Over the years I have spent a lot of time on the back deck of Horizon Charters shark diving vessels watching and diving with white sharks.
But this pales in comparison to Marti Graf's time at Isla Guadalupe and this year he celebrates a decade of sharks, and our admiration.
Martin is one of those rare individuals who loves sharks enough to log over 50,000 nautical miles getting to and from famed white shark island, Isla Guadalupe.
He is our dive operations manager, and a well known fixture in the shark diving community, an outspoken advocate for sharks, and all round fantastic guy.
He's also befriended the 130 sharks we have helped identify at Guadalupe over the years. Actually it has been our divers who have submitted shark images and data with Martin to the MCSI data base to make this happen.
Sharks like the now world famous Shredder were named by our divers, Fat Tony, Mystery, Scarboard and Kimel are some of the biggest and most impressive sharks on site.
Once again in 2011 we'll be back with full charters (we're 98% sold out) and Martin to lead our soon to become official Shark Divers into the wild blue world of white sharks. Adding another 6000 nautical miles to Martins log and another full season of our toothy and human friends to his memories.
I spoke with Martin this week and he summed up his time with these magnificent sharks like this, "when I am setting up the cages in the morning and sharks like Shredder come in, I always shout hello into my regulator and he always turns and comes right up to the cage, we have a thing going."
Yes you do Martin!
Patric Douglas CEO