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Wildlife Encounters

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Nekton Pelagic
Apr 15, 2002
I thought this might be a good chance to have everyone tell about thier freediving encounters with some interesting wildlife. One of my most memorable was "playing" with the sea lions near Cabo San Lucas. Biiiig animals, but a lot of fun. One of my goals is to dive with a whaleshark.

To kick things off I thought I would ask the Spearos in South Africa if they really have encounters like this guy's or if he is just crazy. :duh


Do they teach this at the "Advanced Spearo School"?

His gallery is pretty interesting and can be found here.

So let's here about thost close wildlife encounters!!
Welcome Scott. Great thread idea.

I gotta say that the photo of the diver pushing off the nose of the White and the shot of him getting a towjob on the dorsal are the most insanely friggin, cool shots I've seen in a long time! Absolutely freakin cool!! :cool:

I've never down a pushup off one, but I had a half a seal fly over my head while enjoying the sunshine...

Does this guy sell prints of these shots?

Hi Scott , and welcome .
A buddy of mine got bumped in the stomach some time ago while laying on the surface breathing up . He was sent spinning clear out of the water . The force of the impact ripped his mask and one fin off . Strangely the tiger turned away and left him .
It took some SERIOUS pleading to convince me to go salvage his gear ...:eek:
Personally have only been bumped by a Zambi (bull) trying to steal the fish I was clutching .
Another mate , Tommy Botha , once got dragged around with his hand stuck in the corner of a whitey's jaw . :hmm
Lets see...

I've swum with a Green Turtle, had penguins catch fish a few metres away and a pod of dolphins scare away my intended target.

No claim to fame like Abri's encounters fortunately!:D
Those pics are so cool! The idea of riding the shark's dorsal blows me a away. In Cozumel I freedove with a huge eagle ray, that was great.
Pelican thief

When I was 9 or 10 years old I hand speared my first conger eel. I was so happy you can imagine it! I came out of the water and a pelican (actually a very famous pelican - Myconos around 1963/4 had a couple of pelicans that were the island's mascots) actually came up to me, snatched it from my hands and when I tried to get it back the pelican "speared" me in the eye with it's beak! It hit hard and luckily with the rounded part at the tip, so I still have both eyes. Then it flew away. With the conger in it's mouth...and I went from jumping glad to hopping mad! I still remember how angry I was, while understanding the pelican's point of view at the same time. Oh well, what can you do? :head

On another occasion in the British Virgin Islands I was skindiving and saw something sooo strange coming towards me, it was about four feet across, slightly thicker in the middle and thinning out towards the edges, my mind was trying to figure out what it was, I knew most of the fishes - reef and pelagic - and this was nowhere in any category I knew. For a split second I thought of UFO'S :confused: It ended up being a spotted eagle ray coming totally head on, what I was seeing was it's siluette, perfectly quiet and gliding. It was only when it started to swim under me that I recognized it. The main thing from that experience was the feeling of complete suprise and confusion. And naturally joy from seeing such a beautiful being.

Then there was the five foot barracuda that appeared out of nowhere following me two feet away on my left on a murky day. Head to head, eye to eye, I decided to quietly say goodbye. he he, that sure startled me. :)

Has anyone ever swum into a school of nearly invisible sea wasps? It's like dodge ball, but slightly more painful.


About 8 years ago i was probably about 400-500 meters out from the shore on a coral reef at about 15 meter water. I just had a kill of nice size grouper. My shaft got stuck in the rocks. I was diving up and down trying to get the grouper out of the rock and free up my shaft. At that instant i saw a 6 foot shadow move in the corner of my eye. Sharks are extremely rare in the aegean sea but it was a beautiful curious dolphin being friendly. It was awsome.
I did retrieve my fish and the shaft as well.
subtle encounter

Whilst preparing for Hawaii pacific Cup ( bad weather turned it into a day of spearing at 9 mile reef Sodwana bay, South Africa, i experienced the tranquility of hanging at 20m in a sea of jellyfish. There were literally 1 per square meter. They were all just goofing off. I have seen jellies before but never so many and never just parking there as far as the eye could see stacked top to bottom.

Saw plenty sharks earlier and the day before .

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I went diving in Egypt one night, it was beatiful, the sea was calm and it was just Pitch-black night, I slipped into the water and glided to the edge of the reef. I had a lamp with me but when I switched it off I could see the bioluminance, that is so cool, when diving at night time.... I did see quite many little fishes and a squid, that left little cloud of "smoke" after it when I touched it..

One one of the night dives in Egypt we saw a morray eel on top of the reef getting "cleaned" by a little crab, that looked pretty strange..

And the most weird fish I have ever seen must be the Crocodilefish that thing is just.. It looks like crocodile if look at it from above, but it is really short, so not like crocodile, well take look at the photo by Steve Kramer, that is how it looks like, pretty bizarre sight underwater I can tell..


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They're refering to the White Sharks of False Bay, South Africa. they have developed a unique hunting technique that inolves some serious acrobatics.
Those sharks are on my to do list... man they're absolutely insane :)

I was spearing with a mate once around a big float, about 200m off the shore. We thought it would be a good idea to tie our keeper net up to the float, so when didn't have to carry it (this was before we got stringers). We ended up with a decent catch of about 10 bread and butter type fish, but when we went back to the float to collect our bag, a 2.5m wobbygong tried to convince us that it was his :) We stayed in the water for about an hour and a half after that, trying to get in there when he wasn't looking, but everytime we got near he'd come charging back, and we'd have to take off. Eventually we went back to shore, and got my mates rubber dinghy. It took us about an hour to pump it up and get it all ready, then about half an hour to paddle the 200m into the 30 knot nor-easterly, battling the chop, but finally we made it out there. The wobby started headbutting the boat whenever we came near, and being about 12, both of us were really scared. It took us about another half an hour just to get in and get the bag off. We ended up having to smack the shark on the head with the oar every time he tried to ram us, and believe me, I reckon that was the fastest I ever stuck my hand in the water an pulled it out again :) End result? A morning spear that lasted until late afternoon, with a half chewed keeper net of fish. :D
Originally posted by Amphibious
They're refering to the White Sharks of False Bay, South Africa. they have developed a unique hunting technique that inolves some serious acrobatics.

So you mean these jumping whites pictures are real?:cool:

My encounter was with a careta turtle.It was sleeping between the rocks.The depth was about 3-5 meters.It was almost invisible coz of its como shell (i dunnno if its right word for house of turtle) anyway.My dive buddy, also he is my cousin showed it to me.He was bit frightened for just of its size.It was almost as big as himself:eek: .I dove down, few centimeters left to touch it but it felt me, waked up and tryied to run away but i grabbed it's shell...It was awsome ride.
Hey Amphibious ,
I know Rudi Hartman and the guys that work with him on the cages in False Bay . Interesting point ; they lure the sharks not by chumming but by hopping in the water , spearing some fish and pulling the wriggling fish and entourage towards the cage for the perusal of the brave souls within .;)
my Idea of HEAVEN! nothing but my suit, fins, and 21ft of White!

one day, one day......

only thing I want to know..... How do they fit such BIG BALLS in such a TIGHT Suit?

Freediving with Whale sharks off of Utila.

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missed out

I saw 3 orcas from the beach yesterday (hokianga harbour, northland, new zealand) and was trying to work out whether it was a good thing that all my gear was up at the house. a beautiful sight even from land.
Abri... conditioning

Hey Abri.
Many accuse chummers of attracting sharks to boats through association with food.
Now this guy ( Rudi Hartman ) is teaching sharks to be attracted to spearo's for food? Duh. :mad:

Lets kill him.

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