SDM JOURNAL FOR...
NOVEMBER 24, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I know it is late, and again I am sorry for not updating my blog, but this whole week was total chaos. It is finally over, and my next adventure begins. I am sitting at an empty airport at 5 AM, waiting to get on my plane bound for Florida.
From there I board the liveaboard boat, the Dolphin Dream II, and head off to Tiger Beach Baby! We set sail tonite, and this time tomorrow I will cruising in those dreamy baby blue waters the Caribbean is famous for. I know it is not cool to rub it in, but after the crazy year I have had, I really need this. I am hosting this for our reader trip, but out there, I am not a business man, or a mag publisher, or a filmmaker, I am back to being just a Shark Diver, who really wants to see big sharks. Tigers, lemons, Caribbean reef sharks, and hopefully some bulls, and a great hammerhead would be nice.
I won't be able to update my blog daily out there, but I will be keeping a daily journal of what we see, and what we do; so when I get into port, I will upload it for you all. With photos from the adventure.
NOVEMBER 20, 2007
The Texas Clipper has been sunk! South Padre Island finally got their first real wreck dive. They sank the boat in about 113 feet of water, 17 miles out. (check out Shark News
for more info) Which means we have an artificial reef site in blue water. So what that translates to for us is a shark diving location out here in the Gulf. The first official chum session, in my new (used) boat, the Shark Chaser I will debut at this wreck site, in about 4 months.
I know I am getting a bit ahead of myself, especially because I do not own a boat yet, but I will, you can bet on that. She won't be pretty, and she won't big - but she will be sharky as hell. I am excited about this new wreck. This may be the place where I encounter the elusive Longfin Mako shark... it could happen!
Sorry for the short blog today, it is a super busy day. Only 4 days till we sail to Tiger Beach.
NOVEMBER 19, 2007
The count down begins. Only 5 more days till we take off for our tiger shark adventure. It is going to feel good getting back to Tiger Beach. These upcoming trips will mark the end of our 2007 reader trips, and I am pumped.The shark action should be good, and I am hoping for more surprise visitors. Last season we had a great hammerhead, and a couple of bull sharks show up. Tiger Beach is normally only tigers and lemon sharks, so those sharks were a real treat for everyone.
A local resident at Tiger Beach Bahamas
This week is going to fly by. I have 3 days till Thanksgiving to get everything ready for this trip. I will be gone for almost a month once I leave, because right after everyone goes home after our second reader trip, I get right back on the boat and go back out to Tiger Beach with a Discovery SharkWeek Film crew. I would tell you all the plans for the shoot, but I have not been authorized to say anything about it. Just that I am going out with them to film. I will be multi tasking, acting as safety diver, shark adviser, and cameraman. It should be fun, busy but fun. My biggest concern is making sure I have clean clothes for the trip, because after 2 weeks on a shark boat, I know I will be pretty rank. The Hollywood crew, will be nice and fresh from their plane ride over, while I will be pretty salty after 15 days. So a trip to the laundry is going to be a must for me.
So todays agenda is to get more mags, and new orders mailed. Try and finish the merchandise page, make sure everyone of our guests has their needed info, reply to emails. Get more sotries for the next issue, prep and pack gear, and get ready for my sharkiest adventure yet.
NOVEMBER 15, 2007
Well we are officially back in the book stores. Well we are not in the book stores yet. But I did get our contract in the mail today from our new distibutor. After all the paperwork is done, then we will be back on the shelves. So we should officially be in the stores - starting January 2008. A great way to kick off the new year. Barnes & Nobles will shelf our magazine, so will B. Dalton and so on. We were way over due to be back out there but I just never got around to getting a distibutor set up. But I finally did. Which is good, the paperwork came in right before I leave next week for our tiger trip.
Talk about a flood of work. A box full of merchandise came in, as well as our decals. I still need to finish up our merchandise page, and get that set up for the x-mas rush. So much to do still, and so little time before I leave. I have some stuff to dofor the show pending. My editors Rusty and Steve have been waiting for me to get some pickups done, and I have been holding them up. Sorry guys, I'll get it finishe up for you all. So I hate to keep the blog short today but... back to the grind!
NOVEMBER 14, 2007
I am sorry for not updating you all. I have been swamped with work here. Trying to get mags out, and updating the web, and planning the next issue, and our upcoming reader trips, and my new assignment with Discovery. Yup, I can finally say it. I have been hired as a second underwater cameraman for an upcoming Shark Week Episode for the 08 season. So instead of spending 15 days in the Bahamas to finish off our dive year, it have now been streched to 27 days.
I will be shooting some underwater footage for the show, as well as stills for a mag article, and their production portfolio. It should be a fun way to end the season, as well as an eye opener for me. I get to see how a big budget production company shoots sharks.
There has been some controversy over Shark Week shows, especially with the hardcore shark enthusiasts. So it is time to shed some light on this subject. I have been talking to the people at Discovery directly about Shark Week, and have asked for more info from their side of the coin. And they are answering. In 2008 an article from the Brass at Shark Week will be in an upcoming issue of SDM.
My good buddy Nathan just told me a story about his last trip to North Carolina for sandtigers. He told me that one of the dive masters found a longline out there with 5 sandtigers on it. Luckly they were still alive and he released them, and pulled the lines up and out. The poachers are trying to fish up our raggies. Sandtigers in the US are protected. It goes to show you, no sharks are safe - Anywhere!
I have set up a page to boycott restaurants and stores that offer shark products. Please call or email the management and voice you opinion. Let them know you will not visit them again, till they remove shark from their menu. Also let me know if you find any places out there that we need to add to the list.
I finally got to take a stand while at DEMA this year. After the show, we all went out to eat. So we visited this Oriental restaurant. It turned out they served shark fin soup. I was with Lawrence Groth of Shark Diving International, and Juan Carlos of the Deep Blue, a Galapagos operator, and all our company, at least 14 of us. We found out they offered shark fin soup, so we got up and walked out. Letting the manager know why we were leaving. Lawrence later got upset at himself. He said what we should of done was order up a bunch of drinks, waited till they arrived, then got up and said we will not stay. Just to make it hurt them a bit. As long as we did not drink them, we legally do not have to pay for them!
NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Sorry for the long silent week. I have been slammed with work. Between mailing magazines, editing our web site, and planning out trips, I have been swammed with work and behind schedule. I need an office assistant. Maybe next year.
Our Bahmas trip is coming up here really soon so I am getting ready for that as well. It is going to be so good hooking up with my friends Captain Scott, and the crew again. This will be our 5th trip out to Tiger Beach, and if we get great weather it will be EPIC!
More details and photos about these trips later this week.
NOVEMBER 5, 2007
I am back from DEMA. The party is over and work continues. I should have some photos up tomorrow from our last nights festivities for you all. It was a good show, I got to hang out with some real good friends. I spent the day during the show with Lawrence Groth of Shark Diving International. He is my buddy and a future legend of the sport. He is the guy who brought white sharks to this side of the world for recreational divers. So far he has lead over 90 different trips to Guadalupe Island and has seen white sharks on all of them. That is sharky.
The pirates are going to Tahiti! Me and Lawrence have an exploratory trip planned out to Tahiti this coming February for the great hammerhead migration that runs through that place. The tourist board invited us to check it out. Lawrence is thinking of adding it to his trip itinerary for 2009, and I want to do a story on this exciting event for you all. But it will be a fun trip, and if we find these sharks, it will make for a great story.
I also talked to another buddy of mine about setting up an exploratory trip out to the tongue of the ocean in July or August for Oceanic whitetips. He also knows a spot for great hammers in the area as well, so the plan is to try and chum up some oceanic whitetips, and then spend a day or two seeking out great hammerheads. We will find some sharks on this trip that is for sure. Check the reader trip page for that one. It will be a land based adventure with us setting out every day chasing these sharks.
I visited my buddy Gary Adkison, and the Fiji crew who are doing well. Gary is still trying to save sharks all over the world. Sat Tagging bulls in Fiji, whale sharks in Africa. We talked in length about my upcoming sat tagging trips, giving me advice on what to do with the findings, so I am more pumped than ever about those adventures.
Most of my time was spent talking to our sponsors and shark photographers. My buddy Kaz was there. There are some photographers that end up specializing in some animal or other. They spend so much time shooting a certain species that when someone needs a shot, that is the guy that should be called. Kaz is the Greenland Shark guy. He has spent so much time shooting these sharks in the sub arctic waters, he is the guy for it. And does he have a shot! I am hoping to share that one with you all in SDM some day.
I also ran into a good friend of mine Deano Cook. He is a tattoo artist, who is going to tattoo a mako shark on me in 08'. (I have to get an old one lasered off first) He was out there tattooing Wyland and Wyland's manager, Gino. We partied it up with Gino and Deano, and the boys on our last night in town. It was a long fun blurry night. Pics from the night tomorrow. Also a quick note; Deano is going to be featured on TLC this coming Thursday evening (Nov. 8). He is on a show called "tattoo wars". They filmed him shooting tigers at Tiger Beach, then he is in the studio creating a tiger shark tattoo. Check it out if you get a chance. Deano has a feature coming out in our mag this year, along with a cover as well.
I start shipping out issue # 16 mags today, and I still need to finish the SharkStore, so more later.
NOVEMBER 1, 2007
Ok I admit defeat. The merchandise page will not be ready today. Damn it. There is just too much to do to it. It will be up by Tuesday or Wednesday... I hope. It would be done sooner but I am off to DEMA tomorrow and I will not be working on it this weekend. I am shaking hands and saying hello to our sponsors, as well as hanging out with my sharky friends this weekend.
I have been working on our store page, getting inspiration from a few of my favorite wbsites. There are some really cool sites out there. That is what kills me about the dive industry, they have marketed the sport all wrong. They made it such a dull ass sport to be a part of. We are hoping to change our end of the arena. Not that it is hard, shark diving is a very cool sport. But damn, the damage the scuba diving leaders have done is hard to break. The corporate America sponsors have run away from scuba diving like the plague. It sounds funny, but it is true. Think about it...When was the last time you saw an ad for Coke or Miller Lite in a scuba diving magazine?