Hugging the mountains and skirted by the sea, we took the Pacific Cliff Highway up past Ventura to a less populated surfing spot, two families all humming along to the Beach Boys, boards strapped on top, the Channel Islands floating in the clouds over the Pacific. Somewhere in those sparkling blue depths slid an exquisite sleek and huge hunter that I’d only ever seen on screens. Before we headed out to the waves, our friend’s son rescued a Cormorant Sea Bird, starving as its prey sought deeper waters in the warm spring current. The volunteer wildlife rescuer who would nurse it back to health, told us about the hundreds of seal pups being born in these few days all along the coast.
We jumped in to slide down a few liquid hills, just in front we looked out at a small reef that my friend described as “sharky” with “friendly” Thresher Sharks and a few other species. Somewhere in my surfing memory I knew that seals attracted the larger sea life, yet I could not recall exactly what–something beautiful and powerful, and really, really big. So life, so full of surprizes, brought to me a wonder. I didn’t feel afraid, just aware, I was bobbing out there among friends, and a hundred metres away, I saw its massive fin–unmistakably the fin of a Great White Shark. It continued its path in search of seal pups, passing between us and the reef. Later on the shore we chewed over what had just happened–the awe, the wonder, the beauty of the Great White Shark.
Words & Photos by Jonathan McCallum