Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Old Man: Pure

Usually when my dad and I get together sparks fly at one point or another – this time was no different: me giving him dirty looks or him giving me the stink eye when I would not get close enough for the shot of him in-between three large tiger sharks feeding on whale meat. But this trip just reaffirmed something to me: my dad LOVES sharks, and does so with a passion that he himself would not be able to describe aptly.

For a long time I have quietly sat behind and listened to the conversations on various shark groups, seen scientists bicker, film makers becoming famous, Shark organizations refusing to work together and people fighting over credit of campaigns; I have come to wonder whether these people are really passionate about sharks or about the fame and exposure for themselves or the organizations they represent.

I know one thing, my old man does not care whether or not his photos are published, if his face is on a movie poster, or if someone else takes credit for a campaign he initiated; (sure you might argue that you need the fame and exposure to get the message out – but it can be done together)…the only thing he cares about are sharks and spending as much time as possible with them. His feelings for sharks are so deep that he got seriously depressed when he found out that some of the tiger sharks in both Aliwal Shoal and Tiger Beach were killed.

William Winram, world class freediver and waterman, said something to my dad that stuck with me: “You are an inspiration”…Wolf was the first one in the water and last one out…mind you he is 67.

And while I am sure the sparks will continue to fly I am very proud of having the old Wolf as my father. I consider him one of the few people that are truly passionate about sharks and their fate…

1 comment:

Sharkman said...

Hi Felix.

Although I have never yet personaly met your father, I consider him to be one of a my truest friends. You are right. He does not seek fame and fortune, and all he wants is to be in the water with them and to fight for their survival.

He is one of a handfull of people that truely love sharks without expecting anything in return.

Wolfie, my old friend, you are the living proof that humans and sharks could co-exist together in harmony.

The Sharkman.