B1 Intermediate US 89 Folder Collection
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(dramatic music) (splash)
- Believe it or not, this was potentially
the most dangerous step of my entire life.
Oh, and did I mention this was an experimental craft?
Jump in, and miss grabbing the cage, you sink, fast.
(splash) (dramatic music)
(dramatic music)
(light music) (sound of waves)
Welcome back to Guadalupe, Mexico,
the site of our very first great white shark encounters.
Aboard the Socorro Vortex, we traveled over 175 miles
to this prehistoric island in hopes of getting up close
with the world's largest predatory shark.
Here we go.
And as millions of you witnessed,
that's exactly what we did.
But what if I were to tell you
that we really didn't come all of this way
for an ordinary shark cage adventure?
What if I were to tell you the real reason we came this far
was to embark on the single most daring mission
we've ever attempted?
Today, I will take you even closer to the most famous
set of jaws on earth in a one of a kind
shark cage submarine.
By now, I'm sure everyone watching this video
has at least seen images of a great white shark before.
But have you ever seen a S.P.O.C.?
Probably not because this self-propelled ocean cage
is highly experimental and can only be piloted
by one of two people in the entire world.
Now the sharks will let us get close in this?
- Oh yeah.
- Or ar they gonna get close to us?
- Both. - Both?
- Yeah.
- Meet Erick Higuera, our pilot for today's mission
and a world renowned marine biologist
and ocean photographer.
- So no matter what we're not gonna sink?
- Well that's on the
that would be the second step. - That's not,
that's not, that's not what I wanted to hear.
(chuckling)
I want you to say, "Yeah, we're not gonna sink."
- You are in charge of monitoring your own
air supply system.
I won't be able to monitor that.
If you run out of air, it's gonna be your fault.
- You're probably asking yourself or maybe even
yelling at your screen, "Why are you putting yourself
in this situation?"
Well, what we know of these mysterious creatures
has been limited to years of topside observation,
cage diving, and the infrequent free dive experiences
that only a few have lived to speak of.
So this vehicle truly represents an evolution
in our understanding of the world's most famous shark
which is also perhaps the world's most famous animal.
All right, so we had our debriefing with Erick
on the self-propelled ocean cage a.k.a. S.P.O.C.
and I have to say I am so excited to get out there
in the water in this research vehicle.
This is going to be probably one of the most unique
experiences you could have with great white sharks
in a safe way without free diving.
Certainly someday I'd love to have the opportunity
to free dive with great white sharks
but this about as close as you're gonna get
here in Guadalupe and now all we need to do
is go get suited up, get our cameras ready
and get out there for some action.
As if this activity in of itself wasn't dangerous enough,
the technical nature of this dive
was also quite daunting.
I would need to wear a full face regulator
in order to maybe have communication with the pilot.
However, underwater comms are notoriously unreliable.
I would also be wearing a pony bottle vc
in the case of an emergency bailout
in which I would need to rip off my full face reg to use it.
Not ideal.
Additionally, I would be wearing nearly 30 pounds of weight
without fins and I would sink like a rock
one foot outside the confines of the cage.
Oh, and did I mention this was an experimental craft?
The connections and critical mechanisms were all exposed
and at risk of damage from the divers.
If I were to kick one accidentally,
it could prove catastrophic.
Erick is in the S.P.O.C.
I'm about to get in the S.P.O.C.
And then we're about to go, get up close,
there's some giant sharks. - Okay, it's your time
to get in.
- Okay, here we go guys. See ya.
This was potentially the most dangerous step of the day,
and potentially of my entire life.
(dramatic music)
Jump in and miss grabbing the cage, you sink.
Fast.
This was a one-shot deal.
A no-miss scenario.
This wasn't just water, it might has well have been
looking off a 50 story skyscraper.
This was it.
(dramatic music builds) (splash)
Whew!
As soon as I got hold of the bar,
I pulled myself into the cage.
And what had seemed roomy on the deck,
had suddenly shrunk and there was barely
any room to move.
(dramatic music)
All right I'm all set, ready to go.
But what was worse, my headset was silent.
The communications had already failed.
Erick and I would rely solely on hand signals
for the entirety of the dive.
In a way, I was now completely on my own.
Once settled and breathing normally, I set the cameras
and gave Erick the signal to launch.
In an instant we were off.
The rush of water pressing against me
as we glided below the boat was much more intense
than I expected.
Great. Another obstacle.
After adapting to these new sensations,
the environment came into view
clear and brilliant blues to my sides and above
with a dark ominous floor below
which wasn't really a floor at all,
instead, literally thousands of feet of water.
The sharks were all around us
yet none of them were in sight.
So we began our descent in hopes of meeting
a great white shark face to face.
(dramatic music)
Erick zipped the S.P.O.C. up and down
checking different depths for shadows
and signs of movement.
The thermoclines or temperature layers were dramatic.
Each dive down would zap us with freezing cold water
and the light would retreat right along with it.
(bubbling sound)
It was very dark below 60 feet,
a perfect environment for these sharks
as they have adapted retinas that are actually split,
one part suited for surface light
and one part adapted for darkness.
And while we certainly require wet suits
to regulate our body temperatures
to keep from hypothermia,
the sharks are able to regulate their bodies
all on their own.
(bubbling sound) (dramatic music)
We had been looking for nearly 25 minutes
without a single sign of a shark.
But then, I saw a shadow to my right.
It was big.
I signaled to Erick to turn starboard
and as soon as he did, a great white swam into view.
I should've been alarmed the way it seemed
to appear from nowhere.
However, with my camera rolling,
I was thrilled to feel our speed increase
to keep up with the predator.
I couldn't risk missing the shot.
The shark easily outflanked us and for a moment,
seemed to be gone entirely.
Then, it quickly doubled back and was in front of us again.
However, we never really got that close.
A first sighting, yes, but the shot we were after,
not at all.
This adventure was far from over.
(dramatic music)
After relief of getting some footage had washed over me,
I was back on the lookout.
Great whites can grow up to one ton
and over 18 feet in length and swim at speeds
in excess of 30 miles an hour.
Even with the S.P.O.C. to protect us,
I couldn't help but feel completely outmatched.
But who could blame me?
It's not every day you find yourself in the kill zone,
a favorite hunting ground of the great white.
Again, we dashed around the grounds.
Only sardines and other fish came into view.
And after 45 minutes, I began to think that was it.
That was as close as we were going to get.
When then, Erick suddenly turned.
He must of seen something I hadn't.
I knew we were near the boat,
but I wasn't quite sure how close.
And then I saw the shark.
(dramatic music builds)
It was swimming straight for us.
All I could do was breathe and keep my camera
as steady as possible.
This was it, the encounter of a lifetime.
(dramatic music) (bubbling)
Time slowed in that moment.
And as the shark moved and swam back around
for an even closer look,
the fact that I was being observed and calculated
by this creature, was unmistakeable.
A real connection between myself and the shark
that I had been dreaming to meet had finally happened.
(bubbling) (music builds)
As it turned and swam away, a sense of relief came over me.
I was ready to be back on the boat
but I wanted to tell everyone the tale
of how obvious and beneficial vessels like the S.P.O.C.
would be for revealing the true nature
of this misunderstood species.
I certainly would be walking away today
with a brand new perspective that I never thought possible.
Whew!
We got really close to a shark.
That was awesome!
That was the shot we needed.
So much more intense than I thought it was going to be.
Just gimme a second, need to like,
absorb the fact that I'm back on the boat (chuckling)
Wow! What an experience!
Getting to be in the realm of the great white shark
in a shark cage submersible,
are you kidding me?!
That was the coolest thing I have ever done!
The water vis got pretty bad at the end.
But we did get to see some great white sharks up close.
In fact, that last one, I thought was gonna hit the camera.
Huge thank you to the Socorro Vortex
and all the crew that helped us out today.
A special thanks to Erick for captaining the S.P.O.C.
and keeping me safe so I can get those up close shots
for everybody at home.
I hope you guys love this episode as much as I did.
Make sure to subscribe and hit the notification bell
so you don't miss a second of the action ahead
on Blue Wilderness.
I'm Mark Vins.
Be brave.
Stay wild.
We'll see you on the next dive. All right.
I'm gonna go warm up and dry off.
As the boat departed back to the mainland,
I couldn't help but be grateful for all that took place
these last few days in Guadalupe.
I knew I would be back.
When? I don't really know.
For another round in the S.P.O.C.?
Probably not.
I won't lie, that was pretty crazy.
Sorry mom.
If you thought this adventure was crazy
go back and watch us in a surface cage
to learn more about these world famous predators
and why they call Guadalupe home.
The place we are at right now is known as the kill zone,
and as you can imagine,
the great white shark's favorite buffet.
But our goal isn't to see seals getting eaten
while we're out here.
Our goal is get under the water in the realm
of the great white sharks so we can get the cameras
up close and personal
with one of the world's top marine predators.
(wings flapping and outdoor sounds)
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Shark Cage Submarine for Great Whites!

89 Folder Collection
dnwsaa58 published on January 26, 2020
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