Monday, July 18, 2011

White Shark Cage Diving Guadalupe 2011

With just a few weeks until our 2011 white shark season at Isla Guadalupe celebrating a decade of successful operations on site we're pulling some old and not so old trip reports written by our divers so you can start getting excited.

T-minus 15 days and counting:

For our divers 2010 has been the Trip of a Lifetime so far. Celebrated with email blasts to friends and Facebook posts to the world.

These lucky divers have met the most charismatic, studied, and filmed white sharks on the planet.

For newly minted Shark Diver Craig Reynolds, nothing but his own Great White Blog to recount his adventures this year would do:

Day 4 – TWO BLACK EYES- Knowing that sharks are active feeders at dawn – due to the favourable light conditions it provides for hunting – my cage team volunteers for early morning “shark lookout.” Really, it just sounds like an extra hour for keeners so we’ll take it, thanks. And one hour quickly turns into two.

The sharks are slow to venture up from the bottom for the first while. Their grey topside blends in almost perfectly with the abyss below our feet. The white tips of their flanks appear to be nothing more than small fish from far away. And as your mind starts to play tricks on you, the small fish start to look like White Sharks.

But by the second day, we’ve grown more accustomed to our steel confines.

Gradually, you start to find ways of hooking your feet around the ladder and pivoting your body like a climber, hanging on to a bar with a couple of fingers while the others hold the camera, and leaning with the current instead of against it. Your movements become more efficient as does your breathing that bordered on hyperventilation the previous day. I can only imagine how fast your heart would race if you were outside of the cage...

Complete series posts.

Bahamas Shark Productions Globo TV

This spring Shark Diver and our film and television crew at Shark Divers was involved with the natural history unit of Globo tv based in Brazil.

With the largest domestic audience in all off Latin America our team was tasked with introducing Brazil to the wild world of the Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier).

The shows host, Claudio, and his crew had been in the Bahamas filming the Blue Holes and cave diving adventures during the previous week. The Bahamas as a dive destination offers multilayer adventures for almost any level of diver, a fact that often gets lost with the focus on sharks and shark diving.

Their crew had run into technical difficulties on one of the islands and called us in the middle of our Gillette shoot asking for help. That help came by way of the Bahamas Film Commission - Donna Mackey.

Donna is perhaps one of the best film production government coordinators we have ever come across and once again with her offices help, the Brazilians made it to Grand Bahama with all their film gear and no hassles.

The shoot took three days. The idea was for close interactions without cages so the audience at home could come to understand a different side of the Tiger shark. With the expert guidance of Capt Rob MacDonald, who remains of the the top shark handlers in the region, the shoot went off without a hitch.

Well almost.

For those that dive Tiger Beach you may have noticed the "beggar sharks". Some folks have started hand feeding the animals. Frankly, we wish that hand feeding would stop because the legacy of those feeds resonates on for weeks later as animals approach new groups of divers seeking hand outs that are not forth coming.

Fortunately we quickly identified the "beggar sharks" and worked around these somewhat pushy critters for a few hours of shark bliss and some epic footage of the Tigers of Tiger Beach.

The show will air nationwide in Brazil this year with some nice conservation talking points from Scotty Grey and Shark Diver. Natural history productions are fun to work on, and with professional dive crews like the one from Globo tv these productions serve to educate and thrill audiences worldwide.

Patric Douglas CEO