Every once in a while, it feels like the universe drops a gift in your lap. That’s what happened to me in October 2018. Thanks to a series of short films about sharks, I’ve gained a reputation as “one of the shark guys.” Because of a film about great white, I found myself as a guest on the Nautilus Explorer. The mission? Document the unprecedented level of great white shark activity going on at Guadalupe Island, around 180 miles off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico.
Great white sharks galore
In 2017, we saw six sharks on the entire trip, but I’d heard reports of 12 sharks in one dive earlier in the 2018 season, so I was excited. On the first day we saw eight sharks in total — the action was awesome and sometimes non-stop. My new drone, the Autel EVO, also allowed me to shoot 4K 60fps, which in turn allowed me to slow the footage down by 50 percent to extend the drama of the aerial shots. Their waterproof rugged bundle is a must for divers. I also had several Paralenz dive cameras with me to capture behind-the-scenes shots as well as varying perspectives.
Our second day began like the first, but then a giant emerged from the depths —Lucy. We knew it was her immediately because of her infamous ragged tail, which is likely either a birth defect or due to some sort of incident in her youth. She stayed with us for the rest of the trip, through the third day. She moves much slower than the other sharks, likely because of her enormity, and was a joy to film.
The Nautilus crew was incredible as always and, in the end, we don’t know why sharks are there in unprecedented numbers. Hopefully it’s because these animals are rebounding, but 2019 and the years to come should provide more clarity. Regardless of the reason though, it became clear to me that nature needs more people to document its beauty and majesty. Humans are more on their devices and less in touch with nature than ever — so we need to bring nature to their devices.