November 17, 2010
Written by Amos Nachoum
Great White Sharks – Nasty Predator?
My expeditions to encounter the Great White Shark tend to sell out fast. That’s what just happened to my last two October expeditions. My favorite spot in the world to see Great Whites is in Mexico’s Baja California. Luckily, I have another Mexico diving trip coming up. The trips sell out fast for a good reason. People are fascinated with Great Whites, even though these sharks have the undeserved reputation of being a nasty predator. They’ve got a lot of teeth, as many as 300. They’re big – 12 to 16 feet long, and they weigh a couple thousand pounds. Steven Spielberg gave a starring role to a Great White in Jaws, and that didn’t help their reputation as a ferocious man eater.
But the truth is they are one of the most fascinating animals you’ll ever encounter, and one of the most rare.
When young, they feed on small harbor seals and later go after sea lions, elephant seals and even small toothed whales. They like to ambush their prey from below – one big bite usually does the trick. They will also scavenge – eating the carcass of a whale shark. They will sometimes eat sea turtles and sea otters.
Let’s be fair, though. Scientists and others who study the Great White say that in the past 100 years more people have been killed by dogs than by Great White sharks. That’s not to say that they don’t look scary. They do, especially when you’re facing one close up. But that’s only part of what makes them so fascinating.
The Great White Shark: A Rare Species
There are only about 100 adult Great Whites in the state of California’s waters. Scientists say less than 3,500 Great Whites are left in the world’s oceans, making them rarer than tigers. They are long distance swimmers, capable of traveling 12,000 miles over a nine month period. A trip from California to Hawaii is a common trip for them. Scientists have tracked them swimming from South African to Australia and back in nine months’ time.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has been capturing young white sharks, exhibiting them for a a short time, and then releasing them. The first time they did this, in 2004, the shark had almost a million visitors. The aquarium’s executive director Julie Packard said the shark was “the post powerful emissary for ocean conservation in our history.” The aquarium is also studying the adult Great White sharks to learn how to protect them from overfishing and the effects of bycatch – sharks that get caught in the nets of industrial fishing operations, get injured and can die because of it.
That’s what happened to one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s White sharks, a female. Captured on August 26, 2009 and released on November 4, the shark traveled more than 500 miles, from Monterey Bay to Baja California. There, she was accidentally caught in a gill net and died.
Baja California – One of the Best Dive Sites for Epic Shark Diving
There’s no doubt that Great White sharks are worthy of great respect. They’re found in the waters of Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It’s true that are amazing dives to be enjoyed in all of those locations, but my favorite place to see them is in Baja California. The water is clear and warm and the shark encounters will always be your best memories of shark diving.
November 17, 2010
Written by Amos Nachoum
I am very excited to be here in Marrakech. It is exotic and truly a different marketplace for a business convention. A business convention in Morocco? Let me explain.
Pure Life Experiences
This year, after 30 years in the diving business, I am not attending the annual meeting of the dive industry in Las Vegas. That’s the show known as DEMA – the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association. This year is different because I was invited to join the Pure life Experiences gathering, known as PURE. This is a special convention, by invitation only, that is all about brainstorming and networking on definitions of the new face of travel. It’s exclusive for exhibitors like myself, and for travel agents and others who do what is known as experiential travel.
Experiential travel goes well beyond offerings like eco-tourism. It is all about creating a new experience for higher-income clients worldwide. People who are looking for a higher level of experience in life, rather than experiences that are driven by price bargains. These experiences include retreats and unique hotels the world over, and – most importantly to me – discovery journeys, wilderness experiences and explorative adventures. Since I am providing you these adventures, I was invited to network with others who are working at this level.
NYC Explorers Club
Next, I’m on my way to New York, to speak on November 20th at the Explorers Club. This event is open to the public, so please come by. My talk is part of a day-long event called Sea Stories, and it features scientists, explorers, a videographer, a historian or two, and talking about the fragile regions of the underwater realm that I’ve visited. I’ll be showing some of the hundreds of images I’ve created for National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, and Der Spiegel. I hope to see you there! Tickets are not sold at the door, so you do have to call first: 212-628-8383. Here are a few more images from Morocco.
November 10, 2010
SkinIt, the leading company in personalization for electronic devices, is offering some Big Animals images for your gift-giving pleasure and your own enjoyment. They’re making me a featured artist on their site and they’re offering 15 percent off to you as a reader of my blog. Read on to find out how.
What is “personalization” for electronic devices? Well, let me ask you first, what’s the one thing you’d never be without for more than a few moments? Most of us would say “my phone” and the rest of us might say “my laptop.” SkinIt offers a way to make those important accessories even more your own – with Big Animals images. You can express your connection with nature and personalize at the same time. The images are high quality and carry my signature. Here’s what they look like, and you can find a collection of Big Animals images on the SkinIt site, and a bio of me.
It’s a new way to make your iPhone or laptop an even greater expression of yourself. I’m glad to be working with SkinIt. Their customer service is great and you can personalize your phone or laptop or give a SkinIt Big Animals gift. Just go online and order. If you enter the AMOS15 promo code, you’ll get 15% off!
November 10, 2010
“The Ambassador of the Big Animals” – that’s the title of my talk at the Explorer’s Club in New York on November 20th.
To live up to that ambassador role I’ll be in the city, presenting my best stories and information about some of the most fragile regions of the underwater world. I’ll be showing and discussing photographs from my expeditions around the world and will probably include a few “classics” from the hundreds of my images that have appeared in National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, and Der Spiegel. You can also see more of my images on my website, plus news about my latest expeditions. It’s all part of spreading my message that only through observation and interaction with these animals can people understand and respect some of the most impressive citizens of our planet. In a few words, “you have to go there and experience this firsthand.” But the next best thing would be to hear me at the Explorer’s Club!
My talk is part of an all day event at the Explorers Club called “Sea Stories.” It’s a day focused on exploration, conservation, scuba diving, shipwrecks, nautical history and marine life. Registration opens at 9am and the presentations start at 10. The Explorer’s Club won’t be selling tickets at the door, so you have to call and reserve ahead of time. Call the Explorers Club at 212-628-8383. There’s good information online, too, about the event. Ticket prices are $60 for members and guests and students with ID are $25.
Some of my fellow Explorer Club members will be speaking about diving Spanish treasure galleons, exploring the habitat of the ocean floor and filming and saving sharks. It will be a fantastic event and I hope to see you there!
Follow me on Twitter and check out my Facebook page. Here I am on YouTube, giving a talk at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.