Friday, November 25, 2011

Tiger Beach revisited.


It is always an emotional climax to go back to that magic place. I see the same individuals, and at times I feel they recognize me as well (you should know that sharks have a memory that goes back at least one year).





"Emma" with lots of tiger babies in her tummy!
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2011)
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I was especially pleased to see a pregnant "Emma", and "Smiley", an incredibly gentle female tiger shark whose lower has been almost destroyed by recreational fishermen.

"Smiley" looks 'ugly' now, but to us who know her, she is the most beautiful striped girl with an unusually strong personality, not unlike the legendary "Scarface" of the Fiji Islands.



"Smiley" - intelligent and most gentle despite her new 'look'.
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2011)
Click on image




The weather was not that great during the two weeks I was in the Bahamas but the underwater adventures we had when the visibility was good, and the people who joined us this time, more than compensated for the bad luck not to have had the usually excellent diving conditions at "the" beach.

I felt privileged to be around experienced shark divers and novices who were, as I could see and hear, as enthusiastic to mix with the shark crowd as 'yours truly':

Caro and Michel Lonfat, Isabel Muscat, Isabel Singer ("Bitsy" - not at all bitchy!! :-), my old young friend David Salama, Carsten and Ute, both from Frankfurt, grumpy but good-hearted Roy Kerr, Jupp, as always, this old aristocrat of genuine Westfalian stock who is an idealistic yet down-to-earth shark warrior, Rob Allen and his buddy Andrew, both very British in the very best sense of this qualification, professional photographer Will Allen (not related to Rob), Felix, who turned 35 during the trip but did not want me to announce it, Engracia Katsoufis with her contagious laughter, filmmaker David Ulloa, a talented horse and human whisperer, and, last not least, Robert Terpstra always so busy preparing his camera housing for the next dive that he sometimes missed the best part of the action... :-)

OK, enough said - I know that some of you, dear readers, want to see a few new pix. Here they are:





Murky waters can be great for moody images.
Photo: Wolfgang Leander
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"Smiley" - again.
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2011)
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Caribbean Reef Sharks - gregarious and curious.
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2011)
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Isabel Muscat checking her camera to see whether she got a good shot of "Smiley".
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2011)
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Caribbean Reef Shark: Some consider it the quintessential shark.
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2011)
Click to enlarge




They ARE simply beautiful, aren't they?
Photos: Wolfgang Leander (2011)
Click on images

My next shark dive trip? It's still a secret but you'll know in due course....



1 comment:

Shark Diver said...

Glad to hear you had a great time at TB mate, and smiley, we know her as popeye, great animal, one of the best.