Picking Urchins from the Devil's Teeth

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Ron Ellion dives for sea urchin, solo, 27 miles outside of the Golden Gate. In the shark infested Farallon islands, otherwise known as “The Devil’s Teeth”. This is a short, stunning film on Ron, including how he deals with great whites in his nightmares, and in the water. Ron notes that if he gets bitten so far from the mainland, he will likely die, but he’s been fine for the last 15 years.

Commercial urchin diving in California is only a few decades old, and the techniques, adventures and characters in that world have been well documented in the book Blue Water Gold Rush, written by Tom Kendrick and recommended to me by Drew at The Waterman’s Library.

There’s also a book about shark studies in the Farallones by Susan Casey called The Devil’s Teeth, which I have not read yet.

I presently have no plans to dive for uni anywhere near the Farallones.


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