This is a short clip of some beautiful footage I managed to capture whilst in South Australia.
The visibility on the dive at Rapid Bay wasn’t the best on the day but watching the footage, it doesn’t really seem to show on the video. Continue reading
On a baited shark dive at Aliwal Shoal, South Africa one remora stood out from the crowd.
What looked like a ‘mutant’ remora turned out to be an unfortunate little guy who had obviously had a clash with something much bigger than him, possibly a shark who was a little hungry at the time. And of course, he came off worst. He looked like he had a nasty hair lip, but on closer inspection both his upper and lower jaw were badly damaged. However he had managed to heal well and live another day, although he was a bit more frightening to look at compared to his cloned mates!
Remoras are also called sucker fish, and for good reason. They have a sucker in their mouth which sticks to the belly of large fish including sharks, whales and turtles. Their job is to clean parasites off their host, and in return they get to eat leftover food of their host. Where there is a shark there will be remoras, and we find them fascinating.
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A gathering of like minded people and the Sunshine Coast Environment Council met at the HMAS Brisbane War Memorial at Alexandra Headlands, South East Queensland this week. A call was put out to all Sunshine Coast divers, tourism operators, conservationists, scientists, fishers and other marine loving people to show their support for our marine sanctuaries.
The crowd and supporters unfurled an enormous colourful banner which celebrated the alliance of many groups and people with a common interest in marine conservation and sealife diversity. The banner comprised hundreds of photos on it taken by people across Australia over this summer highlighting the diversity and strength of support in the community for marine sanctuaries. The banner was produced by the Save Our Marine Life Alliance.
Philip Hart, owner and manager of Sunreef Scuba Diving Mooloolaba represented the gathering and local media attended including Channel 7 news. Continue reading
DiveCareDare recently came across this fabulous website: www.supportoursharks.com
It is a fabulous web site with some great information and news relating to conservation, education and research of the ocean.
Shark biologist Dr. Ryan Kempster founded the Support Our Sharks (SOS) Ocean Conservation Society in 2010 with a mission to support healthy oceans by promoting better protection for sharks and their close relatives the rays and skates.
SOS is a science-based conservation group raising awareness to the threats faced by sharks (and rays) in the 21st century. Dr. Kempster established SOS with the goal of educating the public by promoting conservation, outreach and research to inspire interest in protecting these important animals.
They utilise a mixture of on-the-ground and online campaigning, educational outreach and peer-reviewed scientific research to encourage better protection for sharks and rays, whilst also promoting better protection of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems. By working closely with the general public and a wide range of specialist groups including scientists, divers and politicians, they are able to bring about positive change for sharks and their relatives worldwide.
This great short but punchy video discusses how long sharks have existed. It’s a must watch!
Their excellent mantra:
“SUPPORT OUR SHARKS
SUPPORT OUR OCEANS
SUPPORT OUR FUTURE”
Justin Bruhn is a local Sunshine Coast boy from Landsborough. His ‘day job’ has him acting as a Security Consultant which has taken him around Queensland including the Far North, but he has also worked in the diving industry as as a dive instructor and a passionate underwater photographer.
He has dived extensively around the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand and South America. He has a deep commitment to marine conservation, and believes that to save underwater treasures such as the Great Barrier Reef, preserving their images and educating the community is one way to go.
DiveCareDare first met Justin through connections with a local dive operator, both eventually joining forces when Tony took a group of local divers to Beqa Lagoon, Fiji to have a life affecting, shark diving experience, diving with up to 8 different breeds of sharks at any one time.
Justin has a huge, very impressive Nauticam underwater camera set up, and whilst he does do videography, he is increasingly taking more and more still photos, especially wide angle rather than macro photography. Continue reading
This was another DiveCareDare opportunity for a Surface Interval activity with a difference. In between dives at Nightcliff Island, just outside Darwin, we decided to explore Crocosaurus Cove in downtown Darwin’s CBD. A long standing business, their point of difference from other similar businesses is their offering of the ‘Cage of Death’. Yes, Cage of Death. Mmmmm. Our minds pondered.
Well Tony just couldn’t resist to check it out. But it turned out that we were well behind the 8 ball as the spots were all booked out well in advance. So we decided to gate crash someone else’s experience, and, well our photos and videos tell it all.
This is one of the videos for your viewing in that blog post:
If you get the chance, you MUST do this. There is no where else in Australia where you can experience this thrill of a lifetime. Go on, just DO IT!
[Our thanks go to Jan Jnr and Jan Snr Mahotka from South Australia, for allowing us to video their experience. Photos and videos by Tony and Irene Isaacson]
BEAUTIFUL TURTLE MOMENT AT THE END OF A SHARK DIVE
For you turtle lovers out there (ok guys, come on, we know you are in to them too!) here is some lovely footage of a lone turtle doing its thing. Just cruising by at the end of a dive, up near the ocean surface.
This was an introductory dive for a group of international divers who joined DiveCareDare and African Dive Adventures for the Sardine Run, 2014. At the end of a baited shark dive with Aliwal Dive Centre, we paused to enjoy the calm of the loggerhead turtle while oceanic blacktip sharks continued to search for tiny scraps of fish in the water. The baited dive was a controlled experience for our group to have close passes from all directions ahead of the 3D action of the Sardine Run when dolphin, seals, whales and Cape gannets coordinate with sharks down to the last sardine.
Another operator had a top and bottom baited drum, as well as two divers and a dozen snorkelers in the water within 20 metres of our baited drum. There were plenty of oceanic blacktip sharks to keep both groups busy. At times we were completely surrounded by ‘shark soup’, one shark even bumping into my camera! The experience had been priceless and then as it was time to surface we looked up and there it was. A beautiful loggerhead turtle, just gently cruising, outlined by the sun above, a truly magical moment. With all the shark activity below, here this turtle was oblivious to it all.
Isn’t nature just wonderful. What a perfect end to a great dive.
Some of the best shark encounters in the world can be had at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks with Raggies [grey nurse sharks/sand tigers], Zambezi [bull sharks], tigers, duskies and hammerheads mixing it with humpback whales and other sea life of significance. Highly recommended diving.
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Below is a recent article written by Kathy Sundstrom in our local Sunshine Coast Daily newspaper published on the 9th October 2014. She called me for a phone interview brought on by the recently reported shark encounter in Mooloolaba. The following article was the result of that discussion:
SUNSHINE COAST DAILY:
“A RESPECTED shark expert has called for mandatory education in schools and for tourists to make them “shark-savvy” following video footage of a great white circling a boat off Mooloolaba.
Darryl Kitching said he was terrified when the five-metre-long shark circled the family’s seven-metre boat for about 20 minutes, sometimes nudging its side.
Mr Kitching said it was something he had never experienced in his 40 years of fishing.
“I was very glad I was in the boat,” he said.
Shark expert Tony Isaacson of Kawana, said there was likely to be a number of great whites off the Coast as they followed humpback whales heading south.
Mr Isaacson said that with proper education, people need not fear sharks and he could not understand why this was not taught at schools and to tourists visiting the area.
“People need to be shark-savvy,” he said.
He said an incident at Byron Bay earlier this month in which a swimmer was killed by a great white happened “a year to the day” he had an encounter with the feared species in the same location.
“I was filming grey nurse sharks and then they started forcing me down to the ocean floor,” Mr Isaacson said.
“I had never had this experience before and couldn’t work out why they were pushing me down.
The next thing I saw a 4.5 metre great white above them. This is not unusual, but they are usually quite well fed.”
Visit the Daily’s website to see Mr Kitching’s video of the great white.
Twenty-six sharks have been caught in nets or drum lines off the Coast since January.
Sharks caught in nets and drumlines, January 1 to September 30:
Noosa 9 – 5 tiger sharks, 4 whalers
Maroochydore 4 – 1 long-nose whaler, 1 hammerhead, 1 great hammerhead, 1 bull whaler
Marcoola 3 – 1 tiger, 2 whalers
Wurtulla 2 – 1 great hammerhead, 1 sharp tooth shark
Coolum Beach – 2 long-nose whalers
Alex Headland – 1 great hammerhead
Twin Waters – 1 grey nurse shark
Peregian – 1 tiger shark
Castaways – 1 tiger shark
Marcus Beach – 1 tiger shark
Currimundi – 1 tiger shark
Some safety tips to minimise the chance of shark attack:
- Swim or surf only at patrolled beaches – between the flags and where shark safety equipment is in place
- Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted
- Do not swim or surf after dusk, at night, or before dawn when sharks become more active
- Do not swim or surf in murky or silt-laden waters
- Do not swim in, or at the mouth of, rivers, estuaries, artificial canals and lakes
- Never swim alone
- Never swim when bleeding
- Do not swim near schools of fish or where fish are being cleaned
- Do not swim near, or interfere with, shark control equipment
- Do not swim with animals”.
Related articles about recent local shark sightings by the Sunshine Coast:
SNORKELLING WITH ‘SINGING’ WHALES
Whilst on our recent trip to South Africa hoping to dive on the Sardine Run, we were given a bonus encounter of these amazing leviathans of the sea. Whilst looking for the sardine bait balls in the waters at Coffee Bay, three humpback whales including a mother and her baby cruised by. There was no time to don scuba equipment, so with only snorkels and masks we all got in the water to take a closer look.
They were truly amazing and the sound they were making took us all aback. It was nothing like the high pitched whale song we had heard before, such a deep gutteral almost painful straining sound. WIERD!
This was a truly memorable moment, especially when at one point when they came up from the deep so close to one of our group that he had to try to push himself away from the side of the huge animal. AMAZING!
Thanks to Roland Mauz and his team from African Dive Adventures who gave us this incredible encounter.
What do you think of their whale ‘song’? Have you ever hard anything like this before?
For more, see our recent post Snorkelling with Humpback Whales at Coffee Bay, South Africa.
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[Video Footage by Tony Isaacson. Video Production and Editing by Roger Barrett, TraveThereNext.com]
LIQUIDLIFE MAGAZINE COMES TO LIFE – FIRST EDITION OUT NOW!
Last night we had the pleasure of attending the official launch of the Coast’s newest and exciting magazine Liquidlife. The brainchild of editor Leisel Walker, the magazine finally came to fruition after months in the making. Liquidlife is a one off. There is no other magazine covering watersports on the Coast so Liquidlife is here to fill a definite gap. The magazine has both an online format and glossy magazine for distribution to shops, cafes, and restaurants around the coast from Caloundra to Noosa. The content covers all things watersports, from stories on local personalities, care for the ocean, the latest in technology, and beachwear fashion connecting watersports with local businesses.
The launch was at Sealife, Mooloolaba – a fitting venue, with attendees surrounded by a backdrop of freshwater and seawater exhibits. Continue reading