Sunday, November 6, 2011

Playing with sharks

Had a great day on the water first with dolphins then with the sharks. Above is a photo taken by Don Hurzeler of me surrounded by oceanic white tip sharks and a few pilot whales. These were all taken off of China Mikes trip Sunlight on water. First off as usual we started off in the water with Hawaiian spinner dolphins.

The dolphins were very active and swam by in large groups quickly and then they would come back for pass after pass. There seemed to be about 20 groups in the pod that would swim by at different times.

Don and Linda both got some great shots of there own and even the crew was enjoying themselves playing with these beautiful mammals. 

After a great swim with the dolphins we headed out to sea looking for pilot whales. Mike always aims to please and impress and he never seems to let us down.  On the way out I spoke with mike about how I like to get in at the back of pods of pilot whales rater then the front or middle as pilot whales are always followed by oceanic white tip sharks. I like to photograph these sharks because on most occasions in the water I am shooting very wide angle so I can get close. The further away a subject is underwater the more red is absorbed out of the color spectrum of light and the subject then turns blue. With oceanic white tips they may not be as big as a tiger shark but they are more prone to rush at a human then swim away. Sometimes this is curiosity and sometimes it is aggression but it always makes for a good close photo. We didn't see any until the trip back when off in the distance I spotted them and Mike sure enough let me off right at the back and as always there were many oceanic white tips. 

It seemed every where I looked there was a shark. Final count was either 5 or 6 sharks. I had to keep my head on a swivel as they always try to approach when and where your not looking. The close shot above was taken as I felt the pressure wave off this shark as he tried to bump me. I turned just in time to put my camera between the shark and I and have him ver off so I could snap this shot. The neat thing was everyone got in the water as it was a more experienced group and even the inexperienced were guests of the experienced. Everyone stayed by the boat as instructed. I was the only one off in the distance other then Don who followed me until he realized just how far from the boat he was and just how many sharks there were. Don later joined the group by the boat putting the deckhand Gabe between themselves and the sharks.

Above you can see the group by the boat and the sharks between us. In the bottom photo you can see Mike's deckhand Gabe defending the group as a shark neared them. What a great day on and in the water my thanks as always go out to China Mike and Sunlight on water. Below is my favorite shot of the day and probably the best photo I have ever taken of a Oceanic white tip shark. Thanks Mike!!

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