Monday, September 27, 2010

CNN and Shark Divers - Part Two

Part One in a recent report on a shark shoot we just completed with CNN as part of a larger documentary series to air soon.

Part Two - Sharks in Da Watah

Day two in the Bahamas last week as the crew of the MV Kate with Blue Iguana Charters, Shark Divers crew (Simon and the Gortons Fisherman), CNN's topside shooters Lando and Leon and Luke Tipple left Grand Bahama to find sharks.

As I mentioned I have never been a fan of one day shoots with animals, for a myriad of good reasons.

Leaving the channel marker this morning was one of them, as the big seas we had encountered in the stream yesterday, driven windy conditions, were on site and jacking up the MV Kate like an old school County Fair Tilta-Whirl.

I have to hand it to all the crews who had never worked together and who were tasked with not-so-prime conditions to work with.

They got the job done.

Lando and Leon being topside guys who had to look through an eyepiece had the worst job on the entire vessel. As anyone who had tried to shoot something on a heaving deck will attest, it takes a special kind of constitution to shoot, stand in place, and still bring home the action. Looking over their passports earlier and seeing all the places they have shot you begin to understand why CNN's news reports are so credible, their shooters are the best in the business.

The underwater team were in 7th heaven as soon as the sharks appeared, which, thanks to Capt Rob from the MV Kate who was pre-prepping the site didn't take long.

Luke Tipple had planned two main experiments with sharks to highlight shark technology. Both experiments were carefully planned and executed by him and his team with meticulous attention to details right down to the color of the underwater rigging.

With the additional distraction of a small high pressure hose issue (by the way Luke we're going to do "something" with that video) the shoot went about as well as you can get when professionals are running the show.

They got the job done in two dives. That's the team.

I was equally impressed with the two CNN producers who joined us as well. Matt S, Jennifer H both worked with their shooters and Luke to ask great questions and really move the storyline to get the best they could out of every minute of the time we had.

In short this was a great shoot with top notch crews.

The trip back to port was uneventful, and after loading up a complimentary case of CNN Pirate Booty (aka Kalik Gold) the vessel was off to Florida and I was on an island hopper with Simon back to Florida as well.

While this latest shoot has not changed my views on one day productions with animals, it is nice to see professionals in action. When the chips are down it's a team effort that keeps it all together and this really was a great team effort.

Patric Douglas CEO

Studying tourism's bite on sharks

Very interesting article this week on a new shark chumming study being done in Australia.

Kudos to the Rodney Fox operation for being involved in this study which will inevitably benefit the entire industry worldwide.

Great industry quotes by Andrew as well.

Image Andrew Fox:

SCIENTISTS are circling cage-diving operators as they try to find out how regular visits from tourists are affecting the behaviour of great white sharks.

Shark ecologist Dr Charlie Huveneers, from the South Australian Research and Development Institute and Flinders University, is leading the study.

The study aims to ensure cage-diving is safe for both the tourists and the sharks because great whites are a protected species threatened with extinction.

He said both of the existing tour operators used berley - a mixture of tuna blood, mince and offcuts - and baits to attract sharks without feeding them.

Preliminary research, in Australia and overseas, suggests sharks lose interest over time.

"The shark seems to come close to the boat for the first three or four days," he said. "After that they don't seem to be attracted by the berley as much."

Complete Story.

Mexico Premier - Trip Report 2010

If you're looking for information on travel and adventure in Mexico look no further then the good folks over at Mexico Premier Online.

This week they printed a 2010 Isla Guadalupe trip report penned by newly minted Shark Diver, Drew Grgich.

Our 2010 shark diving season has been one of the best on record. Many thanks to the shark divers from around the planet (as far away as Hong Kong) who joined us this season to experience Carcharodon carcharias at the greatest site on the planet.

We have exactly two spaces left on the 2010 season. These are deep discount spaces on an expedition we just added to the line up October 9-14 departing from San Diego, Ca.

Join us.