Our initial trip was to verify that the techniques and technology would work. Satisfied with our first effort, we returned
to the area to apply additional acoustic tags and the more sophisticated PAT tags. We spent most of our time working
and little time filming, so we didn't bring back much footage. And following the concrete laws of Murphy, the most interesting
events took place while the cameras were off. Oh well, I still think what we did film is pretty interesting, and the tagging
efforts were successful.
Note for those that may be concerned:
The speargun was not for hunting the sharks. Sal occasionally used the gun for more distant shots, and I preferred
a Hawaiin sling for the close up work. Both worked well in different situations. The tools have modified tips that allow us
to plant tag anchors in the dorsal muscle of the sharks. The sharks are not seriously harmed in the process, and after
the initial bolt following a tagging sequence, they return to their normal schooling behavior.
Here is Sal waiting for unsuspecting sharks to swim by.
This was one of our first attempts at tagging the sharks. Our techniques quickly became more refined, and we regulary
got much closer to as our work progressed.
As you can see, with the rebreathers, some careful planning, and good techniques, we were able to get very close
to these majestic animals.
This is an early shot of one of several schools we observed coming in very close.
Here are a few more interesting photos of the sharks and a few giant mantas that are now very rare at the seamount.