Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Old School Diving with Sharks

As the owner of a commercial shark diving company I marvel at many of the images I see these days of divers with sharks.

There's a grace and fluidity in these images that stops you in your tracks sometimes.

Not too long ago divers had a very different relationship with the oceans and sharks limited by technology and the lack of understanding about sharks in general.

The fundamental change in perceptions about our toothy friends started almost 30 years ago and has continued to change exponentially over the past decade to today.

The growth of shark diving as a sport has been a bright spot in the dive world. In a time when scuba shops and dive operations all over the world have been feeling the effects of dramatic global economic change, commercial shark diving for the most part has seen growth.

Yes, growth.

A few years ago when the economic winds of doom hit the US I was quick to point out that in a time of downturn divers would flock to adventures and marine encounters that delivered real and lasting vacation memories. I was correct.

As a growth potential commercial shark diving has yet to fully hit its stride, but that does not stop me for longing for the days when hard hat divers in old school Mark V diving helmets scoured the ocean depths perchance to encounter a curious Tiger and come back with tales of extreme danger, romantically spun for anyone who would listen.

We have come a long way since then.


Patric Douglas CEO

1 comment:

Felix Leander said...

I get a lot of these stories first hand - diving tales from the 50s and 60s...the ecstasy of having a mask that allows you to the first shark encounter...definitely have an appreciation to what you are talking about.