Searching and Diving for Great Whites
Last week, I followed another amazing opportunity brought to me from extreme cameraman Mark Rackley, of Shark Week, Discovery, Jackass, Nat Geo, etc. He invited me and my former spearfishing boat owner, Steel Rockett, to film with him in the New England area to film Great White Sharks for Shark Week. The week prior, he filmed some absolutely groundbreaking footage of a Great White eating a seal right off of Cape Cod. By the way, he was advised he would die if he jumped in to film it. Mark ended up getting the closest footage without a cage of a White Shark feeding. The episode will most likely be aired next Shark Week; the Discovery Channel network is apparently very excited to share this in an episode since it has never been done before. So, Mark asked us to join him on the Great Whites he kept finding up there to hopefully get another amazing shot. We ended up having changes of plans about where we stayed and ended up having to dive out of another area that Mark wasn't as familiar with. The visibility was much worse here so we had much less safety to see anything coming and, more importantly, try to not get mistaken for a seal and breached. Especially since I've experienced getting bit from behind, which has no defense, I stayed very close to the rocks which also wasn't easy. The waves were constantly crashing into the rocks and we all were trying to keep a balance of not getting slammed and smashed on the rocks and not being in water that a juvenile Great White could take advantage of us. Mark and Steel have been professional divers practically their entire lives so even though Mark described the dive conditions as "treacherous" they had an easier time than I did. It took me about two days to finally get used to it and take some more confident freedive drops to hunt fish. Steel ended up shooting about 12 Tautogs (Blackfish) which we cooked up and Mark got some great shots of us for the show. We didn't get any shots of Great Whites when we were there, but that's fine by me. I didn't want to see any in bad visibility without a cage, but thankful for the opportunity to be on Shark Week next year!