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August 21, 2008
The first story ideas for issue 19 have been laid out. When I tell you guys the plans for the upcoming issue I always say that it is going to be different or feel different, well it probably will, but I'll let you all decide for yourselves. All I am going to say is it is going to be fun. This will be more of a personal issue, because like I mentioned it is going to be about the 2008 shark diving trips we experienced this season. Some from the SDM staffers and regular contributors and some new shooters as well.

The mag will be evolving next year as well. Life for us here at SDM is changing, many of you all who follow this blog are aware of the many things that we have been up to. And because of those many things, we have changed. It is only natural that our magazine evolve as well.

I'll give you an example of what next year is going to look like for us. Next season we will be on tour all year to promote our movie 'Summer of the Sharks' at the many film festivals we will be a part of. We also will be spending more time on Holbox Island, Mexico next year. In fact, I will be there for the entire month of July running trips and just hanging out for the heart of the whale shark migration. I have fallen in love with that island, those that have visited the place know what I am talking about. August/September is mako shark season in California, and November/December is Tiger shark/great hammerhead season in the Bahamas. So because of this I will be on the road almost all of next year.

We also will start production on our next film project, so at least one month of filming will be devoted to that. Not to mention all the time prepping for the project. Then if I get the opportunity to work on any more TV projects, that will be part of my schedule as well... A show for Shark Week 2009 is already being discussed.

Somewhere in all this I need to edit magazines, find stories and images, and the inspiration to create the kick ass magzine you all are used to seeing. So you see, the magazine will be evolving, how could it not. Each issue will be influenced by what is happening throughout the year. It will be influenced by where we are, what we are doing, who we are with, and who is writing for that particular issue. Either way it is going to be a fun, wild and crazy ass ride of a year... I hope many of you are with me!

August 14, 2008
I think the Ipod is one of man's greatest inventions. Having access to all your favorite music at the touch of a button is awesome. I have been home for a week now, trying to clear my head and reinsert myself back into my routines. Catching up on work, enjoying my family, and creating new issues of SDM. Oh yea, if you have written me an email over the past 3-4 weeks, and I have not answered you, please forgive me, I have been so busy and out at sea most of the time. I try to answer them all but sometimes they get away or I am overwhelmed with work. It is hard during the diving season. So I am very sorry for not answering you...

So back to my story; I am home and back to my routines. Part of my daily routine is to grab my Ipod, hit one of the empty dirt roads by my house and run 3 or 4 miles. Just me, my Ipod and the sun on my back. I belong to one of those fancy gyms, but I love running outdoors, with no one else around. It keeps me grounded, and it reminds me of when I was a kid growing up. I use the time to think about my life, or just to unwind. So I was out running yesterday, listening to music, and not just any music, I was listening to the soundtrack to our movie "Summer of the Sharks." When it hit me, I am listening to music made for MY movie! I thought "oh shit! its all happening."

That was a cool moment for me, and a shocking one as well. Such a surreal feeling. Next week we are going to have our film crew rap party. This party will be the official closing of this movie for us. It has been a long journey for me. It began in 2003 when I started the magazine and went on my first reader trip. I hired a guy to come out and film it for me, but it did not work out. He was not the guy for this project. He was used to making short DVDs for tourist divers that wanted memories of their time in the water. That is not what I wanted. For me, films are forever, and I only want to make films that people love. Because when I love a film I want to watch it over and over again. Ask all my friends who travel with me on our shark trips, how many times have I watched Serenity, Lord of the Rings and the Firefly series?

So the project was put on hold for a few more years, then I woke that dream up inside me once more. This time I found the right guy, and I surrounded myself with the right team. And we made a movie that rocks! And more importantly we did it! Against all odds, we made a movie. And we did it our way, our vision, our rules, our music... our soul! A quick shout out to the heart and soul of our film team... Rusty and Steve, you guys F-kin' ROCK... Love you guys!

We are holding a private red carpet (ok so there may not be a red carpet, but I will paint the floor red) screening for family and friends, and I am also inviting you - our readers (my extended family) to join us for this event. We are renting a theater to view our film, so if anyone is interested in aquiring tickets to attend the private event, it will be for the special screening of 'Summer of the Sharks,' and a private dinner party with me and the team after the movie is over. Send me an email if you want to attend.

August 10, 2008
I am at the airport on my return from our Cali trip. We went out for three days seeking out mako and blue sharks and for the second year in a row, we found sharks. Day one we had 2 mako sharks show up. Day 2, we had one mako and one blue shark, and day three we had two monster blue sharks hanging around. The interactions for the first two days were brief. The sharks were really shy and did not want to play.

So on our last day in the water I was really feeling the pressure to find some sharks that were players, and found them we did! We only had one underwater still photographer on the trip and she did not capture any images till our last day in the water... but good things come to those who wait!

Blue sharks are very curious and would come up and bump Heather camera.

We had 2 blues on our last day. and the sharks were players. They would come right up and check out the divers. No matter how many times I would remind the divers about blue shark behaviour, its still a bit un-nerving having an eight foot and 10 foot blue shark gut checking you! More in issue 19.

So I am proud to say our movie Summer of the Sharks is finally done! We have already submitted it to the Sundance Film Festival. I had Rusty send me a copy to California so I could review the film, and its great. I know I am biased but the final product is really good and has an EPIC feel to it. Its is very different than your typical diving movie so it is going to be interesting how it is recieved. Especially by the diving community. The trade shows all have film festivals attached to them so we are going to submit them to all affiliated shows in 2009. So next season, if we are accepted we will be back in all the dive shows. We will post a schedule of all the festivals we have been selected for.

August 6, 2008
I missed our Canada trip. Something that bothered the hell out of me. SDM shooter, Andy Murch took the trips over for me, I will have a report from him later about how it went. I left for a seven day shoot for Animal Planet where I co-hosted an episode entitled 'Night.' The series is about night predators and their behaviors while feeding, or just interacting at night. The shoot went well, and the crew was really cool. But the hours were tough to get used to.

We would start filming around 7:30 PM every night, and would sometimes shoot till 4 AM. It was a crazy schedule. Breakfast was around 1PM and lunch was around 6 PM. We would film all night, call the day a rap, then grab a few beers to unwind. So it was not uncommon to watch a sunrise, then go straight to bed.

We filmed at Tiger Beach, and the idea was to get tigers at night, but the tigers were real moody and did not want to hang around at night. But it was ok because we had plenty of lemon sharks around, and they were players! I would let more details out about the show, but I don't know how much of the show the director wants me to reveil. We did film dolphins (I know, I know, I will get lots of heat for that, but I have to admit... swimming with dolphins at night was kinda cool.), and we filmed on a wreck that was loaded with life. A few sharks naturally hanging around and lots of sting rays. It was a killer night dive.

My buddy ABC was on the shoot with me. He shot all the underwater footage with my camera and he did a great job, the footage looks amazing. Since we would only shoot at night, me and ABC would head out during the day and film sharks, just for the fun of it. On one of the dives we dropped in to try and attract tigers. It was a 40 foot dive, and the only sharks hanging around were reef sharks. So we decided to have some fun with them. We brought down some bait, with the hopes that the noise the reef sharks were making trying to take the bait from us would attract tiger sharks... more on that in issue 19.

Right now I am in California seeking out mako sharks. This is day one and I am happy to report that we had 2 mako sharks show up today. We finished the day with everyone heading down to La Jolla Shores to seek out leopard sharks. We got them and some smooth hound sharks as well. I had never seen smooth hounds before so I was pretty fired up about seeing them. Again more on this adventure in the next issue.

I will post pics as the week wears on, so keep checking back...

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