On the Road with SDM's Eli Martinez
- Welcome to my blog. I spend a lot of time out in the world chasing sharks (and other big sea creatures). This blog is my way of helping to dispell the myth that sharks are mindless monsters and my life's work is to share the other side of these animals. The ocean is an amazing place and it's truly a blessing, getting to spend as much time as I do out there. So here you guys go, these are my rants, where I will talk about everything from, traveling, diving and my complete nonsense on and under the ocean. Thank you guys for visiting and I hope you enjoy...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eli Martinez

Livin' the Crazy Life!

MARCH 20, 2013
Video Journal # 90 - Mexico Dive adventure with my buddies from Russia.
I just realized how few and far between my posts have become. I apologize for that. I spent two weeks on the road and then after that I was catching up on work. I know my video blogs have been kind of slow lately, only because I am trying to keep from repeating myself, sharing the same trip reports over and over. Of course our last tiger beach trip was tough. We had three days of crappy ass weather and we were not able to get out there to my tigers - to share more cool video of this amazing place. (and again, I don't want to share the same videos over and over). But since our last trip was pretty tough, I have a series of blogs I will be posting up soon from that trip report which share my deteriating mood as frustration set in over Mother Nature's fickle mood. Of course when I got back, I got reports that the following weeks trip; the weather cleared up and they had an amazing time. Go figure...damn it Mother Nature! I was hoping for some better luck on the second part of the trip... I was hired to lead my friends from Russia (who were on our Tiger Beach trip) to take them to Mexico for some dives with the bulls. Of course Mother Nature playing her dirty little tricks and when we arrived in Playa del Carmen, Mexico the bulls were already gone for the season! Fortunately we could depend on the sailfish as a trusty backup and the regular reef diving in Playa is also pretty freaking cool... so we were able to save the trip and have an amazing time.

FEBRUARY 19, 2013
Video Journal # 89 - Tiger / Great Hammerhead Trip Report
This is a highlights video I put together from our recent trip out to Tiger Beach for tigers and lemon sharks and Bimini for the Great Hammerhead Migration. This is the G Hammer part of the trip. It was an amazing adventure and far exceeded our expectations...I hope you enjoy. If you would like to see the photo album from the trip visit our FaceBook page.

FEBRUARY 13, 2013
Blog - An interview for Nat Geo TV

I spent the morning getting interviewed for a segment on one of National Geographic's TV shows, "Caught on Tape" I was worried about being on the show because of what they may want to showcase or do to the sound bites. But when I got the list of the questions they asked, I decided to do it, because they are were good questions and there was no push for the mindless monster theme that is so common when sharks are placed in the TV spot light. The film they decided to spotlight for the interview, is our, To Touch A Tiger Video. A film I am extremely proud of. My film is totally about interaction with multiple species of sharks enjoying a nose scratch and a face rubs. I made that film over almost two years ago, and I love that it is still out there getting attention, which is important to my message and the cause, which is to show that sharks are not mindless monsters, and there is another side to these animals. Of course there is that side of me that remains cautious, because I have been burned so many times in the past. Always my fault, but it does not mean I am going to stop trying to get my message out there to the always, I hope the story goes well??? Here is the video 'TO Touch a Tiger.' Hope you enjoy.

JANUARY 22, 2013
Video Journal # 88 - Our first expedition of the new year.
We kicked off the new year with a trip out to see the sailfish off Cancun, MX with our friends from Solo Buceo. We did have some bad weather issues, but we only lost one day due to the elements. We didn't waste it though, we ran off to Playa del Carmen, to dive with Phantom divers and their bull sharks there. We even had a whale shark swim over us while on our bull shark dive. Of course no one shot video or stills of it, so I did not include it in the video. We have been really fotunate that we have seen sailfish on each of our 5 seasons running these trips, and this season we again experienced long encounters with the sailfish feeding on batiballs. (this year we had an hour long baitball, that ended when a huge bottlenose dolphin charged thru and destoryed the ball.) We ended the trip this year with a surprise encounter with feeding manta rays and a huge school of mobula rays. Such an EPIC way to kick off the 2013 season...hope you enjoy.

JANUARY 9, 2013
A New Years message to all the Shark Warriors and Poets out there...
Happy New Year everyone... I guess that has become old news now? Still worth saying though. I normally put up video blogs, but this one had to be said with words, could not figure out how to tell this story otherwise...
The new year signifies a brand new season of moments and memories to make. 2012 was an important year for me as it signified change, much needed change and a shift in where my heart lies. For the past ten years I have dedicated my life to creating and building my publication and sharing the world of sharks, telling stories, both good and bad - and through those ten years I have seen a lot of things change. Both in how I see sharks and how the world sees sharks. Many people still believe that the only good shark is a dead shark, but a slow and steady growth is moving away from that mind set. I am not sure if it is a change in guard - where the old timers who helped push this myth are no longer writing the stories for future generations to read, or if our message from the growing army of shark advocates is finally getting out there?
I do know there is change in the wind, much to the anger of the shark fishermen who have spent there entire lives doing one thing; fishing up sharks, growing their own bravados and egos by showing up to the piers around the world showing off their latest catch. Whether they like it or not, change is here and change is in the wind...

A lot of great things have happened in 2012, from the creation of more Shark Sanctuaries to new awareness campaigns that have helped put shark protection in the minds of the general public. There is still so much work to be done, but thankfully there is no shortage of people who love sharks that are willing to do whatever they can to get the message out there. The shark industry is a funny business, there is so much internal fighting going on; from shark operators to shark conservation groups all out there hating on one another. I know I personally do not speak to a lot of different people, for various reasons - but as I kick off this new year, it stops me in my tracks to ask myself why? Why do I not like this guy, or that guy? Or why does that group - not talk to this group? What are the answers? Too many roosters in the hen house? Too many chiefs, not enough indians? Jealousy, because one person is receiving deserved or undeserved recognition? Disagreements, because one person believes this is the way it should be? Claims over dive sites? I know why I disagreed with certain people, but do those disagreements have to go with me to the grave? I don't know the answers, or pretend to know the answers. There is too much pride in our industry (myself included), and there seems to be no solution to this problem in sight.

I know I stopped caring. I didn't care what others thought of my tactics, or the stories I told, or that I am pro shark feeding and interacting. I didn't care. I still don't, but bigger than me and my pride is my love for the sharks, which is the reason I am writing this blog. The thing is if we all don't find a way to get along in this industry and start trusting each other - the sharks lose, and I am sick and tired of watching the sharks lose.
Look we all have something we are good at - and we all have something to offer. Some are good at pushing paper, some are good at lobbying with government agencies, some are hands on type of people, some are good at painting, some at blogging, some taking pictures, some at sharing stories...we all have something to offer, each in our own way, and we all effect change! Some are better at it than others; some effect change in huge ways, and some - one person at a time. The reality is ALL OF IT MATTERS - every single person out there that shares the sharks story matters, if it is with one person or a million people... YOU, the shark warriors and poets out there matter. So for that I personally thank you. Thank you for sharing the shark's story, thank you for wanting to help sharks in your own way, with your own voice, your own magic... doing it the way you know how. Thank you for continuing to fight for sharks - hopefully one day there will be balance in our oceans, peace between each other and most importantly, places where sharks can swim freely without feeling the sting of a fisherman's hook.
Happy New Year everyone...

DECEMBER 31, 2012
Video Journal #87 - Happy New Year.
Just a quick thank you to everyone who has been a part of our year. 2012 has been an amazing year filled with adventure. I look forward to 2013 and another sharky season with you all...

DECEMBER 28, 2012
Video Journal # 86 - Tiger Beach Trip Highlights
We just returned from our December trip to dive with tiger sharks. It was an amazing trip with plenty of tiger shark action, we averaged 4-6 tigers on every dive at Fish Tales. We are spending more time at a dive spot called Fish Tales. The lemon sharks have taken over Tiger Beach and are becoming more and more aggressive when it comes to allowing the tigers to come in and feel comfortable here. So we spent the first day and a half here at  TB and then spent the rest of our time at Fish Tales which was just amazing and so much fun.

NOVEMBER 22, 2012
Video Journal # 85 - Shark Fishing Village, “Call of the Sharks”
I was invited to join the Pelagic Life Crew to help them release sharks off Baja California. This is part of a project they created to help change a community from shark fishing to Eco-tourism. Its a project that is full of hope and if it works it could change a lot of lives, for the good. We visited a small shark fishing village, where the fishermen lived a very rough existence. They lived in these camps by the water, no electricity, no running water, and the village was littered with trash dn fish caracsses all over the place. It was heart breaking to not only see our beloved sharks laying their dead, but also to see these people living in such hardships. The shark conservation movement would have us see these people as the villains of this tale, but unfortunately they are not the villains, but the victims. Changing this place to eco-tourism would be a positive thing for these people, it could spark a whole new world.
Here is a blog I created to promote the upcoming documentary to share this amazing story with you all…

NOVEMBER 9, 2012
Video Journal # 84 - My Life with Lemon Sharks
I created this video to take with me to my talks with schools and libraries. My work, along with promoting eco-tourism is to show what sharks can be like. For me, saving shark needs to go beyond just showing the world that divers can share water with them, but can also if given enough time, that a shark can enjoy a nose scratch or a belly rub. That is the basis of my work, the other side of sharks...I hope you enjoy.

NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Video Journal # 83 - Surfers and Sharks continued - More needs to be said.
There has been 5 more accidents since the stuff in Western Australia happened. But this time in the US. 2 accidents in Southern California, 2 off Hawaii, and one in Volusia County, Florida. You know it has always been considered tabboo to talk about sharks biting people in the shark diving industry, almost as if industry people did not want this getting mentioned that this happens. It does, sharks are sharks. They are not interested in people, they are interested in their natural prey. We distract and confuse them. Here is why...

OCTOBER 7, 2012
Video Journal # 82 - Surfers and Sharks - West Australia's new plan to cull sharks is BS!
This blog was created to help save the lives of surfers and sharks. So many accidents can be avoided if Surfers would just avoid visiting certain areas during peak shark season. Many lives would be spared - as well as any witch hunt that follows due to these unfortunate accidents between humans and sharks. Which is what the new law in West Australia was created for, to kill any sharks that come close to the beach to help save human lives. Please if your a surfer, remember you are visitors in the ocean. Respect the ocean and the animals that call the ocean home. For you politicians, please educate yourselves about the ocean, and the life that has every right to live there.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2012
Video Journal #81 - Whale Shark Diving - Day 8, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Our 8th day in and on the water brought us a magical day at sea. We had perfect skies, flat calm seas and over 300 sharks were around to share our day with. Sometimes when I am out there, I will grab the camera and try to share what I am feeling. This was one of those days. Hope you enjoy...


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