Great White Shark Chases Surfers Out of Bolinas Channel Tonight

I went down to the beach to ride my skateboard tonight around 6 PM Friday night. It hadn’t been too inspiring a day and I wanted to play. I parked next to a bunch of surfer’s cars and was getting my safety gear on when a surfer with board came walking up from the beach dripping wet and said a “great white shark” has swum by him and four other surfers. It turned out that local Owein Sanders was the first to see it. He yelled out to the other surfers and the five of them windmill-paddeled into the beach. I asked him how big the fin was and he held his hand about 18″ above the pavement. Todd Mason said the fin appeared and cruised along for a while, then turned on its side and went under. Todd looked shaken. I asked Owein (who was riding a 9-foot wood laminate surfboard) where the shark was and he said “the groin,” meaning the mouth of the channel that leads from the ocean into the Bolinas lagoon.

It took a few minutes before I realized that last night, that is, Thursday, around 6:30, I’d driven down to the channel, ran along the beach, and swum from the groin though the channel down to the ramp (about 200 yards). When I got onto land I noticed a few seals swimming in the channel. Light bulb goes on in Lloyd’s dim brain just now (I mean just now, 9:05 PM Friday night). The sharks are in there this time of night (incoming tide) trying to snack on sea lions who come into the lagoon on just such conditions. About two years ago, a local surfer, Lee Fontan was attacked by a great white at this very spot.


About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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