Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Montauk Monster-It's Got a Name!

If it's strange, weird, cool or an Underwater Thrill you'll find it here.

Right now there's nothing more exciting than this ugly critter who washed up on the East coast last week.

Dubbed the "Montauk Monster", this dead whatever has an Internet full of bloggers screaming about secret government labs, Dick Cheney's bastard son, and a good ol' summer hoax...did anyone notice this critters middle finger?

Here's round the clock coverage for you-in case you happen fall into any of the above categories:


2. Huffington Post

Our money is on the hoax and a damn fine one at that. Wonder if we could attach to this one? 600,000,000 downloads and counting!

IEMANYA's First Annual Northern California Bash!

We're big fans and supporters of Iemanya Oceanica here at Underwater Thrills: Swimming with Sharks.

So, naturally when they throw a fundraiser, we're there. See you on August 8th:

IEMANYA's First Annual Northern California Bash!

August 8th, 2008
8 o'clock pm
Fuel Restaurant and Lounge
San Jose, California

Join Us For A Special Evening Of Drinks, Raffles and Dancing

Hosted by
Matt Johnston

Buy Your Tickets Here!

Oh Shark Week-What Happened to You?

Sigh. It's come down to this. We all knew it would eventually, and here we are. Last nights Shark Week show was...scratch that, could have been...scratch that.

We don't even know where to start with last nights show "How Not to Become Shark Bait". Overall some great images, but the clown suit, oh, the clown suit!

We'll let reporter and blogger Grant Butler review this show for you. He's got a better way with words and right now we're just all hung up on the damn clown suit and no use to the damn clown suit this monkey is wearing right now-what the hell? WHAT THE HELL!?

New Shark Dive Site-Nantucket Island

We got the following email from a new shark diving outfit in Nantucket. For our blog fans on the east coast, your shark diving choices have just grown:

Hey Patric,

I'll be conducting shark dives here in Nantucket every week until the season ends in October. Here are pic from our dive on Sat.

I'm operating on a 23' Grady White privately owned boat. We average 10+ blues a day,1-3 makos, and occasional sightings of dusky, tiger, hammers, and threshers. With this years water temps it is possible to dive in 65 -78 degree water in one day so their is opportunity for multiple species. The big players are Blues & Makos. Been doing this for along time and have the operation down to a science. Like I said we run anywhere from 15 - 30 miles offshore depending on the viz...sharks are guaranteed with us!

The pictures attached are from our dive last Saturday, I will keep you guys updated with new material after each trip.

Much Thanks Shark Diver,
Bryce Rohrer
Phone: (203)-273-1748

4 Reasons to Consider Shark Diving

Shark diving adventures have grown in popularity since 1990 with more operators and more dive sites than ever before. Safety and the understanding of sharks and shark behavior have led this unlikely revolution in scuba diving. Prior to the 90’s almost all species of shark were considered dangerous, even the beautiful Black Tip reef shark which today is the proud star attraction at many Shark Rodeos. Here is a short list of why you should consider a shark diving adventure on your next dive.

1. Safety first. Shark diving Rodeos have set the bar for safety and accessibility. This is when sharks are regularly baited to the same place at the same time with a small amount of fish carcass each day. Not enough to feed the sharks but just enough to keep their interest. Sharks will often come to places where they might get a chance at food. Operations like these have acclimated sharks over the years to the presence of divers. This is your chance to get close and personal with a shark, safely with trained professionals watching over your encounter.

2. Sit back and taken in the view. Caged encounters offer a more exciting way to view some of the top big shark species like the Great White and Tiger sharks. Newer cage designs and larger vessels have lead to an ongoing revolution in big animal encounters. Most operations do not require you to be scuba certified and run operations with either snorkel or with a Hookah or surface supplied air systems. With larger vessels divers can now visit more and more remote and pristine shark sites and offshore islands. The era of long range shark expeditions has just begun.

3. The “Eco Factor”. Shark dive leaders are a wealth of knowledge about the sharks you will be encountering. Operations worldwide are tuning to collaborations with shark research and will often have shark biologists on site as crew available to answer your questions. Dispelling the many negative myths surrounding sharks is the foremost concern of shark diving operations. For years the public have only seen the media’s view of sharks. With the help of trained shark staff and a marine biologist, you’ll come to learn that sharks are in fact in decline worldwide. The rewards of a shark encounter like this will change forever the way divers see big sharks. From the media hyped “killing machine”, to a more subtle understanding of the oceans top apex predators and the roles they play in today’s oceans.

4.Time is running out. “The Great White shark is, more importantly, endangered as the apex predator among fish.” Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, wrote this in response to the unregulated mass killing of sharks worldwide for just their fins. Sharks in the hundreds of millions are being taken each year to fuel the growing shark fin soup trade and many species are on the brink of collapse, never to be seen again. Sadly, shark diving encounters may be providing a last look at some of these magnificent predators that have been on this planet prior to humans. The good news is where ever you’ll find a shark dive company, you’ll also find a tireless champion of the species and with that comes eco protections from a growing chorus of thrilled divers and shark fans alike.

White Shark Tagging-SPOT Tags

Very cool white shark tracking data coming from Dr. Salvador Jorgensen's shark team out of Monterey.

What we know and what is being learned about y.o.y (young of the year) is rewriting the book on the entire Western Pacific white shark story:

Dr. Salvador Jorgensen, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, belongs to a group which tags and monitors White Sharks.

Dr. Jorgensen has provided us with the SPOT tag track which was attached to Monterey Bay Aquarium's most recent White Shark resident. June 25th was the last time the research team heard from the SPOT tag. Dr. Joregensen says this is possibly because "water temperatures have increased and the shark may be avoiding the surface, or possibly the tag is no longer working. We can't be sure."

Editors Note: The Sea of Cortez is turning out to be a major player in the long term health of the great white shark population and long term survival of the entire species in the Pacific.

PETA Marketing Message

To PETA regarding your latest ad campaign we're going to take a page from the script of Office Space here.

"Umm yeah, we're going to have to ask you to take that, ahhhhhh, ad down now and, ahhhhh, and go ahead and work though Saturday on another one, m'kay?"

Editors Note: It's not like we have anything against PETA, but this poorly conceived ad campaign serves to makes sharks the "bad guys" once again. Of course PETA knows this already. Perhaps if carrots or eggplants were being harvested for just 5% of their total body weight and the rest of the plant was being dumped on the side of the road by poor illiterate farmers with quasi ties to Asian distributors PETA would be up in arms?

Shark Week-We Got That!

For those of you who will be joining us this year at Isla Guadalupe we thought we would introduce you to some of the "locals" that you'll be meeting this season.

This fellow is called "Fat Tony". For reasons that are obvious, he's also one of the "toughest" white sharks on site (check out the scar above his eye).

We have been lucky enough to dive with him over the past four years, and he's usually the first to join us on any given day.

Not all animals at this pristine and unique site are the same and many have "distinct personalities" that become evident once you spend enough time with them. It's a strange way to look at Great Whites, purported to be the "ultimate killing machines". One week with this simply massive Great White will change the way you look at them, trust us!