This shark diving expedition in the Coral Sea is covered in far more detail on the Discovery Channel Expedition Shark blog I reported, but here are some of my personal photos along with a few from others that complement my personal version of the trip.
Sunset over the Coral Sea, first night out.
Me doing a giant stride entry on my 1st dive in the Coral Sea. Photo Courtesy Sanjayan.
Richard Fitzpatrick wrangles a whitetip reef shark while Mike deGruy is ready to help- bringing it on board the Undersea Explorer after catching it undersea with "shark rodeo" - lassoing it with a rope. All in the name of research of course!
The Undersea Explorer and the dinghy used for some of the research.
Sanjayan, Richard and Mike get cozy with a whitetip reef shark in the kiddie pool.
Richard and Mike get a hold of a whitetip reef shark on board the Undersea Explorer which they're about to implant a radio tracking device in.
Richard, Dean & Sanjayan work on whitetip reef shark.
Richard adjusting the hose on a whitetip reef shark on board the Undersea Explorer. The hose keeps water flowing over its gills. A grey reef shark being worked on. You can see the incision on its abdomen where Richard implanted a radio tracking device - aka "pinger" and sewed it up.
The beautiful Coral Sea.
Cat Gennaro and I on the second day aboard the Undersea Explorer. Photo courtesy John Rumney.
Mike deGruy and JR Rumney with a coconut rattle, which have been used for milennia to attract sharks.
Expedition Shark producer Mark Ferns catches up on work.
Mike deGruy and Celine Cousteau, presenters on Expedition Shark, hang out on the lower deck.
Me, Mark Ferns and George Evatt (underwater videographer). Photo courtesy John Rumney.
Undersea Explorer Engineer Brendon Robinson caught in the act... eating! :)
Topside cameraman for Expedition Shark Athol Foster.
Me Scuba diving. Photo Courtesy John Rumney.
Checking out a whitetip reef shark in the kiddie pool on board the Undersea Explorer. Photo courtesy John Rumney.
Dean Miller, Richard's research assistant and videographer, dresses up in some of the boat's "gear" while Cat looks on.
A chambered nautilus they caught in traps, and released again after marking for research purposes. John "JR" Rumney, Gabriel (dive instructor) and Tony (chef) hanging in the lower deck where everyone eats and works.
Sanjayan, Expedition Shark presenter and The Nature Conservancy lead scientist, showing the "reef cam" they place down at about 30 meters every day, then pick back up later in the afternoon. It's placed at a "cleaning station" where sharks and rays literally line up to get their parasites cleaned off their skin by cleaner wrasse fish.
Sean came with me to visit Warrawee, aka the Center for Rainforest Studies where I gave a guest lecture to the current students. It was so amazing to be back at this place that I spent time at in 1990 and that truly changed my life both personally and professionally. I love this Australian rainforest with all its tree ferns, vines, lianas, lush jungliness... and brush turkeys and pademelons hanging about. Me jungle woman! Sean knows a lot of the edible plants and so was teaching me about that. What is it with me knowing people who love edible plants and like to live on the land?!!! (I read a humorous essay on NPRs All Things Considered called "Married to Mowgli" about Matt who was/is very into edible wild things and once fed our kids maggots, erm carpenter ant larvae...).
On another note... I ran into the chair and think I broke my friggin toe. Hurts like sh%^ and I can't walk on it - or my foot. Or pretty much at all. OUCH! Its getting worse. I don’t want to pay a crapload of $ for a dr to wrap it and stick a popsicle stick on it… so should I do it myself? The thing that sucks is now I can’t run or do yoga and I totally must have gained 5 lbs on that boat …. they feed you soooo well!!!