Monday, January 29, 2007

First shark...

Believe it or not I clearly remember the first time I ever saw a shark in the ocean. It was 1981 and my father and I were diving in the Red Sea (Israel). In those days I had not mastered how to use a snorkel yet - so I had to pop my head out of the water every few seconds. I also used my dad as a floating device - always wishing that he would come up fast (while he was filming) so that I could climb on his back.

On one of his submersion's I noticed he was following something larger than usual...I could not believe it, a white tip shark. It was HUGE - at least to me (being small and all). Not having a snorkel and completely exciting I started swallowing water as I tried to get my head underwater as fast as possible. The shark swam by completely, un-phased by our presence. I think my dad was just as excited, little did he know that 20 years later he would be photography these beautiful animals. What seemed like an eternity - was actually just a matter of a few seconds - but enough to find a permanent place in my head. See video below - that was my first shark experience.

First shark I ever saw capture on a Super 8 by my dad in the Red Sea (Israel)

My father had a Super 8 and I have been able to digitize most of his films - talk about tedious editing compared to what we can do on computers these days.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

20% - Rocking for a good cause

Last night were the 8th Annual Danny Awards at Tobacco RD. All proceeds went to the American Nicaraguan Foundation - we still do not know now much, but based on the turn out, should be high. There were good, bad, and ugly bands, one particularly stuck out: Tango 36 - excellent.

Some pictures from last night, click here

Friday, January 26, 2007

Inconvenient Truth

I just watched An Inconvenient Truth - really left me thinking, and while at first I thought there would be little we could do, I think there is some quote in the movie was: "Put knowledge into action..."

We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sharks are always evil in the media...

A man in Australia was bitten by a white shark while diving for abalone. CNN chose the following title: "Shark chomps head of man diving near weeds" Anything to get people to click through. BBC chose the following headline: "Australian escapes shark that grabbed him by the head" seems a bit more civil and forgiving to our friends with fins...

I must say though, what a story to tell the grand kids.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Shark Petition

Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 500 signatures - please sign here:

Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


40% of your time should be dedicated to work, 40% of your time dedicated to your personal life, and 20% of your time dedicated to volunteering (and I do not mean just donating money).

Think this a good balance of how life...

How random - a cat just showed up on our balcony and the neighbors are not there...

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Greater Meaning of Water

Just read in that a new freediving movie is coming out soon: "The Greater Meaning of Water" - remains to be seen how it will compare to the all time freediving movie classic: THE BIG BLUE. Cinematography of The Great Meaning of Water looks great, a trailer is available here

Gentle Souls

The second OceanicDreams video is almost complete. Focus is on sea lions, however, there are a few other protagonists. The video was shot entirely in The Galapagos, the tapes have actually been collecting dust for about two years - finally got inspired to put something together. I'll post the video on YouTube and Google Video.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

El Gran Inka

Spelling of Inca is not wrong, that is the name of the restaurant. Decent Peruvian restaurant - ceviche was great, but the Chupe de Camaron was not. Also, the fact that a llama sacrifice was being shown on TV did not make the food more appetizing.

Random thought - but I have not been diving in a while - I think once this cold passes I will hit the Keys and get wet...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Shark Fin Soup in Vegas

My friend just called me from the Atlanta airport on his way back from CES in Las Vegas. He told me the other night he went to the Jasmine restaurant in the Bellagio, and to his surprise he found: "Braised Superior Shark's Fin-2oz.Silver sprouts & Jin Wah Ham." It is even on the restaurants website, click here - fight is not only in Asia...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Still sick

Still have the flu...maybe I will have some shark fin soup - I mean chicken soup :). Thanks for the email Claudio!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sick and not in the mood

Woke up feeling like crap, went to work, left after a call, and worked from home. Spent some time editing a new video on sea lions. Saw Daniel Ortega's inauguration - hope Nicaragua learned from its past. Going to bed...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

At the virtual movies

I attended my first virtual movie premier today - on Second Life (3D virtual community)...two words: "It Sucked". The whole thing was sponsored by the Sundance Channel. I will not getting into the whole discussion of RL coming to SL - but I have yet to see it be done the right way. At least this event was showcased in popular SL locations such as Laguna Beach Club - so I assume people actually watched the movie. Should be interesting to read the blogosphere tomorrow and see what all the "experts" have to say.

Better content next time.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Galapagos Sea Lions

Agile, fast, sensitive, protective, intelligent, and individual (yet part of a community) sums up the sea lions of the Galapagos. Freediving with them is truly an unforgettable experience. Spending many hours in the water with these fun-loving sea canines, one begins to connect and understand. At points it even feels as though you have been adopted by their families.

The males are serious, patrolling their territory. The females are playful underwater acrobats. Together they complement each other creating a harmony and balance that runs deep. And while rough play is part of the game - they are gentle and loving with one another - even with the occasional freediver.

They have protected me (chasing sharks away), played with me, performed for me, softly bitten me, and allowed me to interact with their offspring - the ultimate trust. I truly fell in love with them and miss those large eyes - gateway to their kind souls...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Shame on you - Shark Finning

This video was submitted by Michael Aw over at OceaNEnvironment, a message for - have a look, not cruel, I swear...being sarcastic obviously. Pass the video around - here is the URL

Watch video here:

Carmen got the ROCK

Last night we went to Transit Lounge and watched Tony's band play - again. Sound was much better than Sneakers and they played some new songs.

Patron and Johnny played a big part of last night's craziness. Got down and dirty - fun times. We will have to try to book the band for an ANF (American Nicaraguan Foundation) event.

And Carmen found the rock - we all did actually...


Saturday, January 06, 2007

We did not check our anchor rope - almost cost us our lives...

Back in 1997 I would regularly go to the pool at college - swimming and diving exercises. I was preparing for the summer vacation - Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas. I just wanted to make sure I would physically fit upon arriving.

On our second or third day out on the reef, we (father, mother, and friend) anchored the boat and were spearfishing. Every once in a while I would pop my head out of the water to look at the boat...seemed a bit far away. Shortly after, the first sharks started to appear, making everything a bit more interesting and exciting.

It was then that we noticed the boat was drifting into the open ocean, bimini top was still up serving as a sail, did not help the situation. My dad and I gave our spears to mom and friend and started swimming after the small white spec. Halfway through, my dad looked at me and said: "GO"...he was exhausted and could not swim any further. It was the first time I saw my dad give up (not on purpose...he just could not go on).

I kept on...all of a sudden a barracuda started chasing me, just curious, but enough to get me more rattled than I already was. Finally, I was able to reach the boat, the pool had paid off and we learned a new lesson, always check the anchor rope to ensure it is not chafing with rocks or corals.

We later found out that two years earlier, a couple had not been so lucky and drowned .

Latin America coming together for sharks

Article by Talli Nauman about Latin America's concern and push to protect sharks:

Ben - it works...

While I heard the good news a few weeks ago, I think this picture confirms it (not that I did not believe him). One of my best friends, Benjamin, is going to be a dad. Congrats to the both of you...and thanks for the added pressure ;)

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I had the pleasure to watch Sharkwater in November, twice actually. It is probably the best shark documentary that I have ever seen - Discovery Shark Week - get a clue. Rob Stewart directed and filmed the movie, which has been winning awards at all the film festivals it has participated in.

I met Rob in Key West - standup guy...

Two thumbs up...highly recommended!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 PR

So who is managing the public relations for Who is the executive that is taking no action to stop the trade of shark finning on Without further ado I would like to introduce Porter Erisman, Vice-President of Corporate Marketing.

What does Mr. Erisman say about the company he works for:

"We're in a phase where Chinese companies are beginning to think with a longer-term perspective. People are starting to see that operating in a good, ethical and well-mannered way helps you survive in the long term."

And what does he say about the fact that shark fins are traded on

"To be up front, I don't expect any change to our policy. It is not a question of whether or not we are "for" or "against" shark fin trade. We just don't see our role as an arbiter on this issue."

Spoken like a true spin doctor...and what about your role as a marketplace to trade shark fins?

Roger Horrocks

Beauty, originally uploaded by Pelagic Drifter.

I came across Roger's photography today on Flickr which lead me to his website,, excellent photography. Have a look, you will not be disappointed. Apparently my dad has been in touch with him and the two may free dive together in April - what a team...

Congratulations on your work and passion.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Amazon selling Shark Fin soup

If you can believe it, is selling Shark Fin soup - this was brought to our attention by Jason Heller over at To see what you can do read the post here. DO SOMETHING...and Jeff B., hope the listing will be removed soon.