Friday, February 17, 2012

This is it!

Epic GW pic taken from footage by Ron Taylor approx 1965

No, no red meat today! :)

Thank you Alex!
The Sharkman has uploaded the epic OWT scene from Blue Water White Death.

Shot in the late 60ies, it remains to this day my favorite Shark footage, ever.
This is at the very beginning of Shark diving when a very few, very brave and also, very crazy adventurers went exploring and started experimenting with the different species. BWWD is the first ever documentary featuring GWs after Ron Taylor took the very first footage from a boat in the mid 60ies - but it is this scene where Ron, Val, Stan and Peter ventured out amid hundreds of Oceanic Whitetips and even approached them whilst they were feeding on the whale that will forever be imprinted in my memory.

Alas, I fear that I'm probably wasting my breath here.
The old-timers remember but I'm not hopeful that the younger generation will ever comprehend the scope of what those guys dared and what they did achieve by pure will power and guts.

It will never be repeated as there will never be as many OWTs in one place again.
Valerie and even normally totally unfazed Ron who was nearly knocked unconscious remember this as their scariest dive and consider OWTs to be the most dangerous Shark, as do many other experienced pros.
Yes they did kill a Shark - not nice, but those were completely different times.



OfficetoOcean said...

It gets better every time I see it and 6:46 still makes me jump despite having seen it well over a dozen times.

It's so atmospheric, almost nine full minutes of underwater footage without any narration, can you think of any other film since then that would be brave enough to do that? You couldn't go a minute nowadays without having narrative.


Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

In all seriousness, why is it that vintage shark teeth just look bigger?

Loves me my vintage white sharks.

DaShark said...


Think about those Tuna: the big old ones have been killed, the younger ones are killed before they manage to grow to any respectable size.

Same-same for Sharks I fear.
GW "submarines" are the stuff of legends and OWTs have been targeted mercilessly for years, as have the Billfishes etc.

The Sharkman said...

True enough. A few years ago, in an interview I did with Ron & Val (which can be found here), this is what was said:

Sharkman: One of the first major Documentaries was"Blue Water White Death". Valerie, you kept a very detailed diary of the daily events. What was your most memorable moment of that expedition?

Valerie: Leaving the cage with Peter Gimbel and swimming through hundreds of feeding Oceanic sharks into clouds of blood so Peter could get close shots of the sharks teeth tearing into the whale carcass.

We reached the whale and had to wait for the blood to clear. I had my back to the whale's belly when an Oceanic White Tip bumped me away and shuddered into the bleeding flesh.

It was my worst and most memorable moment. I was too scared to move away in case I became separated from Peter and the whale in the bloody water so although it felt horrible I stayed against the feeding shark. Drifting around blindly in blood red opaque water full of large feeding sharks is not my idea of having a good time.

I must add that the shark showed no interest in me, it only wanted to feed on the dead whale. I was treated as just another marine creature that happened to be in the way. The blood eventually cleared long enough for Peter to get his shots.

Valerie had way of "unintentionally getting into certain situations, like the time when they were testing the "Shark Shocker" for the "Blue Wilderness" episode with White Sharks..... but that's another story.