday, November 15, 2008

Great White are passionate hunters!

Great white sharks can stir emotions like no other creature. For many, that emotion is fear, but for those with an adventurous heart, Great Whites can be a thing of wonder.You might think you need to head to South Africa or the South Pacific to see these creatures, but that's not true.

One of the greatest places to see these magnificent sharks is only a day trip from Sacramento.Recently, on a cold, damp morning, two CBS13 viewers and other local adventurers decided to uncover some of the mysteries of the great white shark for themselves. Just 27 miles away from the Golden Gate, the Farrallon Islands are considered part of the city of San Francisco, and is one of the four places in the world to view white sharks.Great white sharks are "intelligent creatures and magnificent creatures that need our protection," said James Moskito, an expedition leader for Shark Diving International.

After a two and a half hour trip from Emeryville aboard the 56-foot "Superfish," the rugged Farallons, also known as the Devil's Teeth, emerge from the mist to reveal their natural beauty. Once anchored, seal-shaped decoys are deployed to lure sharks toward the boat -- no chum is needed as the waters around the island uniquely teem with marine mammals, making the Farallons a world-wide hot spot for great whites.

Those wishing to experience a true up-close encounter can lower themselves into the expedition's reinforced shark cage, while others can choose to view from above."It's exciting to be out here," said shark-watcher Kim Yarris.

"A little bit scary because you have to know where to look at the right time."With eyes peeled above and below, everyone looks for the tell-tale sign of shark activity.And then, in the distance, a seal is attacked.

Seagulls circle the wounded seal, waiting to pick at the remains.While today's visit to the Farallons didn't bring the "close encounter" others have seen on Shark Diving International's expeditions, no one was left unhappy."If you just go for it and just realize that you are totally safe, it is just an awesome experience," said Jerric Fruits.

One of the reasons the people at Shark Diving International are so passionate about what they do is because the great whites play a key role in the oceanic food chain. It is also their hope that the more people learn about these sharks, the more that will be done to protect them.


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