Hammerhead sharks are rarely seen in California, yet 2015 brought what one scientist called "an endless parade of hammerheads," reported National Geographic, and several hammerheads were spotted off the Ventura coast this year, too. When this happens, a community's relationship with the ocean changes.
That National Geographic story tells the tale of Richard Shafer, a 58-year-old electrician who free-dives for fish with a speargun. The warming waters had driven game fish like yellowtail north from Mexico. Shafer was off the coast of San Diego in August 2015 and speared a yellowtail. He held it close as he swam back to the boat, worried about a hungry sea lion trying to snatch it. Never did he expect that a seven-foot hammerhead would bite him on the wrist trying to steal his catch.