JUNE 29, 2009 Packing and plans have begun. Holbox is around the corner and I am about to leave for our 5th season out to see the whale sharks that are around Hollbox island in the Yucatan penninsula. This is such a magical place and one of the world's greatest hot spots for whale sharks. I am looking forward to returning to this island to visit with my old friends, and make some new ones.
The sharks have already arrived and reports are all very good. They are coming in with reports of 8 and 15 sharks seen in a day, with one day where 40 sharks were spotted. This place in the month of June is already living up to its reputation as the whale shark capital of the world.
I have also been plotting and planning issue 21. And I have decided to dedicate this issue to my good friend Andy Murch, and his North American shark diving farewell tour. For those of you unfamiliar with Andy's shark diving road trip, he and his fiance Claire are travelling the coast lines around all of North America seeking out shark adventures.
They began their run in Baja, and went through California, then went thru the Gulf of Mexico, then down to Florida, now they are headed up to North Carolina, then thru to Cape Cod, then up through Canada, then out to Seattle, then down to Southern Cal. to finish it up with a dive with the Great Whites around Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
Anyway, I decided to make this a special addition and dedicate the entire issue to Andy's EPIC adventure. I met up with Andy and Claire in Venice, LA where we spent a day diving within a school of about 100 silky sharks. While we were out there sitting in a pub, Andy was giving me all the inside scoop on his trip, I mentioned that he needed to write a book. He looked at me with his normal mischievious grin, "you write it, because I am too busy living it." So after reading his latest update from his dive in the Gulf with whale sharks, I decided to step forward, or his great adventure would probably be stuck in a blog, back logged and lost behind pages and pages of new blogs... forever lost in cyber space. I commited issue 21 to imortalize Andy's adventure by publishing it in the World's Greatest Magazine - SDM.
Andy being Andy, was a bit taken back by this and commented to me that he felt his adventure was not cool enough OR exciting enough to dedicate the entire issue to his adventure. I of course told him he was wrong and that the road trip he was on, was everything this magazine stands for and represents. Fortunately he agreed to let me do it, and so I am proud to announce that issue 21 will be nicknamed 'The Andy Issue.' Kind of dumb, but I haven't thought of a cooler name for it yet.
For those of you who want to know more about his trip and what issue 21 will be about, then listen to Andy tell you about it first hand. He recently was interviewed by Brendal of Scuba Works in Jupiter Florida. Check out this 9 minute video that talks about Andy and Claire's adventure;
JUNE 24, 2009 Some updates needed, I have been super busy, which seems like a broken record as most of my blogs start out that way. It is funny, I started into the life of shark diving to live a coastal life, you know; sun, fun, relaxation, some elecetric diving, and a few beers after the dive. But that is not what it has turned into. It has turned into this growing business with many demands, mostly on my time, which I never seem to have enough of.
It is all my fault. I could of kept things simple, I could of just been another shark diver, going on holiday once or twice a year, meeting new people, drinking too much beer, getting sun burnt, taking a few photos and planning out next years vacation. Nope, I wanted to get right into the mud of things, trying to find the heart and soul of what shark diving is, and wanting to become blood brothers with every crazy, hardcore shark diver out there. I wanted to write stories and have people listen, I wanted to inspire people with words and with pictures. Then magazine stories just were not enough, I wanted to make shark diving films, the likes of which people have never seen before. I wanted to try and get the TV world to see sharks and this exciting sport we are all in love with. All these wants!!! Hence they busy schedule I am now so deep into.
Its cool though, for now. You know one of my hero's is the owner of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard. He wrote a book called 'Let my people go Surfing'. It is a business book by Yvon, about how he built his global multi million dollar business, with a simple philosophy; when the waves were good, the office shuts down. When summer rolled in, he let everyone know, he was going rock climbing, so expect slow shipping of all products. I totally love his lifestyle commitment, and try hard to model what we do after what he did and built. Like when he first started out, we too are a very small outfit, run by only two people, and the demands on both of our time are strenuous, but we keep rolling, and we will keep trying. I will keep putting out magazines, although sometimes late. I am so sorry about that, but right now, the sharks are calling, and the stories we put in these magazines, often are written sometimes days and weeks after we get off the boats. And to me it is important that each issue is special and when your done reading it, you will want to shelve it, and keep it safe.
I have been really thinking hard how to create issue 21, I am not exactly sure what I want to do with it, I know there is going to be a lot of different sharks in this one. Many that we have not written about before, so I am excited. I have already awarded the cover to this issue to my good friend, SDM Shooter Andy Murch. I felt it only proper to give Andy the cover, becuase right now he is on this EPIC road trip and it is hands down the most amazing shark diving journey anyone one has ever been on. I am stoked for him and excited that I got to share a small part of that adventure with him.
The journey he is on is why I love this sport, and the people involved in this game. So again thanks to everyone of you all who have touched my life in some form or fasion on this journey I am on. I will continue to do what I do, in the hopes that you all will get up and off your asses to do what you do...Chasing sharks and having fun!
JUNE 15, 2009 It is almost time to head out for our first reader trip of the year. Whale sharks on Holbox island. I am so excited to head back out there and hook up with my old friends, and meet up with some new ones. We will be out there for a couple of weeks and living out of a hotel for that long is hell, so I decided to rent a beach house for this years trip, dubbed the 'SDM House'.
So we rented this 2 bed room house, which will be the location of many a full moon parties. Holbox is a quiet island so there is not much night life, which is fine with me. I love this sleepy little island. So when the bars are all winding down, we will be heading over to the SDM house, to sit in our porch and talk shark!
This is the patio at the SDM house, and just looking at it, I know we will be sharing many, many beers here, and laughing long into the nights. So if you are on Holbox island during the month of July, make it a point to stop by and say hi. If we are not out diving, or running around town, trying out the local cuisine, we will be here, either down loading footage, or barbequeing, or just relaxing, drinking beer, and just loving being alive... I hope to see you there!!!
JUNE 7, 2009 Issue 20 update. I have been spending the last few weeks prepping and mailing magazines, so please keep an eye out for the, the mags are on there way. This year has been hard for me, as my schedule has changed and completely thrown me off step, so I am sorry the first mag of this year is coming out so late. But I hope when issue 20 is finally in your hands you will think it is worth the wait. I put a lot of effort into this issue and I hope you all really enjoy it.
I was talking to SDM shooter, Nathan Meadows who had just recieved his issue and he was commenting on it, saying it is one of the better issues we have put out, and I of course I hope that is true. I know I put so much effort into this issue, and I know it was way more effort then I normally do. This issue was way more time consuming, because when I created each page I wanted it to have a life and a feel of its own. So that when you would read it it would feel like an experience and not just an article. So as some of you start recieving your new issues this week please take a moment to send me an email and let me know what you think. The feed back will help me as I plan out issue 21.
JUNE 2, 2009 We just recieved our 3rd film review for our movie "Summer of the Sharks" from FilmCritic.com I am totally stoked, our film has been reviewed 3 times by professional film critics and all of them have given us postive critics.
This movie was mine (Producer)and Rusty Armstrong's (director/editor), and Steve Pavon ( assitant editor/Music director) first film, and as a film maker you want people to like your film, that is why you get into film making in the first place to try and tell great stories. Which after 2 years in the making you hope its what you did, make a good movie that people will want to watch over and over again. But it is hard to know if that is what you did, especially for the three of us, who were married to this film, and starred at it for 2 years.
Me and Rusty Armstrong in front of the theater. This was our red carpet film screening with our home town crowd. So many of our friends and family came out to support us, it was an amazing night. One that I will always treasure. The only thing wrong with this night was Steve could not be there, his wife went into labor that evening giving birth to Steve's beautiful baby girl.
So when we finally put our movie out there for other people to watch, we were all on pins and needles wondering what they thought. Of course our first audience was family and friends, so you know they were going to give you positive reviews even if the movie was a stinker, because they don't want to hurt your feelings. For us the real test was going to be film critics. If they hated it, they were gonna let us know without a shadow of a doubt that our film sucks. So after three different reviews and all of them coming back positve, you can't help but stop and take a second to say damn we did good. So here for you all to read if your interested are the three movie reviews for Summer of the Sharks, Rusty Armstrong, Steve Pavon, and my first film.
1st review from Scott Mendelson, a regular contributor to FilmThreat.com. Read his review.