Most times when you set off on a Dana Pride excursion, you'll see dolphins. If you're fortunate, you'll get a glimpse of the titular character on your “whale watching cruise” receipt. Tuesday evening's passengers were treated to a blue whale mom, her calf and even a third blue whale.
When Capt. Todd Mansur turned the boat bound for dolphins about 1 1/2 miles off San Clemente, everyone aboard enjoyed a sight even more rare:
A great white shark!
“At first it was in the glare and I thought it could be a swordfish or a marlin,” explained Mansur, who has been a local boat captain for 25 years. “As soon as I saw what it
was I got on the P.A. and announced that we have a great white shark.”
The 10-foot-long juvenile or sub-adult's fin was out of the
water as it approached the boat, from straight off the bow. It briefly rode the bow wake like a dolphin, according to observers. While great whites are not often sighted off Southern California, the younger ones are known to feed here.
“It's very rare to see them, and even rarer to see one finning,” Mansur
said. “They hardly ever put their fins up. This thing was coming right
at us at 12 o'clock. It was like a game of chicken.”
No one was the visitor's chicken dinner, thank God.