Thursday, January 31, 2008

China Olympics: Speed Whale Shark Champions

China Daily, Shengzuo--As The Peoples Republic of China prepares to host the 2008 Olympics,China's Demonstration Sports Committee invited the International press corps to preview it's latest team sport-"Competitive Speed Whale Shark".

With it's early roots in logging this latest demonstration sport will be included in this years 2008 Olympic Games to promote the local sport and to gauge interest and support.

Speed, accuracy and safety are hallmarks of these three day medal events that include the complete disassembly of 60 foot Whale Sharks by sweaty teams of "Sawyers".

"It is our hope the world will adopt this sport for future Olympic Games before we run out of sharks" said Liu bo Xiang, Team Captain, recent medalist, and three time "Sawyer Champion".

The following Underwater Onion was brought to you by Shark Diver.

Seriously, the Olympics would be a great place to highlight the fact that 80% of the worlds 100 million shark fins go to China.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fathoms Magazine

Update: Since this blog post the publisher of Fathoms Magazine "took over" the magazine and killed it leaving behind many unfulfilled subscribers.

Cancel your Nat Geo membership...lock your kids and your wife in the car, and get ready to have your entire underwater world rocked.

This is Fathoms Magazine and they are on a mission to change the way you look at underwater images and dive adventures...forever.

We just got our latest installment this week. This underwater mag's hallmarks are big juicy images paired with great writing. Under the guidance of Ethan Gordon (editor) Fathoms has blossomed into the leading underwater magazine of our time.

Oh, and he's one of the industries nicest guys as well. Enjoy!

Shark Cages: Building 'em Since 2002

In a world filled with "broken promises" it's nice to know you can absolutely rely on some things.

Case in point Shark Diver shark cages. Used on more private yachts worldwide than any other shark cages, in fact, we're pretty sure we're the only company on the planet who furnishes shark cages on an industrial scale.

To date none of the shark cages provided by Shark Diver have failed the test of weather, water, or sharks.


After all, our cages are designed to tackle 16 foot-2300 pound Great Whites in every condition imaginable. Keeping divers safe, while providing them with comfort, and thrills, since 2002.

If you were curious about "other" shark cages, let us introduce you to the competition at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.

They maintain the following claim on their website:

"Our cages have set the industry standard for excellence. Our design and application is the envy of all other operators ".

Here's the video from their operation in 2007 to prove that claim:

Adopt A Shark

Mexican shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos is in the eco news-this time with the internationally recognized Adopt a Shark Program.

Adopt a Shark is a unique way for the public to support shark and ray conservation primarily in Mexico, but they are branching out worldwide.

You literally Adopt a Shark that get's tagged and tracked. Your donation pays for the tracking tags-and for guys like Mauricio to stay in the field for months on end.

Research dollars for shark conservation are at all time lows in Mexico. We would know. Without serious researchers like Mauricio with the backing of CICIMAR and U.C Davis the future of shark conservation in Mexico is pretty bleak. To enact any rules and regulations protecting wild animals-all governments demand solid research data.

Here's the recorded shark catch just in the Sea of Cortez:

1994-10,000 sharks
2004-300,000 sharks (Asian Fin Market)

Adopt a Shark today, it really is a race against time:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Japan:Greenpeace Out-Sea Shepherd Remains

As you know we have been following the 2008 Southern Sea whale hunt this year with keen interest.

First there was the Sea Shepherd vs Greenpeace war of words. The "who was more green" eco-ocean smackdown.

Then, three weeks ago, we covered the ongoing Sea Shepherd stink bomb throwing hippie hostage standoff with the Nisshin Maru.

We also covered Yokozuna Asashoryu, Tokyo's top Sumo wrestler's open wrestling challenge to Sea Shepherds captain-Paul Watson. Man, what a season!

And now, after two full months of chasing the bad guys and world attention, sadly, Greenpeace is withdrawing their vessel from the hunt due to lack of fuel.

This leaves the anti-whaling eco ball squarely in the "Jesters Court" with Sea Shepherd and their somewhat crazed crew of die hards. If we were betting folks (and we are) this is how we think the 2008 Southern Seas whale hunt is going to end:

1. Japan will start killing whales again
2. Watson's Vessel "Steve Irwin" will ram and sink the Nisshin Maru
3. Huge media frenzy

Dive Site Of The Week

As we gear up for another month in the Bahamas to go play with Tigers this year-we just can't help pointing out other dive sites for your review.

A lot of shark divers think that you have to "go with the pro's" and that's just not the case. For example, this video was sent in to us today by Jillian and Tom. Apparently, this is Kuramathi Island in the Maldives- and from the looks of things we'll be diving here soon.

Not all sharks will allow divers to just jump in with them, but if this was us, at this site, we would be in there with those critters faster than Jimmie Johnson at NASCAR.

Grab a tank, snorkle, mask, and get in the water. The shark diving is fine:

Sand Tigers: Hit Men of The Aquarium

We have a lot of respect for big Aquariums.

It's not easy maintaining all that diverse underwater wildlife inside 300,000 gallons of saltwater.

Ever tried to maintain a goldfish?

Then again, you'll have have to shake your head harder than a Sand Tiger with a fresh kill in it's mouth when you see this next video.

Yesterday at the Mall of America in the World's Largest Underground Aquarium a Sand Tiger took out a perfectly good White Tip.

We called Steve Blair assistant curator of the Aquarium of the Pacific for clarification, "These guys are known in aquariums as reactive hunters, they bite other animals quite frequently. The good news is they do not have tearing and ripping teeth, otherwise that white tip would have been a goner".

Which reminds us to remind you. Never trust a Sand Tiger. Here's the story and here's the video:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Great White Shark Diving with

Oct. 1-5 2007: Great White Shark Diving with Shark

Let me start off by saying that this is the third trip I have taken with Shark to Isla Guadalupe. My first trip in Oct. of 2005 was so amazing that I immediately started counting down the days until I could return again and signed up for the following year. My Oct. 2006 trip was even better and, once again, I signed up for another tour at Guadalupe. I thought I knew what to expect this third time around and was even worried that I might not have as good of a time going back again. I was WRONG!!!

The first difference on this trip was plan for departure. Due to the new passports requirements, instead of boarding the boat in San Diego, we took a bus down to Ensenada and boarded the boat there. The bus ride went by pretty quickly as I took the time to get to know some of the people I would be sharing small spaces with for the next week. We also had a little sight-seeing along the way including a great view of one of the largest's tuna fisheries around.

Once all the gear was loaded and we were assigned our cabins, the boat headed out for the long ride across the Pacific. I had my first inclination that this trip might be a little special when we had the pleasure of cruising with a huge pod of pilot whales. I had only seen one in the wild before and there must have been 50 in this pod. They actually swam with us for a while and seemed to be playing with the wake of the boat.

After a nice day of getting to know my shipmates and watching the pilot whales, we sat down to our first dinner on board. The meal was the equivalent of anything served at some of the finer restaurants in the Bay area – a far cry from the greasy burgers one might expect to eat on a typical fishing vessel. With a fantastic meal and some red wine performing an elegant dance in my belly, I descended down into my bunk to let the boat gently rock me into my oceanic slumber.

The next morning, we arrived at the island, anchored and the crews immediately began to prepare for three days of diving. The first shark showed up before the cages were even completely setup - yet another sign that we could be in for an unbelievable week!

There are two cages that comfortably hold four divers each so there are hourly rotations with eight divers. With only 16 divers max, that means you are in the cage for an hour and topside for the next hour all day - plenty of dive time for everyone! I ended up in the second rotation which gave me time to get my camera gear setup and let my breakfast settle a bit. That was the start of three solid days of non-stop action and excitement!

There were sharks on every single rotation and when I say sharks plural, I mean it! There were multiple sharks each time and several times, I counted five different sharks circling the cage during one rotation. Sometimes they took turns coming up for a close look at us in the cages. Other times they ambushed us in pairs. The "slow" times were when sharks just circled the cages below - still in sight, but not close enough to see the pupils of their eyes!

As if multiple Great Whites on the cage at a time wasn't enough, the next thing that happened caused my jaw to drop to the bottom of the cage. I was watching one large female (named Chica) slowly cruising around with an entourage of three smaller males following her around. They were swimming faster, circling each other, facing off, darting up to the cages and then back down to follow her again. That is when the unexpected happened. One of the young males abruptly turned his head up, got completely vertical and then put on the speed - straight up and OUT - he just DISAPPEARED! We had just witnessed a Great White breach and we had a front row, underwater seat to that amazing spectacle! I couldn't believe my eyes!!

And that was STILL not all that was going to make this the most amazing trip I have been on to date! Not only did we witness more breaches, but my cabin-mate actually caught the first one on camera!! She was supposed to be in the cage with me and would have seen it from underneath, but she had been feeling ill that morning and was sitting on the top deck trying to get some fresh air. She had her camera in her lap, heard the splash, looked up and raised the camera just in time to snap the shot! I have to admit that I was a little (ok, maybe a LOT) jealous that she was able to get the shot, but I was more excited than "green" .

You think I'm done, right?? Well, not quite yet!! On the third day of diving, I dropped in the cage for another rotation and still hoping to get "the shot". About 10 mins. into the rotation, there was a strange "vibe" in the water and I saw tons of bubbles from the panga boat circling above. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I knew it was BIG. Then the cage was pulled over to the boat and the divemaster was knocking rapidly on the cage. I looked over and my cagemates were starting to exit. All kinds of reasons started going through my head about why we had to be pulled out of the cage so rapidly. However, NONE of them were correct!!

It was a predation!!! The topside group had actually witnessed a Great White kill a seal and they were pulling us all out of the cages so we could join in and watch the feeding. I had never seen so much bright red blood in the water. I was mesmerized by the scene that was unfolding in front of us. The video was posted on YouTube, but if you haven't seen it yet - you should definitely check it out!! Here is the video:

Talk about ending the trip with an exclamation point!!! WOW! It just can't get better than that...or CAN it? Well, for me, there was one more event that was the icing on the cake. It was the final rotation of the final day and I was still snapping off pictures of the sharks who had been visiting all week long. There were only about 15 or 20 minutes left before we would have to return to our normal lives when my favorite shark of all time decided to pay us a visit - the infamous SHREDDER!!! I was so excited, that I actually screamed out his name through my regulator and tried telling all my cagemates that THIS was the shark I had been talking about all week. He came at the bait on my side of the cage and opened wide so I could get the shot I had been waiting for - mouth open wide with gill slits showing!

If you are looking for a trip to take or are one of those people who have always wanted to see a Great White, but just haven't made it happen, I would highly suggest you put this trip on the list. It is truly an amazing adventure!!

Christie Fisher

Underwater Website Of The Week

Daniel Botelho is from Rio de Janeiro "Land of the Carnival".

It's also the land of truly vibrant colors, which would explain the images in Daniels website all of which you'll probably need a pair of old school Ray-Bans to look at.

If you're like us you measure your time underwater in glorious weeks spent in exotic locals with dollar beers and lot's of sharks. If you're not perhaps these images will lead you there.

Welcome to your Underwater Moment of Zen..Rio Style!

Shark Trust Wines:Eco-Cool

Sharks and Vino?

Shark Trust Wines just emailed us their 2007 synopsis...and business is good. You may want to check
these guys out for your 2008 Shark Week B.B.Q.

Best of all
10% of all wine sales go back to shark research. Shark Trust has been a huge supporter of the Isla Guadalupe Fund.

Shark Trust Highlights of 2007:
Customer Base: Currently distributed in 19 states and growing.

Aquarium Relationships: Now actively working with several well-respected aquariums in the US to increase brand awareness and support ocean conservation. Donations made to Florida Aquarium, Mote Marine Labs, Birch Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Aquarium of the Pacific - Long Beach, UC Davis research team, Coast Keepers.

Press Coverage: Fox News, Dive News magazine, AOL,Good Morning America, CNN, Washington Post and Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Here's where you go to get yours!

Steve Zissou: You Had Us At "Cousteaus Cronies"

Every once in a while along comes an underwater movie that you just have to buy...and then covet like that little grey critter from the Lord of the Rings. This is one of those movies, and this is one of this moments-check out the crew member "looking busy" in the background:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Never Piss Off A Mako Shark

There are several reasons you might consider not pissing off a Mako Shark.

Number One: These critters are less than forgiving when it comes to those who add baits to hooks for the express purpose of killing them.

Enter a young fisherman from Australia this week (where else). Seems that he, along with his jolly crew of fellow beer fueled miscreants, failed the "How to Handle a Pissed-Off Mako 101 Class".

Shark Attacks Australian Fisherman on Boat Deck

BRISBANE, Australia – A 200 pound 10 foot- mako shark attacked a fisherman on his boat deck, biting him on the leg after the man reeled it in while fishing off Australia's east coast Sunday, an official said.

Witnesses say the shark immediately "whipped around" and bit into his right calf after he stepped on its tail. "They could not release the shark from the leg at all until they had cut the shark's head off".

As huge shark fans ourselves we cannot help but point out the obvious here. For those of you who need it spelled out here's the 1-2-3:

1. Don't fish for sharks
2. Don't drink beer and fish for sharks
3. Never step on a 10 foot Mako

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Six Gill Shark: Rare Find

It's not every day you happen to be walking along the beach and discover a Six Gill Shark. Normally you find these critters at depths up to 1500' and greater.

The Six Gills we have encountered were typically shy, rare, and amazing animals to see in person. These ancient sharks have spiked and serrated teeth that rip and tear the meat off of whatever dead animal drifts down to the cold dark depths.

You can only imagine this guys surprise when a 9 foot beast washed up on his local beach this week:

"Poulsbo resident Andy Woodford was combing the beach for shells when he made the unusual find. The shark is an immature sixgill female, found with no signs of trauma or obvious cause of death."

Here's the whole story

Waiter,There's A Worm In My Salmon

A somewhat dis-gusting warning today about a parasitic worm that causes big problems in humans. You get these nasty critters from eating Salmon.

According to this diagram put out by the CDC-dolphins are in on it too. You should never trust a dolphin, dammit.

Anisakis simplex-In North America, anisakiasis is most frequently diagnosed when the affected individual feels a tingling or tickling sensation in the throat and coughs up or manually extracts a nematode (that's a live worm people).

In more severe cases there is acute abdominal pain, much like acute appendicitis accompanied by a nauseous feeling. Symptoms occur from as little as an hour to about 2 weeks after consumption of raw or undercooked seafood.

Here's the gross part:

"With their anterior ends, these larval nematodes from fish or shellfish usually burrow into the wall of the digestive tract occasionally they penetrate the intestinal wall completely".

What can you do to protect yourself?

1. Always cook your fish
2. Never buy fish on sale
3. Eat Kobe Beef

Friday, January 25, 2008

TED: If You Don't Know You Should

We know deepwater adventures like few others out there. When it comes to deepwater exploration legends like David Gallo and his talk about Celaphopods-who doesn't have 3 minutes to watch this:

Shark Handler

Japan: Whale Update "It Ain't Over"

As the old saying goes, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings"...the same is true apparently for this seasons Southern Ocean whale hunt.

As reported this week by Shu-Ching Jean Chen the Hong Kong-based staff writer at it looked like all was over with the factory ship Nisshin Maru leaving the operations area. In fact Japan officially announced to the entire world last week that they had stopped whaling.

Turns out that's just a ploy, you know, for the major media folks, bloggers, and others. Sneaky whalers indeed!

So, what's the real deal in the Southern Ocean these days?

If you can push past the non profit war mongering between Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace- here's their blogs from the front lines. When you cannot rely on the major media to give you the scoop go to the source, just be prepared to donate to the cause.

Greenpeace and here's Sea Shepherd's take.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Japan: Whale Hunt Causes Fashion Crisis

Tokyo (CMN)- Fashion editors from "The Tokyo Look Book" have declared a nationwide fashion emergency on the heels of Japans announcement and early recall of the entire southern whale hunting fleet.

"In an effort to increase sales of canned whale meat the government issued 4.2 million See No Evil-Double Happiness whale eating masks this winter" said Editor in Chief-Tomohiko Taniguchi, during a rushed press conference held at the Four Seasons Chinzanso Hotel.

"With the unexpected end to this seasons whale hunt, these whale eating masks will now sit idle in peoples kitchens. Already we are seeing inappropriate use of these masks with small children in playgrounds and in gyms nationwide".

Japans Prime Minister Fukuda issued the following statement, "The government is asking people to stay calm at this time. While our whaling fleet was unable to harvest enough whale meat this season-remain assured that our whaling fleet will continue it's hunt next year and you'll all get to use your whale eating masks".

The following underwater Onion was brought to you by Shark Diver. Whale Meat-the other, other, other red meat.

Japan: Whale Game Played Out

Japan conceded a rare defeat today and pulled it's processing ship Nisshin Maru out of the Southern Ocean whale hunt operations area.

Without a high tech factory ship to process whales from majestic sea born animals into fancy little cans- the ships that hunt them are next to useless.

"The Japanese government said Monday that its state-sponsored whaling fleet had stopped hunting after 10 days of harassment by the environmental activist groups Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary near Australia."

That's the good news.

The bad news is the Japan does not look like it will be giving up it's "Love of the Whale" anytime soon. So, we'll all be forced to watch the southern spring drama unfold again next year as whalers and the anti-whaling activists clash again over government-sponsored "scientific" whaling expeditions.

The final score for this year is:

Japan-300 whales
Sea Shepherd- 1 whale boat
Greenpeace- 2 whale boats

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shark Diver Featured at Aquarium of the Pacific

IRVINE, CA- A precarious population of great white sharks and the ongoing scientific research intended to secure their survival is the subject of Island of the Great White Shark, a just completed documentary film by RTSea Productions. The high definition video production will receive an exclusive V.I.P. premiere on January 22nd at the Aquarium of the Pacific, located in Long Beach, California.

The event highlights a three-year effort by filmmaker Richard Theiss to provide the first comprehensive look at the great white sharks found at the remote Mexican island of Isla Guadalupe, Baja. The film explores many of the issues surrounding these highly misunderstood animals, the efforts of dedicated shark researchers to study and protect them, and the unique cooperative relationship that exists between the researchers and eco-tourism operations.

"These are absolutely magnificent creatures living on a razor's edge of possible extinction. And there are some very dedicated people working tirelessly to prevent that. This is a story that needed to be told," says Richard Theiss, RTSea Productions, executive producer and cinematographer.

Theiss came to see Isla Guadalupe's great white sharks three years ago as a passenger aboard a shark diving expedition led by Shark, a leading eco-tourism operator that charters boats from San Diego, California to make the 210-mile journey south to Isla Guadalupe. What started out as an exciting adventure turned into a passion to document the work of Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, a young Mexican shark researcher, working under the supervision of leading shark experts in the United States and Mexico and aided by the support of eco-tourism operators, like Shark, that frequent the island in the fall months when migrating great white sharks arrive to feed on seals and tuna that inhabit the island's waters.

Island of the Great White Shark, featuring dramatic underwater close-ups of great white sharks and exclusive footage of various research techniques, paints a portrait of the great white shark as a vital but cautious ocean predator - in contrast to its more public image as a malevolent man-eater. The film also illustrates the destructive and inhumane practices imposed upon sharks by the commercial shark fishing industry. Estimates run from 40 million to as high as 100 million sharks being killed each year either for their fins or as accidental by-catch. "Sharks populations are being decimated - all for a bowl of soup or a supposed homeopathic cure. For great whites, like those at Isla Guadalupe, you have to add the threat of poachers seeking souvenir jaws and teeth from one of nature's top predators. It's insanity and emblematic of what's wrong with our environmental priorities," says Theiss.

About RTSea Productions
RTSea Productions, based in Irvine, California, is dedicated to capturing nature and underwater images that will impress and move viewers to preserve and protect our precious natural resources - above and below the waves. RTSea has provided video and still production services for National Geographic, PBS, InMER, Aquarium of the Pacific, and others.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Life of Brian:Not the "Peoples Judean Front"

The Advertiser--Seal Recovers From Shark Attack.

An emaciated seal pup named "Brian" by his care givers washed up on the shores of Gleelong, Australia (where else?) this week. The pup was attacked by a shark and starved for three days on the beach while his wounds became infected.

Luckily, plucky "Brian" was discovered on Indented Head beach and concerned beach-goers contacted Leopold Wildlife Shelter and Wildlife Rescue Service. Think Steve Irwin in even tighter shorts.

Wildlife angels David and Helen Burrell swooped in and picked up the emaciated seal a week ago and have given him around-the-clock care since. Mr Burrell said the seal, which they christened "Brian", was "very lucky''.

Here's the whole story and a bonus video from Monty Pythons "Life of Brian":

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Japan: Sumo Champion Challenges Paul Watson

Japan (CMN) Yokozuna Asashoryu, Tokyo's top Sumo wrestler, issued a wrestling challenge to Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd today.

Known in Japan as the "Can Crusher" Mr. Asashoryu is currently defending himself on two charges of child endangerment after issuing a similar challenge to Tokyo's Boy Scouts Troop No.14 for the right to sell cookies door to door. He went undefeated in 16 matches against the troop leaving some with broken bones.

Paul Watson is currently chasing elements of Japans whaling fleet in the waters of Antarctica, where two of his crew members are being held as "hostages" on board Japanese vessel Yushin Maru No. 2.

"We will decide the fate of these two crew members and the future of Japans whale hunt in the ring of honor" Yokozuna shouted to a sold out crowd of fans at Tokyo's Staples Arena.

Japans Foreign Minister, Masahiko KĊmura, has agreed with the challenge saying "Mr.Watson should join us here in Tokyo rather than attempt to interrupt our Glorious Imperial...ahem...peaceful whaling fleet in Antarctica".

Sea Shepherd has been unavailable for comment.

This current underwater Onion was brought to you by Shark Diver. The news just keeps getting stranger.

Whale War Update:Australia Sends in Vikings

Who even knew Australia had a navy?

Turns out they do and today they sent the good ship Oceanic Viking to the rescue of two protesters from Sea Shepherd who are being "held hostage" on board a Japanese whale ship.

CNN--Australia has sent a customs ship to retrieve two activists who were seized by a Japanese whaling vessel, the country's foreign minister said. The transfer, if successful, would end a tense two-day standoff in Antarctic waters.The Australian ship, the Oceanic Viking, was within sighting distance of the Japanese whaler Thursday.

So that just leaves us with one question: What Now?

Japans whaling fleet is on target to harvest 1000 whales this year, thus far they have only taken an estimated 300. Regardless of this "hostage drama" side event which has all the earmarks of a classic "don't taze me bro" moment, the question remains, how to stop another 700 whales from being slaughtered this year?

As always we'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Great White Sharks:Do The Dew "Classic"

What's not to like about this video?

Every once in a long while along comes a commercial that rips through conventional shark wisdom like a hot knife through buttah. This video was no exception to that fine rule.

Featuring the on screen talents of Chris Fallows from South Africa (Air Jaws) and the now deceased Aidan Martin (ReefQuest).

You can count on us to dig up the good stuff:

The Front Lines of Stupidity?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

High Seas Drama or High Seas Drama Queens?

As we feared the high seas drama that is Japans 2008 Southern Seas Whaling Expedition has taken a turn for the bizarre today.

Crews from the Steve Irwin-the all black Vader-esque anti-whaling chase boat owned by Paul Watson from Sea Shepherd has made contact with Japans whaling fleet and the Yushin Maru.

What has transpired is something right out of Moby Dick. Turns out members of the Steve Irwins crew have been lashed to the main mast of the Yushin Maru in "freezing conditions" and not even allowed the basic rights to a hot chocolate with marshmallows on top- a time honored right granted to them under the Third Geneva Convention of 1949.

Naturally, this event has caused a minor international incident and the news media is running like a panicked herd of Wildebeast with this "high seas drama" story.

In our book anything that causes even the casual media reader to stop and say "wait a minute" is good media. As far as the anti-whalers are concerned their position can be summed up with the following quote from good old Captain Ahab and Khan from Star Trek:

"No. No, you can't get away. 'From Hell's heart... I stab at thee. For hate's sake I spit my last breath... at thee'."

The fine whaling folks in Japan should reconsider whaling as a vocation and also reconsider the taking of hostages-that's so 1980's.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Great White Predation Video-Close Encounters

Shot in part by Mexican white shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos at famed white shark dive site Isla Guadalupe in 2007.

This amazing shark video remains one of the highest quality to date, documenting a successful predation on a Northern Elephant Seal.

The entire attack and 700lb seal ingestion took approximately 9 minutes:

Aussies Flee "Terror Shark"-Cirque Cast Member Saves Beachgoers

Here we go again.

It must be a slow summer in Australia this year as shark stories have all but infested the front pages of the media down in the land of sun and surf.

At hand this week a small Hammerhead Shark washed up on a local beach and was quickly nabbed by a vacationing performer from Cirque du Soleil.

Actually that's not a member of Cirque. But that really is the official dress code for the Surf Lifesavers in Australia. The huge crowd of onlookers and laughing children were not there because of the shark.

Which brings us to the main point here. Sharks-especially small ones like these-are not dangerous to swimmers. Media hysteria and world opinion continues to demonize these magnificent predators and allow the slaughter of millions each year for just their fins.

Something to think about the next time you hear someone yell "shark!" at the beach.

If it was us we would be in the water faster than an Australian Surf Lifesaver could strap on his cool looking Beenie-Cap.

5 Questions With An Eco-Disaster Educator

We had a chance to chat with Duncan Carson owner and brains behind the on-line website Stop Shark Finning. Estimates vary between 70 and 100 million sharks a year are being hacked apart for just their fins. Often the animals are processed while still alive and then kicked back into the ocean. His website stands on the front line of this critical environmental issue from both an educational standpoint and as a warning to the over harvest of today's oceans.

1.What was it that caused you to get up one day and say "I am getting active"?

It was after I had read an article on The Guardian website by George Monbiot titled "Sharks deserve the conservation status we give to the Giant Panda". The article really stuck in my mind. The idea that sharks were being slaughtered in such a cruel and wasteful way just to make shark fin soup repulsed me so much that I decided I had to do something. I think the day after I read the article I started a MySpace page and a few days after that I got up a basic version of the website.

2.Why sharks? It seems almost any marine animal you encounter needs some kind of help these days.

I was motivated by Monbiot's article to try and make people realise what is happening with sharks. I realise that there are many animals in danger, but
I think that even if you focus on one animal, any positive effects that your work has will have benefits for other animals that live in the same ecosystem. Protecting sharks, a top predator, will have a knock-on effect on other life forms. The other important thing to mention is that sharks get a bad press. They are the underdogs of the oceans, but they are a vital part of a healthy marine ecosystem, and people need to realise that the extinction of sharks in the wild will have a devastating impact on the oceans.

3.Who are the main culprits in this ongoing eco slaughter?

It's a long chain problem that weaves its way throughout society. The fishermen who kill the sharks so inhumanely and wastefully, the people who eat shark fin soup without stopping to think what the effects of their behaviour are, the restaurants who sell it, the mafia who make a fortune from it, the politicians who turn their heads the other way, the media who have done next to nothing to highlight the problem and who just perpetuate the myth about the shark being a man-killer, companies like who are brokers for the shark fin mafia, Yahoo who have a massive investment in Alibaba.I must say though that almost everyone who I have told about shark finning is revolted by it and several people have stopped going to restaurants that sell shark fin soup. One of the main problems is just ignorance. Not enough people know about shark finning, but once they find out about it they are very keen to put a stop to it. The reaction from the public in general has been very good.

4.What is a solid solution to this issue, beyond telling a culture they are bad for eating soup?

The only solution is to completely ban the finning of sharks on board shipping vessels, and to effectively and strictly enforce the ban with massive fines and even jail sentences for offenders. There has to be an international agreement to enforce this ban in international waters.Specific countries have legislated but unfortunately it is not enough. Many sharks are migratory, so we need an
international solution. However, education is also extremely important.

5.Do you make a difference, and how could others get involved?

I know I have made a difference in a small way - there are more people aware of the issue now than if I hadn't done anything. But I have been disappointed by the lack of response from multi-nationals such as Alibaba and Yahoo! - I know they have made an occasional response to one or 2 other campaigners but I have become more cynical about such corporations since starting this site. They care nothing about the future and only care to make a fast buck: the only "future" they care about is the next financial year. Their comments to the media are full of distractions, half-truths and lies. Their actions benefit a very small minority and worsen the quality of life
for the vast majority.

Tell other people about shark finning - the media are paying no attention so it has to be a grassroots thing - so just tell people about it, your friends, your family. Email people with a link to, write to Alibaba and Yahoo! and your political representatives, complain to restaurants that sell shark fin soup (and don't eat there), add us on myspace, start your own shark page or site, get a t-shirt (all proceeds go to Sea Shepherd), and support organisations that contribute to shark well-being, such as shark diving companies, because the more money that countries can make out of conserving sharks, the less they will tolerate their slaughter.

I would like to add that I don't know how much of a difference I will make, but I do know that if someday my daughter asks me why people didn't try to stop sharks becoming extinct that I will be able to look her in the eye and say "I tried". For that alone it is worth it. If everyone tries to do something about an issue they care about, surely we can make the world a better place?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Competitive Eating Champion Sets New Record-36 Pounds

Bahamas News Daily--Denny "Mad-Man" Pelkin, a competitive eater whose feats of gluttony earned him a spot in the Competitors Speed Eating Hall of World Records has set a new all time eating record on a recent fishing trip to the Bahamas.

Stunned onlookers out for a day trip to Muriels Reef watched in horror as Denny first caught a world record spotted grouper of 77 pounds-and then proceeded to eat half of the fish, live, in exactly 3 minutes.

"It's the most amazing thing I ever seen", said 73 year old captain Ron Freeman of Sunrise Charters out of Freeport, "and I seen some things in the Navy".

According to other fishermen who were there at the time Mr. Pelkin then proceeded to wash the fish down with a six pack of Grand Bahamas Kalik Beer before passing out on the back deck for the rest of the afternoon.

The International Speed Eating Commision or ISEC issued the following statement last week, "We have reviewed the video tape submitted and have verified the actual weight and the time in which this fish was consumed, it's another speed eating record for Mr."Mad-Man" Pelkin.

The following underwater Onion was brought to you by Shark Diver Always wait an hour to go in the water after you eat.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Great Whale War-Greenpeace vs Sea Shepherd

Can't we all just get along?

It would seem that's not the case-at least in the aptly named "Cooperation Sea" located some 4500 hundred kilometres southwest of Fremantle. Currently two ships are vying for the right to harass Japans illegal whaling fleet...and both sides are hurling verbal harpoons at each other harder than Queequeg on the bow of the good ship Pequod.

In one corner Sea Shepherd know for their "take no prisoners" brand of eco-enforcement, and by that we mean they actually sink ships. In the other corner Greenpeace the long time anti-whalers from the 1970's. Both groups have a long shared history and both groups for all intents have come to hate each other with a passion you would think they reserve only for the whalers they are chasing.

One look at their competing whale blogs and it would seem that Japans whaling fleet has nothing to worry about. If these two ships, the Esperanza and Steve Irwin, come in close range with each other it's going to be an eco smackdown on the high seas.

For our money, we're going with the Steve Irwin-Sea Shepherds boat. They have this nifty little item called a "Can Opener" which is designed to open up the side of a whaling vessel faster than zippers on prom night. We'll keep you updated.

Sir Edmund Hillary-Cheers, Mate!

While this has little to do with sharks, and shark diving we had to comment:

Sad news yesterday that the first man to summit Everest has passed on to that great "Bee-Keepers" hive in the sky.

Prior to his and Tenzing Norgay's attempt to the 29,035-foot summit several other teams had all but failed including the now famous attempt by George Leigh Mallory, who's body disappeared only to be recovered 2000' short of the summit 75 years later.

In an ever shrinking world filled with GPS and "instant travel", we should all take a moment and savor the life of this remarkable man and his times. These were the days of real adventure travel.

Armed only with climbing gear that by today's standards would not even get you to the first Everest base camp this reserved "anti-explorer" conquered a mountain many climbers and peers considered all but unconquerable. To his final days Sir Edmund refused the limelight referring to himself as "just a New Zealand bee keeper" never forgetting to remind people of Tenzing Norgay's efforts to the summit as well.

In his own words: “I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.”

Friday, January 11, 2008

Great White Shark Video

From the files of Shark Diver. The following white shark video was shot at Isla Guadalupe in 2004 with a large Great White.

Picture yourself 210 miles in the middle of the Pacific. It's 10.00am. A 12 Foot Great White Shark has decided to take a "keen interest" in the side of the shark cage you happen to be shooting out of.

If you happen to be fearless shark diver Sterns Bullen-you tighten your grip on your camera and hang on.

Go ahead, grab a beverage of choice and enjoy an up close look at a great white shark with 48,000 other You Tube shark fans:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sperm Whale Hunt Closed-Japans Fleet Turns Back

TOKYO, Japan (CNM) -- Researchers aboard Japanese whaling vessels have "completely halted" their much-criticized hunt for Sperm Whales in the seas near Antarctica, after finding "something unusual" in a freshly harvested whales stomach.

"On Monday we received frantic reports of a human like form inside a whale", said the chief Japanese government spokesman Hachimura Mobutatka.

Sperm Whales are known to feed on Giant Squid in Antarctic waters and remains of these massive cephalopods as long as 120 feet have been recovered.

Meanwhile, the International Whaling Commission, having received the same "stunning reports", have halted all whaling activities in Antarctica by it's members.

The IWC chairman has asked Japan not to hunt Sperm whales in the foreseeable future until lab tests are completed on the "human like form" found inside the dead whale.

"We're happy about the whaling fleet pull out, amazed by the news...and just a little bummed", said David Greenwright spokesman for the Environmental Whaling Coalition. The groups members had planned to put themselves between harpoon and whales, using water jets to block harpoon shots. "Now we're back in New Zealand with nothing to do".

This latest underwater Onion was brought to you by Shark Diver If it's safe to go in the water, we'll tell you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

DNA Disaster-Scientists Add Seal DNA to Asian Caterpillar

Science Weekly (CMN)—In a stunning admission today researchers at Bukwang-jo Pharmaceuticals in Seoul South Korea have offered an apology for an experiment with Stem cells that "just went too far".

Lead scientist Dr. Hyo Suk Leuen, M.D., Ph.D. from Seoul West University Hospital and his team were investigating the endemic South Korean Fur Seals unique ability to grow fur in extreme wet conditions-for possible military applications.

Their experiments with DNA swapping and stems cells also centered around the Asian Caterpillar.

"Ten weeks ago we went to Phase Three", a tearful Dr.Leuen said at a national press conference attended by some of the worlds top DNA specialists. "What came out of that test tube was fully mobile, and began to grow at an alarming rate".

His research team suddenly realized they had created one of the worlds first seal/caterpillar hybrids. Dubbed the "Leuen Seal-Cat", the unlikely hybrid remains at the labs and continues to shed all over the place.

Dr.Leuen and his team have no immediate plans to create another creature.

The following underwater Onion was brought to you by Shark Diver. Dive safe, and never play with DNA unless you mean it!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

DivePhotoGuide.Com-Film Competition

Calling all shark shooters and those of you who like to add "Mermaids" to your shark shoot.

This is your chance to become an underwater film legend and to walk away with part of $50,000 in prizes...and who doesn't like $50,000 in prizes?

Announcing the 3rd Annual Wetpixel & DivePhotoGuide International Underwater Photo & Video Competition or as those like us in the industry have come to know it, the "AWDPGIUPVC".

Photographers & videographers of all abilities can compete in seven still-image categories and two video categories, to win more than $50,000 in prizes including premium dive travel, underwater photo/video and diving equipment and more. Dive packages include trips to some of the top photo destinations in the world, including Socoros Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Red Sea, Grand Cayman, the Solomon Islands and Vietnam.

Other prizes include camera housings, strobes, lighting systems, and other valuable items. The competition includes a category for images that focus on conservation and the marine environment (we like this one), and one specifically for entries taken by compact digital cameras.

For complete info click here and good hunting!

Monday, January 7, 2008

When Angel Sharks Attack!

O.K people, how many times do we have to tell you?

They may look all "cuddly" and live most of their lives on the ocean floor, but pound for pound Angel Sharks are just plain vicious, vicious we tells ya!

This was what a team of crack divers discovered when one of the team got a little too close to natures Wild Child of the deep.

Underwater Thrills Lesson #2 here, if you're going to mess with an Angel Shark, ensure that you're not the guy off camera who gets nailed:


First comprehensive documentary to explore great white sharks and critical shark research at remote Isla Guadalupe, Baja

A precarious population of great
white sharks and the ongoing scientific research intended to secure their survival is the subject of "Island of the Great White Shark", a just completed documentary film by RTSea Productions. The high definition video production will receive an exclusive V.I.P. premiere on January 22nd at the Aquarium of the Pacific, located in Long Beach, California.

The event highlights a three-year effort by filmmaker Richard Theiss to provide the first comprehensive look at the great white sharks found at the remote Mexican island of Isla Guadalupe, Baja. The film explores many of the issues surrounding these highly misunderstood animals, the efforts of dedicated shark researchers to study and protect them, and the unique cooperative relationship that exists between the researchers and eco-tourism operations.

“These are absolutely magnificent creatures living on a razor’s edge of possible extinction. And there are some very dedicated people working tirelessly to prevent that. This is a story that needed to be told,” says Richard Theiss, RTSea Productions, executive producer and cinematographer.

Theiss came to see Isla Guadalupe's great white sharks three years ago as a passenger aboard a shark diving expedition lead by, a leading eco-tourism operator that charters boats from San Diego, California to make the 210 mile journey south to Isla Guadalupe. What started out as an exciting adventure turned into a passion to document the work of Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, a young Mexican shark researcher, working under the supervision of leading shark experts in the United States and Mexico and aided by the support of eco-tourism operators, like, that frequent the island in the fall months when migrating great white sharks arrive to feed on seals and tuna that inhabit the island’s waters.

The film also illustrates the destructive and inhumane practices imposed upon sharks by the commercial shark fishing industry. Estimates run from 40 million to as high as 100 million sharks being killed each year either for their fins or as accidental by-catch.

“Sharks populations are being decimated-all for a bowl of soup or a
supposed homeopathic cure. For great whites, like those at Isla Guadalupe, you have to add the threat of poachers seeking souvenir jaws and teeth from one of nature’s top predators. It’s insanity and emblematic of what’s wrong with our environmental priorities,” says Theiss.

The invitation-only premiere, hosted by the Aquarium of the Pacific, will feature a screening of the film, followed by a question and answer session with Richard Theiss and some of the on-screen participants in the film.

Richard Theiss, Executive Producer
RTSea Productions
Digital Images/B-Roll Available On Request

Shark Shooting 101-Kiwi Style

Question: If you're on a small boat with an underwater camera and a 13 foot Great White shark shows up, what is the best was to capture the moment?

A. Jump on the back of the shark
B. Dip the camera in the water and snap away
C. Hang your buddy over the side upside down and by the ankles until he gets the shot

Well, naturally the answer is C. How else could you get an amazing shot like this one by just carefully dipping a camera anywhere?

Here's the story:

"When Gary Porter, a builder from New Zealand, spotted the 13 foot (4m) shark just metres from the small diving vessel he was in, he wasted no time in getting his friends to hold him by the ankles as he dangled upside-down in the sea to take close-up pictures of the predator. Suspended overboard, Mr Porter dunked his upper body in the water to snap underwater pictures with his digital camera."

Something about this entire story does not seem right. Perhaps it is the fact that we the readers are completely sober at the moment. Time and a few beers will tell if this actually happened.

Story link is here, check your stupidity at the door please.

Tiger Sharks-Crunch Time Photoshoot

What do you do when an 11 foot Tiger Shark takes a keen interest in your dive gear?


A. Fight the Tiger for your gear
B. Let the Tiger have your gear

The answer to this question by the looks of things was B. Karin Brussaard went Tiger Diver at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas recently to write a tech review of the Nikon D80. She got more than she bargained for when this Tiger decided to make off with her gear. In her own words:

"At a given moment one of the sharks gets in too close to one of the divers and Jim intervenes. He gives the shark a push with the camera. The tiger shark is not impressed. He grabs hold of the camera and swims aggressively away with it. I am feeling uncomfortable and go through my oxygen quickly. Luckily the shark eventually lets go of the camera and swims away."

We now know that Nikons are "Tiger Proof". Score one for engineering!

The full story is here

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Shark Tech-UW Text Messaging

Let's file this one under bad idea. The world of SCUBA has too many gadgets, gizmo's and well meaning bell-wiz-modo's for our tastes here at Underwater Thrills.

What ever happened to the old school days of a raggedy BCD, a good dive knife, and enough air to last maybe 30 minutes? THOSE were the days of diving my friend.

Now along comes this little number that will allow you to "text message" your dive buddy with the following message "there's a shark behind you!"

If the company that made this device has not realized it yet-text messaging is a pox on humanity. It eats up time, most text messages are pretty boring, and frankly if you're a diver we cannot see anyone spending the ten minutes to type out a message to a basic point underwater.

Anyway, here's the link to the blog Slash Gear in case you need another piece of plastic electric garbage attached to your gear this year.

Oh, and this WILL set you back $1300

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Radisson Hotel-Where's Da Sharks?

So they built another hotel in Berlin. It's got 427 rooms, swimming pool, sauna, steam bath and fitness room.

They also went all out with their high tech conference area on the ground floor-offering a conference foyer and 10 air-conditioned meeting rooms. All pretty standard stuff as far as mega hotels go.

Oh, and it's also got the world's largest cylindrical aquarium, the AquaDom. Filled with one million litres of saltwater and the new home to about 2,500 tropical fish. Making the AquaDom the largest free standing aquarium on the entire planet.

The only problem is that they totally forgot to add the sharks. How can any self respecting hotel with a giant aquarium in the lobby hope for any business without a few sharks swimming around!?

Great White Sharks at 100 Feet Rottnest Island

Score one for the science guys in Australia. A small team of dedicated researchers have been placing unmanned video cams down at 100 feet with some bait to see what's there. Beats paying some grad students to do the same job.

Since this is Australia to no ones great surprise a 10 foot Great White showed up and did a fly by completely caught on tape. Naturally the local news media has gone all "caddy-wompus" on this story.

Rottnest Island is just a few miles off of Perth.

Last we heard White Sharks were coming out of the tap water in Perth, but they are screaming about this video all the same.

Anytime you can get a Great White on tape we call that a good day. Of course it would be nice if they could have framed up this video a bit better and maybe tracked the shark a bit. Looks like the guys from Shark Diver will have to pack a few cages and go investigate.

Click here for the complete story and video.

Now, about the name of this island?

Great White Shark-Geek Tech

The good folks at Shark Tech have created the ultimate geek divers dream. The "Shark Shooter".

O.K, it's not called the "Shark Shooter"-but it might as well be called that. What you are looking at is the latest advance in diver tech. Now a lot of you old school underwater shooters will say "this is a scuba abomination, be gone from our web browsers!".

Ye, of little faith. Remember the great underwater war between film and digital shooters, now who's laughing?

For those of you out there who like to shoot sharks, this mask-6 gig camera combo allows you to be hands free, so you can hold a big fish carcass and bring the sharks in even closer.

As Britney Spears would say-Cool Ya'll!

Unfortunately these masks only come in classic yum-yum yellow, but heck, with that fish carcass in your hands perhaps the 16 foot Tiger shark you just chummed in will not notice.

Geek on Diverman!

Friday, January 4, 2008

5 Questions With a "Shark Whisperer"

We had a chance to speak with Richard Theiss CEO of RTSea Productions and the filmmaker of the recent shark documentary "Island of the Great White Shark".

Richard spent the last 3 years of his life documenting the Great Whites of Isla
Guadalupe, Mexico and the efforts of a small band of shark researchers from Mexico's CICIMAR and California's U.C Davis to study and track these sometimes elusive and magnificent critters.

He was granted access to researchers and sharks that no one has ever had. Typically film crews are limited to just one week of shooting,as such they fail to get a complete look at the animals they are documenting.

The film was shot in all weather conditions from 2004-2007. It is the most complete look to date of the sharks of Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.

Richard will be at the Long Beach Aquarium this month for the world premiere and private screening of his new documentary: "Island of the Great White Shark".

5 Questions:

1. Why film sharks?

They are unique, they are mysterious, they are exotic, and they are endangered – all rolled into one. As a nature filmmaker, I have had the opportunity to film a variety of flora and fauna - from bugs to fish, from jungles to arctic tundra - and nothing so far has captivated my attention like the multi-faceted shark. And they are emblematic of all that is right and wrong with man’s ongoing relationship with Nature. My greatest pleasure in filming animals like sharks is knowing that it may enlighten others; my greatest fear is that I may be filming them for posterity.

2. Most exciting moment over the past three years with Great Whites?

For me the most exciting moments have been when I have looked through the viewfinder and realized, at that instant, that all the elements were coming together to capture the true magnificence of these animals. Sure, over several years, the odds increase to see dramatic bites or close brushes with the cage, but as a filmmaker what really gets my blood pumping is when I know I’m getting imagery that is truly doing justice to these creatures. It’s magic. But if I had to choose one moment, I would say it was when a large Isla Guadalupe female, known to the researchers as “Mystery”, spent nearly two hours cooperating by giving me some of the best close-up footage I have had to date. It gave me goose bumps. She and I will be picking out china patterns in the Spring.

3. Shark Porn and the shark documentary industry, your take on it?

Well, much of it is a little out of whack and certainly not doing the sharks any favors. As a filmmaker, I understand the commercial factors that drive the decision-making process when it comes to shark documentaries. It’s that need to “sell popcorn”, as I call it, and keep the advertisers happy. Let’s face it; to the general public, sharks, like the Great White, will never win popularity contests and there will always be a macabre fascination with these predators. But there needs to be a balance between appealing to that sensationalism and documenting the truth. And if these animals are to have any kind of future, it is incumbent on those who film sharks to strive towards turning myths and fear into truth and respect.

4. The future of sharks worldwide, shark fining, eco tourism?

The future. . . well, when you read the statistics it can be pretty depressing. The demand in Asian cultures for shark fins is taking a staggering toll on many shark populations. I’m sorry, but the whole issue of shark finning – for soup or homeopathic medicine – just drives me a little crazy. For me it seems so senseless. But changing cultural and commercial mindsets is very challenging. There have been small victories here and there but it’s a tough row to hoe. After all, how many of us have changed to fluorescent light bulbs or ditched our SUVs? This is where eco-tourism can play a very important role. has done a great job in providing divers and non-divers with both an exciting experience and a chance to learn about the extremely critical role sharks play in a balanced marine eco-system, while also providing critical support to ongoing shark research studies. I just hope that we continue to unlock the mysteries surrounding sharks like the Great White and enlighten people everywhere as to their importance before it’s too late.

5. Your question here

I would be interested in hearing others stories of how someone’s attitude about sharks was changed for the better. Perhaps that will provide a solution or an idea for someone else. Filmmakers sometimes shine their light to illuminate a problem or issue, leaving the viewer to ponder over solutions for themselves. I’d like to hear what others have done or are doing.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Great White Shark Mystery-U.K?

All of England is in an uproar today as photographic evidence, perhaps the first of it's kind, has surfaced of a possible Great White shark (a huge animal) taking a bite out of a seal.

The Sun-A JAWS hunt was on last night after experts confirmed a mutilated seal was killed by a bite from a giant shark.

Scientists say razor-sharp tooth marks show the adult grey seal — a favourite food of great whites — had been mauled in a frenzied feeding session. Experts confirmed the seal was killed by a giant shark after studying close-up photos of the wound.

“It is a very clean cut, and from the size of the chunk, and the serrated tooth marks, it must be something with a very large bite radius like a great white. “The position of the bite mark is also crucial. The seal was bitten from underneath, which is exactly what you would expect because of how a shark takes its prey.”

This is a video from Isla Guadalupe shot in 2007 of a Great White feeding on a 700lb Elephant Seal. From this video it is possible that the seal attacked in the U.K was in fact a Great White, then again, it might be an Orca, or just a fake. Only time will tell:

Amy Winehouse-Rocks "Drug Queen" Saved By Scuba!?

There goes 2008.

"If it swims-it wins" is our motto here at Underwater Thrills. That was until today.

Coursing through the Internet right now is this little story about Rocks Bad Gal-Amy Winehouse, who according to the tabloids is now claiming to have been "Saved by Scuba". Well glory be!

Three things that are wrong with this off the bat:

1. Who cares?
2. Who's gets to DM this admitted coke addict?
3. Who cares!?

Amy is quoted as saying (add slurry British voice here) "I’ve learn't to appreciate the simple things, like the beauty of nature. And it’s taught me to face my fears. It’s a different world down there. I can look at things in a new way. “I’ve come to the realization that life is too short; I want to make sure I live every minute of it."

All this after spending the holidays with fellow rocker Byan Adams underwater in Caribbean.

Perhaps she discovered the joys of being NARC'd as a little trip over to the SCUBA-WIKI describes NARC'd as:

"Due to its perception-altering effects, the onset of nitrogen narcosis is famously described as the "rapture of the deep" the result of illogical behaviour in a wet environment or in extreme cases-really stoned"

Perhaps this latest video of her in action on the surface might give you an idea of why we become concerned for her well being sub-surface:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mauricio Hoyos-Cool Shark Science Dude

If you happen to be a "Shark Scientist" you probably do well at bars and at pool parties in Miami.

Who wouldn't attract a crowd of bikini clad models with this line..."So, I'm Shark Scientist".

But if you're lucky enough to be a "White Shark Scientist" that's the difference between a NASA Test Pilot and an actual Astronaut.

We wanted to introduce you to an actual "White Shark Scientist". For the past four years Mauricio Hoyos from CICIMAR, Mexico has been the driving force behind Isla Guadalupe white shark tagging and shark tracking program. Think Indiana Jones with a Spanish accent.

He gets to do cool thing like tag and track whites, conduct DNA sampling, and as this image suggests grab DNA samples from all kinds of critters out at this newly formed Bio-Sphere Reserve some 210 miles off the California coast. By the way no critters were hurt in this image even though he's ALSO got a wicked looking cross-bow to get DNA samples with. Cool plus.

This is Mauricio in action 2007: