Friday, February 18, 2011

Part I: Blue Shark Rescue in La Jolla Cove

Part I: Blue Shark Rescue

by:  Rod Watkins

On September 13, 1999 this incident was witnessed by John McAvoy of London, England, UK :

John and I had snorkeled out to dive at the south west end of the outer reef in the La Jolla Cove Ecological Reserve and descended into 30 feet at high tide.  Once on the bottom we struck out on a course heading 30 degrees breaking into the southeast end of the kelp forest. 

This particular part of the reserve has rocky patch reefs with sand between them.  In this spot the kelp forms a large "U" shaped stand with the open end of the 'U' facing to the west.  We passed through the south leg of the thick kelp and broke into the open over the sand patch that made up the inside of the U shaped stand of kelp.  Then, suddenly,  I caught movement to the west in the water column above me.  Whoa!, It was a nice size Blue Shark.

To our amazement this shark was trailing about 50 feet of marlin fishing line with a large Marlin lure trailing at the end of it.  A Marlin Lure looks like a small shiny license plate.  This shark must have been hooked on a Marlin fishing boat while trolling in the open ocean somewhere and broke the line. Behind him the shark was accompanied in train by dozens and dozens of fish. The were waiting for the catch or maybe the demise of the shark.  Who knows? 

As the shark swam past I could see that if I made effort I could grab the Marlin Lure at the end of the trailing line.  Swimming hard to it and reaching out I grabbed the lure with the six foot long shark at the other end and..............(look for the rest of the story soon).

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