"If you’ve grown up with Labradors and then get to spend some time with a Jack Russell terrier, it’s apparent that these are two very different creatures! For me, this has been a fun game I play with the sharks I dive with; seeing how very different they are and then translating that into dogs! It’s a language many people understand better than philosophical descriptions of the nature of specific shark species. So here goes…"
This is an excerpt from a fun little piece I wrote for Submerge Magazine last year about freediving with sharks, have a read and a think!
It's really quite simple. Our planet is blue. All over the green and brown bits we draw lines, we claim nations we speak languages that differ wildly from land mass to land mass. We misunderstand, we hurt each other and we redraw the lines. Mine! Yours. Back off! We stakeclaims and we feel threatened. The heaving, churning flowing mass of blue is unkept, untamed and unlined. You cannot own an ocean. Where borders divide us, oceans unite us.
I swim in Mozambique... yes, it's another country, but the ocean is transfrontier. I meet with pods of dolphins... who carry no passports, have no allegiance and look pretty damn happy for it.
I am a blue water uniter, I am a believer in what brings us together- of what unites us and makes us similar. Water. Oceans. The wombs we are born from. The worlds beyond language where we can be silent and agree. I am an oceaner.
"Do you know what the cure for seasickness is?" asks Jacques, our underwater cameraman. "What?" slurs our pale green puking producer Emil, "sitting under a tree" Jacques laughs.
This joke is hardly funny when you're 56 km south of Cape Point where land is a distant memory and the heaving, thrusting, splashing ocean is all around you. We have bounced out here on EXPLORER 1, a sturdy and fast rubber duck to find the blue water known as 'The Canyon'.
We are a team of five ocean loving adventurers; two Americans, one Swede and two South Africans- and we are freezing! We have been diving with Blue and Mako sharks for the last two hours and we're dreading the 2,5 hour run back to Cape Point. With her diverse sea life and wild seas, Cape Town is one of my favourite places to dive in the world. In one week we have dived with Cape Fur Seals, Mako Sharks, Blue Sharks, Seven Gill Sharks and in magical kelp forests. But you have to have a certain kind of toughness (and wetsuit!) to really love diving in Cape Town. It's not called the Cape of Storms for nothing... and the water is between 10 and 22 Celsius. Never more. Yet most Capetonians hardly know the aquatic riches on their doorstep! We are shooting a 6 part mini series for EPIC TV, and each episode is freediving with a new marine creature and we've clocked four already!
But we want blue warm water. We want to take off our wetsuits and feel the water on our skins. We are freedivers, the less equipment we wear the closer we feel to the ocean.