Wednesday, February 13, 2008

5 Questions with a Shark Diver

We caught up with Shark Diver Derek Heasley owner of the online underwater image site Sea Pixels. When he's not shooting some of the closest shark shots on the planet he's usually to be found in Ireland. He just stepped off a 14 day adventure in Socorros with the Nautilus Explorer.

1. What draws you to sharks?

They are shaped beautifully. Just look at the curves on them. They are streamlined for perfect hunting. I get a huge thrill taking images of this shape in motion. From a tiger sharks snout to a basking sharks mouth. There is a lot to see.
2. How hard is it to shoot sharks vs say, blennys?

Blennys are beautiful also.They generally stay in their own area and pop their little heads out to see whats going on. Always a close background in the image. Sharks are always on the prowl and open water is where their at. Blennys tend to be easier by their nature. Stay still and a 105mm macro lens, your sure to get a good image. With sharks its a different ball-game. I mostly stay still when the sharks are around and use either 10-22mm or 18-55mm lens. If your shooting
upwards, watch out for your air bubbles in the frame.

3. Favourite shark story?

Coordinating a photo shoot with a great white and a diver. We noticed the great white sharks were coming up to try catch the bait on the surface. We were cage diving at Guadalupe with Shark Diver. But myself and Colin Ball from England arranged that when I give him the thumbs up sign, that he was to face me and put his two thumbs up while I captured the great white which was right behind him...We couldn't have planned it any more precise. I couldn't have laughed anymore while taking the images:)

4. Your take on shark finning and what to do about it?

Its like somebody coming up to you and cutting your arms and legs off.Then walking away.I think there must be a huge demand for these fins. You and I know that if you eat shark fins its no more going to cure you and make you healthy than it is if you drink pints of Guinness...If there was a pro active government agency in country's where shark finning takes place. A simple education system that categorically list benefits of NOT finning. So education is key.

5. Where's your next dive adventure?

Well, I live in Ireland, so there is plenty of good diving here. Abroad, I think the Coco Islands for the Hammerheads.

Editors Note: We could not agree with you more!

Lava Lamps For Scuba Divers

You had to know this was coming. For all you desk bound scuba fans who would rather be out in the deep blue playing with all manner of big toothy sea critters, here is the ultimate Lava Lamp.

At $169 it gets you where you want to be...at least for 15 minutes. While the promotional video below will put you to sleep, we still think this is pretty cool, and hey, it's a hit in Japan!

O.K, cube dweller, back to $$work$$!

Tiger Beach Bahamas 2007

"After the tenth Tiger Shark showed up I was saying to myself, whatever is going to happen…is going to happen!" explained Luke Tipple, dive operations manager of Shark Diver with a wry smile. This year Shark Diver continued to set the standard for shark eco-tourism as the only company in the Caribbean giving adventure seeking diver’s access to multiple Tiger Sharks-with submerged shark cages.

"It can be a bit unnerving sometimes," explained Patric Douglas, CEO of Shark Diver. "Tigers are perhaps the most curious of the large predatory sharks, they love coming in close to say hello." Until very recently adventure seekers wanting to meet the world's “other” top ocean predator could only do so in rare instances. Since the discovery of Tiger Beach, located in the Bahamas all that has changed. Divers worldwide are discovering the ease of travel to and from this pristine shark site along with the sheer numbers of animals once they arrive.

Shark Diver wrapped its 2007 shark diving season at Tiger Beach with an unprecedented 11 Tigers at the same time at the same place. “This is perhaps the greatest massing of wild predatory sharks on the planet right now unless you’re lucky enough to encounter a migration like Hammerheads,” says Tipple.

This seasons dive groups included several from Germany and the U.K, plus individual divers from as far away as Canada.

Shark Divers' seven-day Tiger expeditions include side encounters with wild dolphins and alternate dive sites for regular non-shark related diving. 2008 will see the roll out of a new upgraded shark operations vessel and departures from Freeport, Bahamas aboard the RV Tiburon with new dates coming in October 2008!

Since 2002 Douglas and his company Shark Diver have also offered Great White Shark cage diving and other wild shark encounters worldwide.

To book a wild shark cage diving adventure with the crew of Shark Diver, call 415.235.9410