Saturday, October 30, 2010

Edward Dorson - Shark and Awe

Want to know the current status of the U.S. Shark Conservation Act sitting in Congress?

Underwater photographer Edward Dorson summarises this bills remarkable voyage through the US Senate and it's sad state of affairs in today's Huff Post.

Edward Dorson - an eloquent and passionate voice for the oceans, and for sharks:

The threat to sharks from finning and to a planet that requires their continued existence isn't half-baked ideology -- it's empirical fact. Studies are consistently revealing that sharks, as apex predators, are essential to regulate species abundance and distribution to maintain healthy oceans. Yet the world's sharks are being slaughtered at an unsustainable rate of 3 per second (estimated at 100 million annually). After capture, shark finners hack off the fins (worth up to $300 a pound) and the less valuable mutilated shark is tossed back to sink and slowly die. This travesty was acted on by our lawmakers a decade ago with the U.S. Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000, a legislative milestone that made it illegal to have fins aboard a U.S. registered vessel without the corresponding shark carcasses.

Complete Post.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Shark Diver - Once More to Isla Guadalupe 2010!

We say hello to 12 soon-to-be newly minted shark divers at the docks of H and M Landing tonight as they board the MV Horizon with Shark Diver for another white shark adventure to the island.

While some of the shark diving operators have finished for the season we're still going strong and our divers, many who booked last year at this time, cannot wait to get the adventure going.

We'll post more trip reports from shark divers as they come in. 2010 was a record text book season both in terms of sightings (double digit days) and operational safety and success.

Kudos to Martin Graf and his entire back deck team for many hours of hard work, and an amazing season so far, cannot wait until Novembers trips!

Celebrity Endorsments Help Charity Initiative Save Sharks

Beginning in October, the Shark-Free Marina Initiative will embark on it’s largest membership campaign throughout the United States and the Bahamas in order to save sharks.

Sharks are disappearing from our oceans at an alarming rate. Therefore, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, and various other organizations have teamed up with the Shark-Free Marina Initiative (SFMI) for a singular, historic purpose: to reduce worldwide shark mortality. SFMI certifies sport fishing and resort marinas as ‘Shark-Free’ thereby prohibiting any shark from being landed at their dock.

“SFMI works directly with the recreational and commercial fishing community to send a clear message,” says Luke Tipple, Managing Director and SFMI founder. “As shark populations are decimated on a global scale we as a species are obligated to pay attention and reduce our wasteful destruction of these incredibly important animals.”

Some very important and influential celebrity spokespeople are also teaming up with SFMI. Fashion photographer and America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker feels strongly that we all have to speak out for sharks. “There are many good fishermen out there who respect the oceans and know that in order to preserve their way of life for future generations we all need to be more aware of our actions and the results they may cause.”

Slash, legendary guitarist and founding member of Guns & Roses and Velvet Revolver adds, “It is important to me as a father and concerned human being, that we do all we can to address the wasteful destruction of these amazing and important animals. We must ensure that sharks are around for future generations.”

Other stars to support the initiative include Alec Baldwin, Elizabeth Berkley and Bill Maher. To read what they have to say, click here.

Shark-Free Marinas has a message that is being heard worldwide. Tipple summarizes “Shark overfishing is a serious problem which threatens the very health of our oceans. It’s time to take a stand and set an example of sensible conservation that can be globally respected and repeated. There is a solution, and it starts at our marinas.”

Find out more at

Interview with CEO of

Lucas Ransom was fatally attacked by a great white shark Friday while bodyboarding off Central California. There have been 10 fatalities from shark attacks on the West Coast since 1952.

While the odds of you ever being attacked by a great white shark are astronomical, there are some things you can do to avoid a shark attack.

Patric Douglas' Shark Diver cage diving company has been observing great white sharks at Guadalupe Island and elsewhere since 2002.

Douglas offers some advice for beachgoers trying to avoid a close encounter with this predator.

"You have to give the sharks the mornings," Douglas said.

In fact, give them the mornings and the ocean at dusk. Douglas explains that the vast majority of attacks take place when the sun is at such an angle where the shark has trouble identifying prey. They see a silhouette of a human on a surfboard, mistake him for their usual prey, and attack. You are far less likely to be attacked when the shark can see you clearly.

Avoid areas known for great whites and don't swim with shark food. Swimming in areas where there have been shark sightings or swimming with sea lions and elephant seals only increases your chance of being attacked.

About a year ago, Dr. Peter Hoffman of Hermosa Beach saw a sea lion come roaring out of the surf in Hermosa Beach. While many of the beachgoers were frightened by the pinniped, Hoffman had it right when he said, "I'm more afraid of what chased the sea lion out of the water."

The nature of great white shark attacks is the ambush. No living victim of a great white shark attack saw it coming. Even though it appears that when a great white attacks a human it is a mistake, the attack is so violent and brutal that death frequently occurs.

Douglas says the more you learn about these creatures, the more you will appreciate them.

Douglas will be on Philip Friedman Outdoors Radio Friday October 29th at 5 p.m. on for an entire hour discussing quite a bit more about great white sharks.

Ware Sharks Vintage Fishing Video

Down in South Africa, they go for sharks with rod and line - real hammerheads too - and the Durban fishers use whale meat as bait - C/U of two men winding a fishing line around a chunk of meat. M/S of man in tiny boat being given the chunk of meat and an oar. L/S of him paddling out to sea - looks very precarious.

Low angle shot of group of fishermen on the quayside. Children watch. C/U of man lying down on the quayside having a sleep with his hat over his eyes. He has a fishing rod by his legs. M/S of men and women leaning over a sea wall - some fish. C/U of man reeling in what is probably a big fish. M/S of the fish - shark - which he is reeling in. C/U of a penguin standing on a rock. M/S of crowd admiring the man's catch. It is a hammerhead shark which writhes on the ground. Looks pretty bloody. A dog sniffs around it and tries to bite its tail.

Hat Tip - Team Rebel Fishing Blog.


The Demons of Durban - Part 2

From the Team Rebel Fishing Blog.

Today's land based shark fishing is 99% catch, tag, and release.

This was not always the case and this week the TRS blog launched a multi-part expose on land based shark fishing roots.

The Demons of Durban Part Two

The anglers would load up their newly acquired whale meat and head southward on the railway that lead to the end of Durban's south jetty, with hopes of taming these beasts that constantly patrolled the harbor. But the tackle and techniques these anglers choose to use were somewhat primitive, even for the day and age they were stalking these sharks. The tackle which was most commonly used to try to tame these giants from the rock laden jetty typically consisted of a wooden Scarborough reel, with rods constructed from locally grown bamboo. These outfits usually held anywhere from 600-800 meters of Flax line, which was then proceeded by a 30 meter length of wire or cable trace, that normally would have a dog chain link somewhere along the leader that was closer to the bait and homemade sinker. To deploy these baits off the jetty and into the shipping channel, one angler would typically hold the rod, while another angler would strip anywhere from 20-40 meters of line off the spool of the Scarborough reel, and lie it flat on the surface of the jetty.

Complete Post and Video.

David Diley Against All Odds

A while back when Da Shark discovered David Diley and his remarkable take on a hot button issue for our industry, I was impressed.

David produced a clear and incisive understanding of shark chumming and baiting.

His Op-Ed, from a non industry member, made David a rare commodity.

Rarer still as David has gone on to follow his ultimate dream, "From Office to Ocean," one mans voyage into the world of sharks and conservation.

David is, like so many within our community, following his dream with no funds, having gone deeply into debt to produce the following teaser. Like his Op-Ed it shows a depth of understanding and natural filmmakers talent that cannot be ignored.

This is great stuff, and deserving of funding. We support it and will support David as he continues forward. Raw talent needs help and in the end sharks ultimately benefit.

Thanks to Da Shark for the follow up.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Crab with a "C" Baby!

In this crazy world of ours fresh crab comes in two varieties. Crab with a "c" (real crab) and krab with a "k" (the fake stuff). Knowing the difference at sushi bars can mean the difference between a $40 sushi bill and a $100 one.

Thanks to an unusual marketing agreement between Japan and China fresh crab with a "c" now comes out of a vending machine.

Hat Tip Deep-Sea News Blog, you guys rock!

On a side note the crab featured in this video is in fact an invasive species here in the USA known as the Chinese mitten crab, and now we have a vending machine predator to take care of it.

All hail China and Japan for fresh crab with a "c" - coming soon to a Walmart near you:

Protect the Sharks of the Bahamas - BNT Push

By ERICA WELLS / Nassau Guardian

The Bahamas National Trust formally launched a local shark conservation campaign Tuesday, aimed at pushing the government to create comprehensive regulations to protect the sharks of The Bahamas.

It’s an effort that carries with it a certain sense of urgency, now that The Bahamas is one of only a few locations around the world that can boast of healthy shark populations.

"Right now when you read through the Bahamian fisheries law, even if you would do a search for the word ‘shark’ you wouldn’t find anything,” noted Jill Hepp, manger, Global Shark Conservation, Pew Environment Group, which is working with the BNT on the “Protect the Sharks of the Bahamas” campaign. “You’re starting from a situation where there’s nothing specifically on the books that would prohibit or restrict or manage the shark populations here.”

While sharks are in trouble globally the state of shark populations here are among the best in the world, according to researchers. The relative health of the shark populations in The Bahamas has been attributed to the country’s ban on long-line fishing in the 1990s — combined with the fact that there is no incentive for local fishermen to sell shark meat. Now, shark researchers and conservationists want to make sure that the healthy shark populations in Bahamian waters stay that way.

Complete Post.

Image from 2009 sport caught Tiger shark - Bahamas.

‘Corkscrew killings’ of seals linked to propeller systems - is it proof?

The Corkscrew Killer Mystery seems to have been solved...for the moment.

You will remember our wine challenge to researchers in the U.K?

The Challenge

Underwater Thrills is officially offering a fine bottle (signed) of 2005 Floodplain Proprietor Red from Napa Valley, California to any U.K researcher who can prove without a doubt that the Corkscrew Killer is in fact a man made object or machine.

Latest Update - The Herald

Researchers at the University of St Andrews have dismissed claims that sharks, killer whales, illegal traps, fisheries or even deliberate mutilation could have caused the “corkscrew killings”.

Since August 2009, 33 dead seals have washed up on beaches bearing a single, smooth-edged cut that starts at the head and spirals down the body. The bizarre lacerations were widely attributed to shark attacks.

However, experts at the University’s Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), in conjunction with the RSPCA and the Scottish Agricultural College, have concluded the injuries were most likely caused by the ducted propeller systems on ships operating in shallow coastal waters.

The research leader, Dr David Thompson, said: “Investigations have revealed a number of features that show the injuries are entirely consistent with the animals being sucked through large, ducted propellers.

“Our methods included scaled simulations using models that show how the spiral injuries can be created, as well as fine-scale observation of the injuries themselves that show the lacerations were made by the seals rotating against a smooth edged blade, while being dragged past the blade by a powerful force.

“Most diagnostic of all has been the imprint on some animals of the serrated ‘rope cutter’ that is present on most of these types of ducted propellers to stop ropes getting entangled in the propellers”.

To date, most of the injuries have been seen in the Tay and Forth estuaries, north Norfolk in England and Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

The injuries involve a severe, sudden and deadly trauma. Both grey and harbour seals have been involved, but the carcasses recovered were mainly harbour seals.

Complete Story.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Shark-Free Marina Initiative Launches Massive Campaign With Major Celebrity Help

Ecorazzi got the scoop on the Shark-Free Marinas this week with an expose on star power
endorsements for this unique conservation concept:

From Ecorazzi:

What do Nigel Barker, Elizabeth Berkley, Alec Baldwin and Bill Maher have in common? They each support the Shark-Free Marina Initiative!

Here’s the deal: Sharks are disappearing from the world’s oceans at a devastating rate! To help combat this colossal problem, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States have teamed up with the Shark-Free Marina Initiative (SFMI) to help launch a massive new campaign!

Over the next few months, SFMI will be reaching out to marinas across the world and asking them to get involved by prohibiting sharks from being landed at their dock. So far almost 83 marinas have signed up, and the number is growing each day.

Author and fashion photographer Nigel Barker is a strong supporter of the campaign and says, “There are many good fishermen out there who respect the oceans and know that in order to preserve their way of life for future generations we all need to be more aware of our actions and the results they may cause.”

Yes we do!

“Ecorazzi has played an important role in educating the public about the perilous state of sharks,” says Operations Director Patricia Ragan. “We encourage Ecorazzi readers to contact marinas they know to join the Shark Free Marina Initiative. Together, we can save tens of thousands of sharks!”

For more information on the campaign, check out

What DNA tells us about the shark fin trade

In case you missed it the Vancouver Sun in conjunction with Bob Hanner, associate director for the Canadian Barcode of Life, recently took some sharks fin from a series of markets in Vancouver and ran a DNA profile on them.

The results were interesting to say the least.

Fine article, great reporting, and a wake up call.

As we have long said, to combat the global shark fin trade you need to understand it first. One of those critical first steps is not only sampling sharks fin from major trading centers over time, but also analysing the trade routes, distribution centers, online trade, and species connection.

This first step take in Vancouver could also be done in San Francisco, L.A, Las Vegas, just as efficiently.

Any takers?

Tourism operators educating people about Great White sharks

One of the primary functions of commercial shark diving operators worldwide is to inform and educate the public to the positive side of sharks.

Not everyone does this but when they do good media always follows:

ABC News S.A

HENNIE OTTO: We've got some scientific evidence that chumming doesn't really affect the behaviour of the shark being- making them more accustomed to boats and people, etc - or making them more prone to attack human beings.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Hennie Otto from the company Marine Dynamics, which runs Sharkwatch South Africa.

HENNIE OTTO: If the bait line's been pulled away as the animal moves in and that's negative-negative conditioning, if you want to call it that. Um, there's proof that the sharks have been habituated about what we're doing. As soon as you see that they don't get the bait, they usually just swim off. And you rely on constantly new animals coming through on a regular basis for the divers to see them in the cage.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: How important is this as far as the tourism's concerned, to actually educate the people about the shark.

Complete Story.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shark Diver Rick Flaugh 2010 Guadalupe

Rick Flaugh was not sure he wanted to go shark diving as his expedition date to Isla Guadalupe drew closer this year.

He had to get over his fear of swimming first.

We are proud of this newly minted shark diver who met his fears and completed his latest adventure in style.

Here's his story:

Ever since I saw the movie Jaws, the Great White Shark has been an animal that I have admired and dreamed about. Yes, the movie gave them bad publicity, but I was hooked!

I first heard of Shark Diver a few years ago when I saw them on Discovery and wondered if they took anyone out commercially. They did, and I wondered if there was a way to make it happen. A few years passed and I kept wondering if it would be possible. Finally April of this year came around and I said to myself I'm going to do it.

I got booked for a trip going out to Guadalupe on the 16th of October, after having many passport issues, you have no idea, that date was not going to work and Pat Douglas the CEO said he could get me on the next trip out.

Now here is where the story really begins.

At age 10 I had a bad experience at a swimming pool, something that has always stuck with me.

I went through life not knowing how to swim with a fear of water. When Pat gave me the date that I would be leaving, I got on the horn with Morningside College here in Sioux City and began swim lessons.

Yes, a week before the trip!

I went through two lessons on Monday and Tuesday. My fear of water and what was awaiting me was worsening not getting better. I called Patric that Wednesday (a few days form departure) to see if I could get my money. He of course said no, thanks Patric by the way!

I knew I was going to have to conqeur it. I had actually skipped my lesson on Wednesday because I was scared. Thursday came and I went, fear was still there. Friday something started clicking and I was able to stay under water without shooting for the surface, it was getting better. Then Saturday morning went back in, the day prior to me leaving!

I was pretty comfortable underwater at this point, so I asked if we could work on some swimming. Not really thinking anything was going to come of it. Andy Burnham was my coach, great kid. Within a half hour or so, I was swimming across the pool with absolutely no FEAR of sinking or drowning. I was diving underwater and even touching the bottom. Learning how to swim at this point of my life was the greatest thing I've ever accomplished.

I was now excited to be leaving the next morning at 3:00AM to go get on a plane, for the first time of course. Still leery about getting sea-sick and being on a boat for a 20+ hour boatride though. Didn't really get sick, one morning I felt nauseous but it passed.

Once onboard I had other shark divers throwing me compliments and the "are you crazy" look that I was out doing this with no snorkeling or diving experience. It made me feel good about what I was getting ready to do. Yes, my first time under in the cage with a regulator in my mouth was a shell-shocking experience. With some encouraging words from divemaster Martin Graff I went back down and stayed down.

Seeing a Great White for the first time was calming, relaxing, and an adrenaline pumping experience all at the same time! The most missunderstood and beautiful animals in the world, not an opinion that's a fact.

To everyone that helped me do this from my swim coach, Martin, and Shark Diver. The crew aboard the Horizon was top notch, I owe a debt to you guys and gals as well. The food was great, Mark I need to hire you as my chef I hate cooking for myself. I made a few friends amongst the other shark divers as well, people I am and will still keep in touch with.

I'm going to give myself some props as well. My dream of seeing a Great White became a reality and will cherish it forever. Truly for many reasons the best time of my life.

Thanks to everyone!

Rick Flaugh.

Editors Note: Rick you're one of our heroes mate, congrats on the adventure, this was a huge year for you!

Nigel Barker Supports The Shark-Free Marina Initiative

From television's Nigel Barkers blog this week:

Shark overfishing is a serious problem, which threatens the very health of our oceans.

Beginning this month, The Guy Harvey Foundation, The Humane Society of the United Sates and I have teamed up with the Shark-Free Marina Initiative to encourage hundreds of marinas throughout the US and the Bahamas to go ‘Shark-Free” in efforts of saving tens of thousands of sharks each year.

Shark finning and commercial fishing are responsible for the majority of worldwide shark mortality figures, causing these incredible, yet much-maligned creatures to disappear at an alarming rate.

It’s time to take a stand and set an example of sensible conservation that can be globally respected and repeated. There are many good fishermen out there who respect the oceans and know that in order to preserve their way of life for future generations, we all need to become more aware of our actions and the results they may cause.

The SFMI’s singular purpose is to reduce shark mortality. By certifying sport fishing and resort marinas as ‘Shark-Free,’ we can prohibit any shark from landing at these docks, therefore saving lives.

For more information on the initiative, please click here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

An "American Shark Fin" in San Franciso

Originally posted June 2, 2010.

Reality is a funny thing. For example, today I was in a meeting on Clement Ave in San Francisco talking about my favorite subject sharks, and the shark fin trade.

The proposed solutions being bandied about ran the gamut, much of it the same old campaigning rhetoric that's been at the forefront of the anti-shark fin movement for a few years now.

We also discussed the achievements in Hawaii recently, a rare and invigoration success in regional anti-shark fin legislation.

Strolling out of the meeting and walking into a shark fin store just across the street, I was struck by the global trade itself, and how we are not addressing shark fin trade cohesively from the trade side.

The reality of the moment.

If you understand that statement then you understand the need for a radical change in our approach to the global shark fin trade.

If you think we as shark conservationist are addressing the global trade side of shark fins, then continue to drink the cool-aid my friend - and add another petition to the fire.

Reality Number One

Non-Asians, no matter how talented, important, or media savvy can't dictate what Asians may or may not consume.

Reality Number

You cannot frighten your conservation opponent into stopping lawful or illegal trade.

Reality Number Three

The global shark fin trade is like a water balloon, if you squeeze one side it balloons out.

Reality Number Four

Money drives conservation. Without long term conservation funding the effort is not sustainable.

Reality Number Five

Conservation groups spend far too much time searching for money to be effective.

Reality Number Six

Direct action serves only to harden your opposition and drive trade underground.

The global shark fin trade encompasses every coastal nation on the planet, including the USA. It is estimated to be a 500-1 billion dollar industry. It is vertically integrated with well established trade routes. It has politicians, hundreds of thousands of poor people, and even enforcement officials working for it.

Can it be stopped?

That's the million dollar question and all questions begin with a quick reality check.

I am very keen to see the conservation side tap into the unlimited budgets they need to effect conservation change. I am also very keen to support out of the box ideas tackling the global shark fin trade. How about we look at the trade under the global lens and develop unified strategies that work?

Money, enforcement, and strategy will effect conservation change.

Reality Number Seven

Without each side in play, the whole will fail, and that's the final reality of today's reality check.

Patric Douglas CEO

The 4 Lies of Shark Fin Soup - Chuck Thompson

If Chuck Thompson was prize fighter - he would be in the bare knuckles class. As we have been quietly pointing out the shark conservation movement is in trouble when it comes to the plethora of non NGO's who are tackling this global problem.

Not for a lack of deeply held convictions, desire for eco-stardom, media hits, or even petitions.

The movement has plenty of those.

In a recent expose in Guy Harvey Magazine Chuck looks into the shark world, interviewing "the usual volunteer bleeding hearts," to garner non-scientific quotes on the "state of the union" of shark conservation.

In the process the article reveals deep insights into the efforts to date and the Four Lies of Shark Fin Soup.

To that we would like to add a 5th.

The myth that the shark fin trade is run exclusively by Asian mafia. It is not. That misconception has lead many to believe this lawful trade is something sinister, instead of something that can be taken apart by attacking the trade itself.

What's needed is new thinking and a change in tactics because this is eco issue ultimately about trade, not sound bytes, Asians, a soup, or even failed reality television show bids on Animal Planet.

Kudos to Chuck Thompson for the article and the expose. If the movement is serious about saving sharks - it will have to get serious about what it is up against first.

For a deeper look Da Shark in Fiji has posted his four cents.

Making sense - as usual.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Perspective - A hen in the hand...

Last week had one of those sultry days when bright fall colors and cobalt blue skies meet for a last reminder of the summers past and winters to come.

On the Fall river spawning rainbows are bewildered by the abundant late fall hatch. Massive plumes of midges, duns, and mahogany caddis fill the air carpeting the waters surface.

This is feeding time for the rivers largest trout as they fatten up for winter.

Their selectiveness is legendary.

It was into this late fall scene that I arrived with my trusty 5wt rod and some time to reflect on the past year at Shark Diver while discovering a pristine and wild river with its huge trout.

Our 2010 white shark season has been flawless.

The crew of the MV Horizon, Martin Graf, Spencer, Chef Mark and Captain Greg Grivetto have once again introduced divers from all over the planet to the rare and exciting world of the great white shark.

These guys are the premier team at Isla Guadalupe and our divers have been thrilled.

I am always impressed by shark crews who balance excitement with learning, educating divers to come away with a better understanding of the dive site and the animals we work with. We're here ultimately to create advocates for sharks and it's something dive operations manager Martin Graf excels naturally at each and every year.

I was thinking about the 2010 shark season as I watched a three pound hen in a deep feeding lane sip rust colored mayflies from the surface. She was a real looker and I decided to present my best fly to her in the hopes of a splashy surface take. She was not amused and after 7-8 drifts I knew this was going to be a longer romance.

Our film and television side was busy again this year. We just wrapped a shoot with CNN in the Bahamas last month and I am happy to say it was an A-list event. The crew we put together was one of the best I have worked with in a long while. Shooting sharks is no easy task as the shoot we put together this spring with AT and T showed us, sharks have to be in the mood first. Many thanks to Scotty and the first rate boat crew from the MV Kate.

If you're doing shark productions in the Bahamas these are the guys to go with, it's why we work with them.

Back at the Fall river I was in perfect form. The big hen I had my eye on was finally paying attention to the small rust colored caddis I was drifting past her, alternately rushing the fly and then dancing away to return to her feeding lane. It reminded me of this springs white shark adventures in New Zealand and fishing on the Oreti River with good friend Steve Blair.

That was an adventure.

Without a doubt the time I spent on New Zealand's South Island with the 12 white sharks that visited us during that two week stretch was one of the highlights of my professional career. This site is truly one of the last great white shark sites on the planet, the sharks here are not fussy, not like the hen I was trying to entice on the Fall river last week.

The take was almost anti-climatic, the hen gently sipped my fly from the surface and I almost missed the set, but set I did and she took off up stream in a screaming run that took me down to my backing. When a trout this large runs, you run, and I soon found myself stumbling over sunken logs, rock drops, and weed lines in a desperate line retrieving gallop. This old gal knew all the tricks but I have been fly fishing for the past decade so I knew a few as well.

We ended this battle as all good trout battles do with a slide into a soft net, a quick de-hook and a few admiring pictures. She was resuscitated and sent back to her gin clear home waters to continue her magnificent life.

For me, it's the closeout of 2010, the last few shark trips to Isla Guadalupe, and on to 2011 with Tiger sharks and celebrating a decade in the shark diving business. Back in 2001 when I purchased the url and built two titanic shark cages I had no idea of the ride I was strapping myself into.

Here's to new adventures and to some perspective. Time spent on the river always delivers both for me and good things always come out of it.

Patric Douglas CEO

The Demons of Durban - Part I

From the Team Rebel Fishing Blog.

Today's land based shark fishing is 99% catch, tag, and release.

This was not always the case and this week the TRS blog launched a multi-part expose on land based shark fishing roots.

The Demons of Durban

Early in the twentieth century, in a town which is now known internationally for its history of violent shark attacks, a group of men would fish on the legendary South jetty on the edge of the shipping and whaling lanes for grunters and various other pan fish for table fare. But over the course of the years during the South African whaling season, the anglers would constantly see large numbers of massive sharks that entered the lanes to feast upon the whales scraps that were useless to the whalers, and tossed aside into the harbor's dead end.

Every year between May 1st and September 30th, the jetty would be littered with the anglers of the Durban Shark Club, for the sole fact that this was the time period allotted for hunting the Baleen whales that migrated down the African coast. When the whalers would arrive back to port with their catches in tow, the sharks would be nipping at the heels of the boats and their prize harvest.

Many account have even recorded that up till the moment the entire whale carcass was drug up the whaling chute, that there were Zambezi (Bull) sharks, hanging onto the carcass until the last possible moment to get one last chunk of the rich blubbery flesh before they awaited the return of the next whaler in the fleet.

Complete Post.

Breast Implants and Sharks...and has CSI jumped the shark?

Got an email from David Shiffman over at the Southern Fried Science Blog today taking about the long running television series CSI. A recent episode featured a supposed Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) munching on a hotel raver in a Las Vegas wading pool.

A freshwater pool.

The video lead in featured all 17 varieties of breast implants, a few vacuous looking extras dancing to a terrible techno beat, a shark researcher in a chain mail suit, and oh yeah, an actual shark attack.

If David is asking for industry opinions on television shows that jump the shark, we would suggest that all the elements are in play for this shows jump, actually leap, into the fine world of Fonzie's last stunt to long running series irrelevance.

Watch the video:

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States team up with the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative For Historic Campaign

What began as a conservation concept generated by the commercial shark diving industry, in reaction to gravid Tiger sharks being taken in the Bahamas for a few images and a pair of jaws, has, in the hands of a skilled and dedicated team - become a full blown reality.

Welcome to The Shark-Free Marina Initiative.

10.20.2010 — Beginning in October, the Shark-Free Marina Initiative will embark on itʼs largest membership campaign throughout the United States and the Bahamas in order to save sharks. Sharks are disappearing from our oceans at an alarming rate. Therefore, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, and various other organizations have teamed up with the Shark-Free Marina Initiative (SFMI) for a singular, historic purpose: to reduce worldwide shark mortality. SFMI certifies sport fishing and resort marinas as ʻShark-Freeʼ thereby prohibiting any shark from being landed at their dock. The SFMI team is being advised by Dr. Bob Hueter, Director of Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory and John Le Coq, co-founder of Fishpond USA.

“SFMI works directly with the recreational and commercial fishing community to send a clear message,” says Luke Tipple, Managing Director and SFMI founder. “As shark populations are decimated on a global scale we as a species are obligated to pay attention and reduce our wasteful destruction of these incredibly important animals.”

Dr. Guy Harvey, Founder of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, supports SFMI with more than just words.”We put our money where our mouth is,” says Dr. Harvey.”Our Big Game Fishing Marina is completely shark free. No caught sharks can be landed here.” Dr. John Grandy, senior vice president, The Humane Society of the United States, enthusiastically supports the SFMI campaign. According to Dr. Grandy: “Although shark finning and commercial fishing are responsible for the majority of worldwide shark mortality figures, this campaign to encourage hundreds of marinas to
go shark free can save tens of thousands of sharks each year and change perceptions about this much maligned creature.”

Some very important and influential celebrity spokespeople are also teaming up with SFMI. Fashion photographer and Americaʼs Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker feels strongly that we all have to speak out for sharks. “There are many good fishermen out there who respect the oceans and know that in order to preserve their way of life for future generations we all need to be more aware of our actions and the results they may cause.”

Slash, legendary guitarist and founding member of Guns & Roses and Velvet Revolver adds, “It is important to me as a father and concerned human being, that we do all we can to address the wasteful destruction of these amazing and important animals. We must ensure that sharks are around for future generations.”

Shark-Free Marinas has a message that is being heard worldwide. Tipple summarizes “Shark overfishing is a serious problem which threatens the very health of our oceans. Itʼs time to take a stand and set an example of sensible conservation that can be globally respected and repeated. There is a solution, and it starts at our marinas."

About The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nationʼs largest animal protection organization – backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at

About fishpond:
fishpond is a worldwide brand of products designed and manufactured for fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. fishpond was created with the philosophy that innovation, design and a responsibility towards the environment from which we draw our inspiration is critical to our success.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sphyrna mokarran feeding time - Florida

Hat Tip: The Dorsal Fin blog for the amazing video find.

Gives a whole new meaning to catch and release...and recycle:

The LAST Space 2010 Isla Guadalupe - Seriously

We have been sold out for the 2010 white shark season at Isla Guadalupe for many months.

The 2010 season has been one of double digit white shark days, great weather, and thrilled divers.

Our Oct 29-03 departure has one last minute space that just opened.

One of our returning shark divers has developed a scheduling conflict and cannot join us, so this is your chance.

If you have been wanting to join us and cannot wait until 2011, please contact us at Shark Diver.

Lets go shark diving!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Five Pacific nations step up campaign to protect sharks

Pacific Scoop Report – By Jessica Tasman-Jones.

Around the world sharks strike fear in ocean swimmers. But while five people die from shark attacks in an average year, millions of sharks are killed through human fishing.

Last month, five Pacific states and territories signed an agreement for the conservation of the creatures.

The agreement was part of the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) memorandum of understanding which aims to conserve shark population numbers.

The memorandum – which is not legally binding – was developed at a United Nations-backed meeting held in February this year.

At the time of the meeting, 11 states signed the agreement while Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands signed the CMS agreement at the 21st meeting of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) held in Papua New Guinea last month.

A significant cause of declining shark numbers is the popularity of shark-fin soup.

Complete Story.

Bluefin in the Gulf - Ground Zero Oil Spill

Northeast and northwest spawning grounds for Bluefin tuna in the Gulf were at ground zero for Americas worst oil spill on record.

And the fallout is just beginning.

Underwater Times

PARIS, France -- The Gulf of Mexico oil spill couldn't have occurred at a worse time for bluefin tuna: they had come to the area – a major spawning ground – to produce offspring. Satellites are helping assess the damage from the disaster on the fish's spawning habitat.

The majestic Atlantic bluefin tuna, among the largest fish able to grow the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, come to the Gulf yearly from January to June. Their peak spawning time in the Gulf is April and May – just when some 10 million litres of oil a day was pouring into the water following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April.

The commercially valuable fish spawn in surface waters, with females releasing eggs and males following behind to fertilize them. The presence of surface oil could harm eggs, larvae and even adults. With the western Atlantic tuna population's spawning stock declining by 82% over the last 30 years, it is imperative they spawn without disturbance.

Complete Story.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Angela Pozzi - Ocean Artist and Hero

At the intersection of of art and ocean conservation one name stands out - Angela Pozzi.

This unique piece is taken from plastic left overs, things that washed up onshore, transforming man made garbage into art forms that educate and inspire future generations to change.

Her garbage fish has received rave reviews internationally and she is hoping that artists will imitate her unique vision around the planet.

Not a bad idea and not just limited to second hand oceanic garbage.

Imagine a full scale white shark model made from sharks fin. The dollar value of that single piece of art would have quite an impact and for the public a profound visual understanding of sheer waste that is the shark fin trade.

Kudos to Angela for her two ton masterpiece of garbage art.

Impactful? Yes.

NOAA's Back - So Are The Squids

I was in Newport, Oregon this weekend saying hello to a few of the fine folks from the NOAA fleet who call this place home.

The past year has been a remarkable adventure for me personally with adventures around the planet looking for, and finding, white sharks in remote places.

Oregon is home to a healthy white shark population of its own.

But it wasn't the hunt for Carcharodon carcharias that caught my eye this weekend. Newport is also a thriving commercial fishing hub, and on this day I witnessed an ongoing problem for Oregonian fishermen being offloaded on the docks, the Humboldt Squid - Dosidicus gigas.

If you follow this blog you'll know of the work Scott Cassell and others have been doing with this critter in the Sea of Cortez.

As it turns out these animals are on the move, no longer preyed upon by the once thriving populations of blue sharks, mako, and tuna that kept them in check, they are now found on a regular basis in waters that would traditionally mark their arrival as a generational event - not a season one.

On this day I saw over 30 totes of these critters coming off one commercial vessel. There's really no commercial value for these animals and each tote means lost business, perhaps suggesting ecological imbalance.

Make no bones about it the oceans "canary in a coal mine" has eight razor tipped arms, weighs 160 pounds, and is an indiscriminate killer. A big problem, and one that I was fortunate enough to witness first hand in between meetings, slide shows, and a few cocktails with old friends.

Patric Douglas CEO
415.235.9410 on

There's a space on the Internet for "guys only" offering up the best gadgets, dining, hotels, and adventures from around the planet.

It's called Thrillist and last week SharkDiver was front and center talking shark diving to Thrillist members from Miami to San Diego.

Shark Week's about as close as most guys ever get to the beasts, except for those few daredevil divers who ironically can't watch Shark Week, because using a remote requires arms. Just kidding, they're more afraid of you than you are of them!

For proof, check out Shark Diver.

Ready to sea-whisk you 20 hours away to an island 150 miles off the coast of Baja for "guaranteed" Great White swims, Divers is run by an adventure seeking dude who's braved everything from Australian crocodiles, to Peruvian landslides, to Kiwi cyclones, which unlike sharks, don't leave you alone when you poke them in the eye. Anchoring in the 100+ ft visibility-waters near volcanic Isla Guadalupe (the most active white shark spot in the world after that island off South Africa, and...somewhere else), divers'll descend in 4-5 person, 50sqft cages which are air-supplied via surface hoses (eliminating the need for bulky tanks), and've been newly revamped by removing multiple bars for greater visibility, and compacted to "prevent drag", the biggest one of which would be if they improperly removed those bars.

Pricing has also just this season become all-inclusive, with the fee netting you necessities like Mexican dive permits/vessel accommodations/all equipment, and even-more-necessities like unlimited beer and wine (the hard stuff's BYOB), and gourmet eats including dishes like stuffed pork tenderloin w/ balsamic cranberry reduction and vessel-caught, sesame seed-crusted ahi w/ soy/wasabi dressing, and signature desserts like puff pastry stuffed with fresh berries, and a cake they'll bake for special occasions, like "I just emptied my bank account to go shark diving".

If you prefer to be food, they've also just built a non-caged “cinema platform” for more advanced divers/photographers/death-wishers, which's lowered 40ft into the deep blue sea with absolutely no protection for the diver...though it's not like you'd be able to hold on to it for long anyway.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Industry Paper - Developing a Code of Conduct for whale shark interactions in Mozambique


The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a popular focal species within the global marine tourism industry. Although this has contributed to increased protection being granted to the species in several countries, tourism itself can be detrimental to the sharks in the absence of appropriate management. Potential impacts can be mitigated, at least in the short term, by adherence to well-designed interaction guidelines.

A burgeoning marine tourism industry based on swimming with whale sharks has developed at Tofo Beach in Mozambique. However, no formal management is currently in place at this site.

The behaviour of whale sharks during interactions with boats and swimmers were recorded during 137 commercial snorkelling trips run from Tofo Beach over a 20 month period. Whale sharks were encountered on 87% of trips, which operated year-round.

Boat proximity and shark size were significant predictors of avoidance behaviour. No avoidance responses were recorded at >20 m boat distance.

The mean in-water interaction time between sharks and swimmers was 8 min 48 s overall. There was a significant decrease in interaction times during encounters where sharks expressed avoidance behaviours, and also in cases where sharks had expressed boat avoidance behaviour before swimmers entered the water.

It is suggested that mean encounter times can be extended through adherence to a basic Code of Conduct for operators and swimmers that enforces minimum distances between the sharks, boats and swimmers. Using encounter time as a measure of the ‘success’ of interactions holds promise, as longer encounters appear to be indicative of lower impacts on sharks while also providing higher customer satisfaction for swimmers.

Complete Paper.

Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Shark Tourism Under Siege - Hawaii Appeal Denied

When chumming becomes illegal, shark tourism operators often find themselves in a tough battle for legitimacy:

Star Advertiser Hawaii

A state judge denied a request to dismiss charges of illegal shark-feeding against a North Shore ocean excursion employee yesterday as protesters rallied at the courthouse.

Pier Diem District Judge Christopher McKenzie set a Dec. 2 hearing at Wahiawa District Court for the five shark-tour employees. A trial is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 20.

Maurice Lee Chalker Jr., Richard Bock Whyte, Nickolas Gargaro and Eric Christopher Nourrie each have been charged with one count of shark feeding. Kohl William Ragragola was charged with two counts.

Each faces a $100 minimum fine, a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 30 days in jail if convicted.

Attorney Tom Bush, who represents Nourrie, moved to dismiss the charge, but McKenzie denied the request. Nourrie, who was not present, was a deckhand for North Shore Shark Adventures. Bush said Nourrie no longer works for the company.

Complete Story.

Media Meltdown New Zealand - Ouch!

Occasionally we come across a media moment almost too painful to watch.

This is Ex-TVNZ morning show anchor Paul Henry as he mangles the name of India's Chief Minister in Delhi - Sheila Dikshit.

Realizing he's in a media hole of his own making, and sinking fast, he "doubles down" on the insult by making a racist comment, meanwhile his two show hosts remain steadfastly not amused.

If there was an award for "Blind Moronic Decision Making On The Fly" we would like to suggest Paul Henry gets it.

Henry was fired from broadcast television this week and will be attending TVNV's Clown School in the near future in hopes of getting a job with the TVNZ Morning Show with Muppets:

Friday, October 15, 2010

GEERG - Shark Tagging Video

Hat Tip: Dorsal Fin Blog for the nice video find!

Shark Tourism Under Siege - Hawaii

When chumming becomes illegal, shark tourism operators often find themselves in a tough battle for legitimacy:

KHON2 Hawaii

A debate that has churned in waters off Oahu's North Shore headed to court today.

Five men are charged with shark feeding.

Opponents of shark tour operations on Oahu's North Shore claim the practice endangers lives.

"We're all surfers, canoe paddlers, and it's a big public safety issue. And it's not because we're anti-business, if they want to conduct their business, then do it legally and stop feeding the sharks," Mahina Chillingworth of Hui O Hee Nalu.

"The shark tours pose no threat to humans, no threat to the sharks. What we have here is a form of eco-tourism which has really been a boon to the state," said attorney Tom Bush.

A handful of shark feeding opponents were at the Wahiawa courthouse to make sure their message was heard.

"We have thousands of signatures from people on the north shore community that oppose this shark feeding," said Chillingworth.

"There is absolutely not one shred of any evidence to show that these shark tours are not in any way , shape, or form endangering anyone," said Bush.

Complete Story.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Shark-Free Marinas 1500 Marina Push

From the Shark-Free Marinas website this week:

After quite a bit of work from some very capable and knowledgeable people the new Shark-Free Marinas brochures are now available.

They feature artwork generously provided by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and scientific contributions from many of our advisors.

Click on the image for a larger view of the artwork and message. You may also use the link provided to download a PDF version on the bottom.

As you read this these brochures are speeding their way around the USA destined for 1500 marinas around the country. If you would like to recieve a package of 10 brochures please write to and tell us where you plan to hand them out. We suggest going into your local marina, dive shop, tackle store or classroom to talk about the need to protect our sharks.

A very special thanks to all who were involved especially those who let us use their names, message and artwork.

Download PDF version here.

Capt. Rob Kraut - Talking Sharks

A nice little pro-shark article this week by Florida's Capt. Rob Kraut.

I have been diving in South Florida for 7 years now and have never seen a Bull Shark or a Tiger Shark. I know they are out there but I and most of my dive buddies have never seen them.

Tiger Shark are very identifiable because they have faint stripes like a tiger. Bull Sharks have this huge chest cavity that make them look like Arnold Schwarzeneger if he were a shark.

Complete Article.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Undersea Voyager Project - Catalina Island

For the next 6 weeks the Undersea Voyager Project will be at depth in and around targets on Catalina Island. This is the second video in a series featuring the deepest and longest dive to date.

Submarine commander Scott Cassell will also be looking for unique shark species as well:

Gulf of the Farallones The Independent Review

The long awaited Official Independent Review of a 2009 badly hooked shark incident at the Farallones is out and now available to the public.

See review.

While this review goes a long way to addressing the health of a badly hooked shark during Dr. Domeiers tenure at the Farallones, it fails to address many of the root problems with this entire episode.

The stakes for this review are high as these sharks are a protected species, in a National Marine Sanctuary with a long history of pro-shark protectionism that has, over the years, enabled a series of deeply restrictive rules and regulations regarding commercial and public shark viewing at this site.

Questions regarding who was baiting white sharks at the time, who designed the hooks, shark hooking protocol, and many more are left unanswered in this review.

In fact the very nature of this "research" is in question as the research vessel, crew, and funding for this "research" came from Chris Fischer with Fischer Productions who was, at the time, shooting the entire effort for a multi-part National Geographic series called Shark Men.

Within the film and television community this production was considered one of the largest of it's kind. The stakes for National Geographic and for Fischer Productions were high. The series has gone on to be very successful commercially for Fischer Productions and National Geographic television.

The Farallones Manager Maria Brown and her staff knew this. What she signed off on was a hybrid operation comprised of members of Dr.Domeiers staff and that of a film and television production crew.

A crew that also touted a Hollywood actor as participant member (see link).

Never in the history of the sanctuary system, as far as we know, has such a crew been given the green light to bait (with whale meat) and hook a protected species within the boundaries of a National Marine Sanctuary, and no where in the recently released independent review is there mention of this.

So, what ultimately happened?

We might never know. The simple fact is the underpinnings of this review needs to address how the future of shark science is done within a National Marine Sanctuary. If commercial shark diving companies cannot bait, tow decoys, or even be within 164 feet of a white shark then the rules regarding hybrid film and television productions that are doing invasive shark research should be even more restrictive.

Or should they?

There's a white shark with 3/4 of a hook embedded in it's throat right now, a hook the size of a small dinner pan and to this day we have no idea who was on the other end of that baited line. Was that person a production member, or a scientist?

That this shark is still alive should come as some measure of relief to those who signed off on this project.

The fact that the recently released independent review makes no mention of this film and television production with its "trained staff" operating within a National Marine Sanctuary bodes badly for the future of the sanctuary program in general. It also speaks to the continued poor decision making of allowing Hollywood productions to conduct invasive shark research.

Winter migration and diving behaviour of porbeagle shark, Lamna nasus, in the Northeast Atlantic

"Winter migration and diving behaviour of porbeagle shark, Lamna nasus, in the Northeast Atlantic."


The porbeagle is one of the top marine predators in the North Atlantic. However, little is known about its biology, abundance, or spatial ecology there. Results are presented on the migration and behaviour of three porbeagles tagged with archival pop-up tags off Ireland between September 2008 and January 2009. One shark migrated >2400 km to the northwest of Morocco, residing around the Bay of Biscay for approximately 30 days. The other two remained more localized in off-shelf regions around the Celtic Sea/Bay of Biscay and off western Ireland. The sharks occupied a broad vertical depth range (0–700 m) and a relatively limited temperature range (∼9–17°C), with notable variations in diving behaviour between individual sharks. There were distinct day–night differences in depth distribution, each shark being positioned higher in the water column by night than by day. Night-time depth distribution also appeared to be driven by the lunar cycle during broad-scale migration through oceanic waters. Our results show that porbeagles occupy and traverse regions of high fishing activity where they are potentially vulnerable to population depletion. Such large-scale movement outside the ICES Area underlines the need for international coordination in their assessment and management.

Link to study.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shark-Free Marinas - Adding 13 Marinas

The Shark-Free Marinas Initiative has just added 13 more marinas this week - more good news for Florida sharks:

Loggerhead Club and Marinas, operated by Seven Kings Holdings group, have today made a corporate decision to join Shark-Free Marinas. This means that all 13 locations are now registered with SFMI.

There will shortly be an official press release regarding this decision but we would like to extend a peremptory congratulations for being the first corporately owned chain of marinas to join SFMI.

It's not surprising that Loggerhead signed on, after all they already participate in the Florida Clean Marinas program and regularly participate in environmental programs concerning Floridas waterways.

You can see the list of their marinas in our USA business listing here.

Tagging 3000 Sharks - AU Study

Outstanding news from Australia this week as one of the largest of its kind shark tagging projects gets the green light to go ahead:

Scientists from James Cook University will carry out the three-year project, the largest of its kind carried out in 20 years, to determine how to balance shark fishing with supporting stocks in northern waters.

JCU fisheries researcher Andrew Tobin said the project was a necessary step for the long-term sustainability of both the sharks and the fishery.

"Sharks are harvested because shark fillet, often sold as flake, is an important and valuable product within the domestic seafood trade," Dr Tobin said.

Complete Story.

Corkscrew Killers Wine Challenge - GEERG Weighs In

If you want to know about the mysterious world of the Greenland Shark look no further then the fine researchers over at GEERG.

The mission of GEERG is to study the Greenland shark and other northern shark species in their natural environment. The results of our work are made available to the scientific community and to the general public, in particular to divers, academic institutions, schools and museums. Sharks are crucial to the world ocean's equilibrium.

As the prime suspect in the evolving Corkscrew Killer mystery in the U.K, the Greenland Sharks reputation might be misinterpreted, says Jeffrey Gallant, who wrote an Op Ed on the mystery back in June.

The Op Ed is a great read from a front line research team but we're still not convinced the notorious Corkscrew Killer is in fact anything but a shark.

The offer of a fine bottle of California wine still stands for proof of man made object(s) causing corkscrewed seals deaths in the U.K and Canada.

Bahamas Shark Expedition - Good Idea

With the stunning news last month that shark finning was being "looked into" by a seafood export company based in the Bahamas, a counter series of conservation media hits by Wolfgang Leander and others have been highlighting Bahamas sharks as a sustainable resource trying to fend off further shark fin discussions in the region.

Now an expedition with Dr. Guy Harvey and Jim Abernathy is providing a much needed media lift to this discussion by documenting Bahamas sharks.

Good news indeed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

That Travel Chick Joins Shark Diver 2010 - Part Four

That Travel Chick aka Fort Lauderdale's Amanda joined us at Guadalupe Island in 2010 for the ultimate shark encounter. This is Part Four in her ongoing series diving with great whites and Shark Diver.

Her travel series is a must read for budding shark fans worldwide:

Day 2 Diving with Great Whites with a Full BREACH!

Another day starts before the break of dawn. It’s nice getting up and relaxing a bit before they drop the cages in the water. I opted to do shark watch again so that I get extra time in the cages. I went light for breakfast again which is fine. The everything bagels are sooooo good.

I decided that there is never enough suit juice because it’s still a bitch getting into the wetsuit. I spend so much energy trying to get my ass in it. Tomorrow I’m just pouring it all out on myself. Hahaha… I am in the cage by 745am. Not as early as I like but still. Brian was in before me and came out just as I was going in. Nothing happened but the mackerel were plentiful. As soon as the first shift came in the sharks started coming around. I think they may like us. I was in the cage for 2.5 hours straight. I am pretty sure I turned into a human popsicle. I had major camera malfunctions though. My HD camera ended up getting water in it. Stupid lock. They always fail. And the trigger button was getting stuck on my camera case. So I would have to turn it off and aim and then turn on to take a pic. Sucked but did the job till I got out. We got to see quite a few sea lions and sharks together. 3 and 3. That was quite intense to tell you the truth. I wasn’t sure if a sea lion was going to get picked off or not. Did see him hunt and catch a few mackerel which was quite amazing. We all came out of that cage and was like OMG.. that was amazing. I quickly went for the hot water to warm up a bit till the next shift. I wanted as much time in the morning as possible as its when the viz and sharks are plentiful.

So as we are getting ready for the next shift a few of us are watching the sea lions play and frolic in the water, I look to the back of the boat and no more than 5’ away from the cage does a friggin great white shark breach. FULL OUT OF THE WATER BREACH! It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life. This massive creature came up for no other reason than to show off for us. He came straight up, flattened out and dipped down his snout to do a semi-belly flop down. The few of us that saw us, were shouting, screaming, clapping and reliving the moment. Doug came up from the cage and was like OMG… did you see that. He actually got to see him rev up and gain speed to jump out. The rest were all busy looking the other direction at the sea lions. That moment right there was the icing on the cake. We have already exceeded all expectations of the trip by seeing more than the usual number of sharks and now we see a FULL ON BREACH. Yeah. Life is great right now. Of course the few of us are like ok well why don’t we just see a predation and add the cherry to the top. That would be quite amazing but the only killing we have seen are the seals getting mackerel or the damn seagulls getting our chum.

We go in for our last shift of the day and the water is getting a bit more murky and the waves are kicking us around a bit more but we still see a few sharks swimming around and now there are about 10 sea lions around us chasing after the mackerel and just playing and pissing of the sharks where they aren’t coming as close to us. However, one of the sea lions got so close to me that was able to reach out and touch him. That was pretty neat. I probably screwed up his feeding but I was happy.

Come out of the water and I am done for the day. Freezing my arse off and ready to bask in the sun. Which I did til the appetizers came out. It was pineapple, I had to move for that. I was chillin on the sun deck with my cell mates which seems to be a regular occurrence for the 3 of us to do. They are pretty awesome people. I am very happy that I get to share all these moments with them.

Appetizers are amazing. Dinner was the best I’ve had in a while. They grilled up some rib-eyes with a great marinade, cooked to my liking with asparagus and smashed potatoes. I couldn’t get enough but my stomach wouldn’t allow me to finish. Then they sang happy birthday to me and as a candle used a glow stick in my apple pie and ice cream. Best pre-birthday ever. Since we’ll be on the water tomorrow and probably barfing our brains out they figured they would celebrate tonight. I was very touched. This crew busts their ass and they are just great all around people.

The night of course ended out on the back decks with many laughs and stories and smoking. Followed by a B-movie night in the galley by Bruce Campbell. I watched some and it was hilarious. I gotta rent Army of Darkness now.

It’s been quite an amazing day. The best day of my life actually. I’ve seen everything I’ve ever wanted to and dreamed of since I was 7. I’m actually in tears just thinking about it because it’s just a feeling of accomplishment. I came on this trip hoping to find answers to something and I feel pretty damn complete in my life right now. Starting up a new business. Moving in a different direction. It’s all pretty damn scary but I know I can handle just about anything. I always have. It would be nice if it was handed to me but I probably wouldn’t appreciate as much. So I’ll work hard and accomplish my goal that I have set out and by this time next year I hope to be right here celebrating how far I have come. It’s in writing, I have to succeed.

Good night for now. Tomorrow is a brand new day of possibilities.

Sharks we saw Day 2:

  1. Shredder
  2. Ted
  3. Arden grace
  4. Cono
  5. Russian
  6. Chingey
  7. Johnny
  8. Rainbow
  9. One not known as of yet