Scuba Diver Australasia + Ocean Planet - - Contents - By Ja­son Is­ley

Back in 2001, we heard sto­ries of an is­land in the Philip­pines where it was said you could en­counter thresher sharks on a daily ba­sis. Of course this was the now-fa­mous Mala­pas­cua, to the north of Cebu Is­land, but back then there were just two re­sorts in the en­tire place and hardly any video footage or im­ages of thresh­ers to be found on­line. Dur­ing the first week, we were com­pletely blown away by the reg­u­lar sight­ings of the sharks un­der­wa­ter, but lit­tle did we know we were about to be very lit­er­ally blown away top­side!

At that time, my main role was as an un­der­wa­ter cam­era­man, but I was also tak­ing my ma­rine stills photography very se­ri­ously. So I hatched a plan to try and make the most of my time un­der­wa­ter at the shark clean­ing sta­tion. I took the video cam­era down as nor­mal, plus a tri­pod with an ex­tra weight belt to keep it se­cure on the rub­ble, but I also brought my un­der­wa­ter DSLR along, com­plete with strobes. Af­ter po­si­tion­ing the tri­pod in the clean­ing sta­tion and press­ing record on the video cam­era, I would back off and wait pa­tiently, hop­ing to cap­ture some still im­ages. On one par­tic­u­lar morn­ing, I could feel the surge down at 20 me­tres. I was alone at one of the clean­ing sta­tions and when I glanced up at the sur­face, the con­di­tions were not look­ing good. As there were no sharks around, I de­cided to cut the dive short, gath­ered all the kit and slowly made my way to the sur­face.

Once there, I could see that the bow of the boat, where the lad­der was lo­cated, was giv­ing the sea an almighty spank­ing. I swam for the lad­der and at­tempted to pass the video cam­era

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