Thursday, October 2, 2008

My trip to Isla Guadalupe-Rolie Tippett

Editors Note: This was Rolie's first time meeting a great white shark. As we have been blogging about, the perception of sharks are always changed by sustainable shark tourism. What is often billed as an Adventure Tour becomes so much more at the end of safe encounters like these:

Rolies Shark Dive

The sea has always fascinated me, and I suppose like many others before me I wanted to see its many inhabitants in their natural state. I decided to experience what I hoped would be the ultimate adventure and signed up to dive with the great white sharks. I wasn't sure what to expect but I had a hunch it would be one of the biggest thrills of my life – I wasn't disappointed!

I called Shark Diver and joined the Horizon on a trip to Isla Guadalupe for one of the best adventures I've ever experienced. The captain and his crew were fantastic – they took care of everything for us. All we had to do was show up and enjoy it! I think they were as excited to watch all of us experience their world as we were to do it. I didn't set my expectations too high – I know we have no control over the sea and its inhabitants - but we weren't disappointed. We were in the cages for three days, and we saw sharks on every dive.

You can't imagine the thrill of seeing your first great white as it comes gliding by you. It looked so graceful and at the same time so powerful. When they came straight at you they almost looked like cartoon characters (with a nasty set of teeth!) but you couldn't help but respect their strength. Then they'd glide by the cage and watch you. There is nothing more eerie or more humbling than watching a great white look at you from top to bottom. The most amazing thing for me was to learn how very different each shark was; they all have unique personalities. I couldn't wait to get into the cage each time to see what was going to happen next. I have no illusions about their ability to crush me if they chose to do so, but these "scary beasts" were so amazing in their natural environment I couldn't help but fall in love with them.

I think all of us walked away from this trip with a huge respect for the great whites and their environment, and gratitude to the crew of the Horizon for making the trip what it was. I know this is only the first of many more shark experiences for me!

Hat Tip: Image Olivier Benamou

60+ Foot Giant Squids-Sea of Cortez

A while back we were chatting with Scott Cassell one of- if not the foremost squid expert-in the Sea of Cortez. He had just completed a show for the History Channel called Monster Quest.

The show was to feature what was then considered to be the first evidence of a 60+ foot squid lurking in the Sea of Cortez.

A 60+ foot squid people!

Now don't get us wrong, we loves our squidoos as much as the next all-shark-blog-all-the-time guys.

Unfortunately we had to wait for the footage of this one-time "holy cow encounter" to make it to You Tube on account our boys were wrapped up in a shoot contract. Have you ever seen a shoot contract?

Suffice to say there's a paragraph in there that talks about broken legs and lawyers if you so much breathe a word of the production ahead of time. Anyway-we digress so we can make some space between that cool squid image shot by us last week "fishing" and this video clip of the 60 Foot Monster Squid...this had better be good:

Shark Attack Cuppies? Yup!

Something to consider "Ms Martha of the Easy Bake Oven".

We found these on the Internet so you know they be tasty. Try them out at your Superbowl party next to the following items:

1. Anti-Sharks Fin Carrot Cake Log

2. Sustainable Shark Diving Tall Boys (with real diver/shark action)

3. Three Layer NGO "Local Shark Initiative" Dip

See? You can make a difference with just a handful of cuppies and a twisted sense on humor.

Sharks "terrified" of actress Shannen Doherty

Actress SHANNEN DOHERTY "terrified" a bunch of sharks, says shark representative.

The former Beverly Hills, 90210 star went cage diving off the coast of Hawaii two years ago and "freaked out" the sharks when she hopped underwater and appeared "screaming like a loon" at the shark cage viewport.

The sharks representative tells Details magazine, "We couldn't breathe, we started having anxiety attacks, we couldn't stay out of her reach....she's a scary woman to look at you know?"

"Doherty was slamming against the cage; she looked so frickin' mean! Her leg slipped a little through the bars, and rubbed off a layer of my skin", said one shark. Since the encounter, the sharks in the region have refused to set fin back in the area: "We're just terrified now."

The following Underwater Onion was brought to you by Shark Diver. Yes we know S.D does not like sharks, but honestly...who cares?