Surfing the Red Triangle
The Red Triangle is the name given to a 90-mile stretch of coastal area from the Golden Gate down to Monterey and extending to the Farallon Islands. Within its relatively small boundaries more than half of the world's Great White Shark attacks on humans have taken place. In a PBS feature on the Red Triangle it was described as "the shark-attack capital of the world." The Red Triangle is home to tens of thousands of elephant seals, sea lions, and sea otters, staples of a shark's diet. So swimmers and surfers in their wet suits are easily mistaken for seals since sharks have bad eyesight.

Over recent years, authorities have tracked a significant increase in the number of shark attacks but despite the danger, only one in ten shark attacks on humans are fatal. Sharks tend to taste-test their prey and generally spit out bone-filled swimmers and surfers. Surf boards are subject to tasting as well. Despite film depictions, Great whites are not always solitary predators, they often hunt and feed together. Additionally, just like whales, Great White Sharks migrate every year and predictably return to the same waters to feed, making October to January the most dangerous time for local surfers - just in time for the annual Mavericks surf competition.
[ MAP N-9 ]