Thursday, January 20, 2011

Aging gracefully?....

Maybe others; not me. Getting old ain't easy, and I don't mean the physical and mental decay - unpleasant as that is, it's not the worst part.

What's bad in my case is that I am neither getting wiser nor do I become more patient as I age. But at least I know why:

- How can I get wiser if I was never wise before?... :-)

- Patience? Statistically speaking, and given my medical history, I cannot afford the luxury of toying with the idea of longevity. Thus, If I want to do things, I've gotta do them now or at least as soon as possible.

With that kind of inner mechanism driving me I find it very hard to have to wait another nine months before I can do what keeps my life candle burning: Diving with tiger sharks.

In fact, just looking at this photograph, taken only a little over two months ago, I ache and feel like telling the
Shark Baron, aka Jupp Kerckerinck: "C'mon, alter Knabe, let's go back into the water and see whether "Emma" is still around..."

Jupp and Emma (Tiger Beach, November 2010)
Photo: Wolfgang Leander
Click to enlarge

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Discovery Channel looking for a CSO...Seriously?!?!?

Discovery Channel is looking for a Chief Shark Officer for this years Shark Week - this is not a joke.

See press release here

Some highlights from the job description / qualifications:

  • Must enjoy exotic, waterfront locations, buff bodies in bathing suits
  • Look delicious in a wet suit - (this is wrong either way you look at it.  Fat / ugly people are not allowed to apply and skinny models are not appetizing to sharks).
  • Benefits - a lot of insurance (Um, why?)
Sure, it is to be taken light hearted - but when will Discovery Channel stop with the "hungry, bloody, man-eating" association to sharks?

I know a few people that would love to have this position...I feel bad for the person that lands this will be...dangerous.

The Shark Man of Cortez

It seems like Captain Bill Goldschmitt is at it again and organizing fishing tournaments in Florida focused on killing sharks.  Amanda Cotton forwarded the flyer, there is no information on site about the details on the tournament as of yet.   

If you do not know who Bill Goldschmitt is, I think it is best he introduces himself and shows what he does with the videos below.

He is also featured in another trailer: The Shark Con

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two stories that need to be heard...

They are from different oceans but are definitely related.  One is about the bull sharks of Playa del Carmen and fishermen decimating them at a popular dive site.  

The other story is about the Bahamas having an opportunity to preserve sharks and avoid the destruction of one of the last shark "havens".

Patric and Mike respectively covered each story in detail. Read their updates:

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Good news for Bahamian Sharks?

Two happy faces: Dr. Samuel Gruber ("Doc") and a Bahamian tiger shark.

Commercial shark fishing in the Bahamas may be banned - this would be a huge win for the sharks in an area that is considered a paradise for them.

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and the Pew Environmental Group's (PEG) are behind the campaign to get the Government to enact legislation banning commercial fishing of sharks in the Bahamas with the support of several others.

For more details read SharkDiver's blog post titled: "Tiger Sharks in the Bahamas Could get a Big Break"

Friday, January 07, 2011

I am probably boring you, dear OceanicDreams blog reader.....

..... but I have to tell you that when I go through my last Tiger Beach images, I feel this indescribable urge to be back with my Bahamian sharks, and while time, relative as it is, often passes too quickly, especially in my blessed (?) age, I wish I could already count the weeks that separate me from my next trip to "the" beach with the fingers of just one hand.

Enough said.

Tiger Beach 2010
Photo: Wolfgang Leander / Nikonos V, 20 mm lens, available light.
Click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Freedom of Photographing Sharks with a Nikonos V while Freediving.

Click to enlarge
The image says it all.

Will I ever switch to SCUBA and buy a pro's sophisticated (and bulky) photography equipment? Take a wild guess... :-)

Fernando Revilla Iribas, a cool madrilenyo lawyer living in Barcelona, caught me in this moody photograph which, in my opinion, perfectly conveys the very essence of freediving: Total freedom of moving, rather flowing, underwater on one breath of air.

Monday, January 03, 2011

ZIBS - Happy End of a Bitter Tiger Shark Baiting Controversy in South Africa....

.... and, finally, a new chapter in the Shark Dive Operation manuals throughout South Africa - and beyond.

"... und der Haifisch, der hat Zaehne... ("...and the shark has got some teeth...") "Three Penny Opera" by Bertolt Brecht.

But the teeth are gone, as you can see.... :-(

With ZIBS this won't happen anymore!!

Photo: Wolfgang Leander (Aliwal Shoal, 2008)

Click to enlarge

Much to my regret, the you-know-who of the you-kno
w-what shark operation had to be convinced the hard way to change their bad baiting habits. The controversy could have easily been avoided.

At first the you-know-who simply refused to listen to w
hom they once referred to as a "shark legend" - they probably meant "shark mummy"; and rightly so, I have to admit, as I will turn 70 in less than three months .... :-) :-)

Anyway, at some point, talking with Allen Walker and other friends, the you-know-who realized that in order to restore their slightly (?) scratched image as responsible shark operators they needed to do something about the
"issue" I already raised almost three (!!) years ago.

Even when they saw this photograph of a toothless tiger, they "explained" to me that other baiting devices wouldn't work - so they kept using the steel drum, the cables, and the chain.

Until now.

Ah, I believe I have forgotten to tell you what ZIBS means. ZIBS stands for Zero Impact Baiting System.....

.....And the winners are: ................ the tiger sharks, and the South African tiger shark operators. Bravo!!

OK, then - END OF STORY.

Except that I want you to read what Patric Douglas of Shark Divers wrote - it is a laudation to all those who got actively involved in developing ZIBS.

Saturday, January 01, 2011