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!

JULY 29, 2013
Video Journal # 100 - Croc Diving, off Banco Chinchorro, Mexico
Celebrating my 100th blog with an adventure I have been dreaming of experiencing since I first learned it was possible. Crocodile diving! This blog is a bit on the long side, 8 minutes long, but if I could of, I would of made it longer, it was such an amazing experience. Crocs are the new sharks...and when I say that I am referencing to the mind set of people 30-40 years ago that believed it was inpossible to swim with sharks out of fear they would eat you. Now every taboo about shark diving has been broken and we are on to these new adventures, totally off the beaten path...and 100% EPIC. I hope you enjoy.

JULY 19, 2013
Video Journal # 99 - Whale Shark Season- Uncut Session.
I decided to try something different for todays blog, to share with you what I saw, as I saw it. A 3 minute uncut session of the craziness here off Isla Mujeres. Whale sharks, mantas and mobula rays. Such a great day at sea.

JULY 16, 2013
Video Journal # 98 - Whale Shark Season Day 3 in the water.
This has been an incredible season so far, we have had 300 plus whale sharks around us and countless mantas. What has made this such an amazing trip for me is that it proves the animals are talking to each other. The whale sharks used to spend all their time in the Gulf waters near Holbox Island. But around 2009 that started to change when the animals found out about the snapper and grouper spawning that was happening over the full moon off Isla Mujeres island. Then a change happened and all the whale sharks began spending all their time in the blue Caribbean waters, during the months of June, July and August. Holbox has always had a lot of mantas that fed in the Gulf waters, but we rarely would ever see mantas in the blue Caribbean waters until this season. Something happened, and now all the mantas have decided to gather off the waters of Isla to feed as well. What happened? What changed? My opinion is, just like the whale sharks did, the mantas are communicating.

JULY 13, 2013
Video Journal # 97 - Whale Shark Season Begins...Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
We return to Mexico for the annual whale shark migration. A week before we arrived they had terrible weather and no one was able to get out there. So the day before we went out, they were only able to find one shark. I was worried that we would be off to a rough start, but we ended up finding a group of about 100 sharks and kicked off the trip with a bang...and so it begins.

JULY 2, 2013
Video Journal # 96 - Skyfish, or something else under the ocean?
While out on a shark diving trip, I filmed some unusual high speed worm-like animals (in the Bahamas, in the open ocean at a miltary weather buoy.) that where streaking through area. The only thing that came to mind were Sky rods, or skyfish, which are an unknown animal that has been documented all over the world. I am not sure what they are, or what I filmed, but I had to share, because I thought it was an interesting find. Maybe its nothing...or maybe its something?

JUNE 17, 2013
Video Journal # 95 - Tigers Sharks Command your Respect.
I have made a similar video blogs about this before, but it is worth talking about again, because people tend to forget what sharks can be like. I am always talking about the other side of sharks, which is sharks can be safe to dive with. But what needs to be stressed is sharks, like tigers are safe to dive with, as long as you follow the rules!

MAY 24, 2013
Video Journal # 94 - California Sharks, San Pedro, California.
Part two of two.
This is the second half of our California shark trip. Cali is an amazing place for sharks, there are at least 10 species of sharks there that a diver could bump into. Some are harder to find than others, but on any given day you caould drop in and possibly see one of these sharks. On this trip we went after makos and blues. We found a seven foot blue shark, and she hung around and gave everyone a show. We were hoping for more sharks to show up. But thats the ocean and you take what you can get. The week after we left, they had 6 salmon sharks visit the boat, so you never know what your going to get. Its all about time in the water. We had an amazing time with some really great people and some pretty exciting encounters.

MAY 16, 2013
Video Journal # 93 - California Sharks, La Jolla Cove, California.
Part one of two.
We just returned from our annual California shark seafari. Its sevengill season, there, so we went out to see the large aggregation of these sharks that return to the waters off La Joya Cove, California, for what??? Not really sure. Some think breeding, some for food, others believe pupping. I don't really care, I just wanted to dive with them, and hang out with some really cool shark people. This is such unique diving because these are shore dives. Most of the time when you want to see big sharks, you need to climb on a boat and head out to sea. Not in California. There you just, jump in your car, drive down to the beach, strap on gear and jump in with potentially 5 to 6 species of sharks. We got to see 4 of those species, but only managed to film two on this half of the adventure. These trips are so much fun, we get to hang out with our California friends, share a dive, share some beer and trade stories. Shark diving is more than just sharks diving, its also about the people who love these animals and spend as much time as possible seeking them out. Here is a little taste of what the adventure was like... oh yea, coming soon is part two of our Cali trip. blue sharks off of San Pedro, California.With Captain Chris Wade on the Shark Boat.

APRIL 24, 2013
Video Journal # 92 - Saving Sharks - One at a time.
I just returned from an expedition led by my buddies at Pelagic Life. This was part of their Call of the Sharks project off Baja Mexico. The project is to help the local shark fishermen turn their income from fishing for sharks to showing people sharks. It is a long term project where we hope to help the locals create an alternative income stream that will create annual tourist revenue for the locals. This project is going to take a while to get the local shark populations to begin trusting boats. Right now their instincts are to flee at the sounds of aproaching boats, but hopefully with time and patience they will learn to show up to designated areas and allow tourists to watch them from the safety of a cage. I know we at SDM are all about open water and not needing a cage to safely observe a shark. But if we are trying to create a touristy shark watching trip where grandma, grandpa and the grand kids can spend the afternoon, then a shark cage experience it must be.

The cool thing about this project is that the shark fishermen are allowing us to buy and release any live sharks caught on their longlines. The shark fishermen still need to eat and pay their bills, so they have to continue to catch sharks for a living, but they understand that we want to see live sharks, so they have agreed to let us release any sharks that have been caught (that are still alive), while we wait for the sharks to show up at the chumming station. I do have to say there is no better feeling in the world watching a shark swim away that was supposed to die.

MARCH 28, 2013
Video Journal # 91 - Please Save our Sharks!
I put together a video blog to share my thoughts on a recent (written blog posting I published on our SDM blogger page.) I discussed my thoughts on shark conservation and how its entire focus is the shark finning industry, when it reality its much worse than that. So I cut together a video from my footage from our years of run ins with shark fishermen, and footage from my good friend Jason Perryman who shot footage of blues and makos getting fished up around the waters of Ensenada, Mexico. Its very graphic and hopefully it helps let people know what is happening to our shark populations. Most people still will not care, but if we help to change one persons mind, then we did our job.
Warning: very graphic shark killing footage.


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