What’s it like to Scuba Dive with sharks? Most of the time, it is a calm, ethereal experience. But some of the time, especially when the sharks know there is food to be had, the energy in the water changes. The sharks are still indifferent to us, but they can definitely let their presence be known!
This dive was at Beqa Lagoon in Fiji, where the sharks help support the communities of Beqa, Yanuca Island, and Korovisilou.
While the sharks are given incentive to show up, the dives are regulated amongst the local community dive shops to not stress the sharks – a strictly no-touch policy among the guest divers, and non-lethal, non-invasive deterrents are used when the sharks (here, the bull sharks) get a overly aggressive (you’ll see the shepherd staffs used once or twice).
I hope you enjoy this dive, and I encourage you look up the ways sharks enrich Fijian life, from the opportunities they give communities, to their place in traditional Fijian beliefs, art, and music!
It’s National Oceans Month here in the United States, but if you’re like me – every month is National Oceans Month!
What is National Oceans Month? Well, it’s basically when the government acknowledges that while we may be a terrestrial species, we’re still at the mercy of the tides. And as Chief Executive of the United States Government, the President is the one who dedicates us to the seas during this month of June.
The great orator and 35th president, John F. Kennedy, spoke of the sea in personal, human terms. I could quote him, but in this video, you can hear the man speak…
So, subscription services are all the rage these days. Everything from food to dog toys, it’s like getting a little gift (that you paid for) once a month. I really like the concept, and about a year and a half ago, I signed up for the Waterman’s Pack (which was meant for fishermen, surfers, and SCUBA divers), and happily, signed up to get a box in July, which was timed for Shark Week (check out my Shark Week reviews here at Nerdvana!). It was a box curated by Andy Casagande IV (the Shark Week veteran photographer and diver), and a portion of that month’s profits were donated to my friends at Shark Angels, who I wound up diving with 8 months later in Fiji. I got a nice little dive knife, and a few other things, including a print of an Andy Casagrande shark encounter.
And then a month later then ditched the fishermen and SCUBA divers portion of it, and started going marketing directly to watersports. I kept going for a month and got a tshirt and hat, but not really my thing, so I cancelled it.
And then thanks to the miracle of Facebook Targeted Advertising… I found ReefBox!
This is an Indo-Pacific lionfish (from the genus Pterois) from one of my 2017 dives off of Fiji’s coral coast. Even though I don’t have a red filter on my GoPro and I’m using natural light at about 60 feet down, it’s I think the video conveys the beauty of the animal as it hovers in perfect balance, display its’ delicate fins in a threat display as I approach it.
On July 8th at Shark-Con in Tampa, FL, I will be releasing a brand new collection of poems, essays, and art called “Cap’n Klute’s Ocean Almanac, Vol. 44 #2”! It’s probably the most ambitious project I’ve ever embarked on. It’s a collection of some of the essays and poetry, and I’ve commissioned a whole bunch of illustrations and drawings from some of Arizona’s top talent to present the work in a way you’ve never seen before. I’m really excited.
And to sweeten the deal, I’m including an exclusive book-only essay on tiki bar culture and sharks! The essay also includes two drink recipes I’ve created, the Blue Guadalupe and the Waidroka Angel, and if you come to Shark-Con you can buy tiki mugs to serve those drink recipes in (note: that tiki in the picture is not what I’m selling, that’s one from my private collection).
As always, any and all profits from the books, tiki mugs, t-shirts, and stuff for the little remoras in your school get donated to shark conservation groups.
So if you love sharks, if you love the ocean, if you love tiki bar culture, and like it all with a little chaser of sarcasm, you know where you need to be on July 8th and 9th.
Come to the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL and indulge your love of all things sharky, and stop by my booth, and say hi!
Follow Shark-Con on Facebook, or on Twitter – there might be some upcoming discounts. You never know.
The one thing that is very hard for a person who loves the ocean is the idea of eating wildlife, aka fish. I touch on it a little in my poem “Suicide Bomber“, that everything from the lowly crab to the mighty marlin is classified as “seafood”, as if there is some common thread between these animals, beyond the fact that they both live in the ocean.