Sharkwatching! With more sharks and better tech, it’s So Cal’s new craze – Orange County Register


Mark Girardeau hovered his drone above the water in Dana Point, looking for movement.

Then he saw it: A dark figure darting swiftly; a fin piercing the ocean’s surface.

“I got one,” he shouted out as he zoomed in on the great white, swimming just yards from shore. On the sand, other lookie-loos clutched cell phones, trying to capture images of the sharks that have caused such a buzz in recent weeks.

As Girardeau watched, the shark show grew.

“I got two sharks. There’s two great whites right here… There’s actually three now!”

Not too long ago, getting even a glimpse at great white off the Southern California coastline was rare. The occasional lifeguard or surfer might see a fin — or think they did — but they almost never had evidence to back their claim.

Then came two changes. First, in recent years, more sharks have been hanging out close to shore in Southern California. The phenomenon isn’t totally understood and it’s unclear if it’ll last, but it’s been a constant for three years. Second, everybody has access to an explosion of technical advances — everything from drones to GoPros to better video and higher-def resolutions in cell phones — that make it easier to chronicle shark sightings.

That, in turn, has turned shark watching into a pastime. Apart from most surfers — who want to stay as far away as they can — the world seems…

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