My TOP 10 UNDERWATER Moments (2021 Edition)
From Great Whites, Tiger Sharks & Humpback Whales to saving endangered Seahorses, I’ve been lucky enough through my career as an underwater filmmaker to experience some once in a lifetime wildlife encounters, and here are my Top 10 Underwater Moments.
I’ve been working as an underwater filmmaker for close to 6 years now, and through my career I’ve had some pretty epic encounters. Some of which were planned or expected, but many of them happened by mere chance. The best part is, even after 6 years in the industry, there is still so much more I want to see and film. This list is pretty epic, but it merely scratches the surface of whats out there.
Below are the details for each encounter:
1. Swimming with Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks and Great Hammerhead Sharks in the Bahamas. This was an epic trip with SDM Diving out of Florida. We spent around 5nights onboard the liveaboard boat diving with these beautiful giants of the sea. At nearly 20ft long they’re bigger than most mini busses, and they’re as wide as a truck. These are apex predators, kings of the ocean, and while humans are not their prey nor their food source I don’t think my heart stopped pounding all week here. This was a mental trip!
2. Swimming with Humpback Whales on the Coffs Coast. I’ve never seen a Humpback underwater before, and it was seriously mindblowing! This epic trip was shot with Destination Coffs Coast as part of a film campaign promoting the local area. We went out with Jetty Dive and were lucky enough to get whales in the water on most trips!
3. Our unplanned encounter with a Great White Shark scuba diving at the Pinnacle off Forster on the Barrington Coast. Now this was one I wish I could do again, with a clear mind, expecting the shark to be there. Can you imagine the footage we would have got! Up close and personal with a Great White without a cage. Next time…
4. Swimming into a Cuttlefish mega mating session on Flynn Reef on the Great Barrier Reef. Our team of divers, photographers and filmmakers were actually here filming for a gallery exhibit for the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2021 Triennial Exhibition when we came across this. Naturally we had to stop and shoot it, as it honestly felt like something out of a BBC documentary!
5. Saving and relocating 214 endangered Sydney Whites Seahorses with The Abyss Project. This conservational project is easily the most heartwarming project I’ve ever done. The full film will make your day I promise!
6. Milln Reef on the far outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef / Coral Sea is just mind blowing. The coral, sea life and reef here are just unbelievable. Some of the best freediving and scuba diving on offer! I have so much content shot here, check it out!
7. Becoming one with a school of Bumphead Parrot Fish (or Humphead Parrot Fish). These animals are just beautiful, and it’s rare to get wildlife encounters that are this good for this long! The school of fish were totally unfazed by our presence!
8. Surfing Icelands Winter Solstice, and Freediving the Silfra Fissure – the Clearest Water on Earth! Now this is one we could have done better.. but man this was such a mind blowing trip! Travelling, diving, and surfing some of the most remote and hostile waters on earth.
9. The Coral Trout called Mike. This is such a bromance, to this day I’ve never met a fish I’ve cared for more. Hope you’re doing well buddy!
And finally, Number 10 on the list is diving Julian Rocks out off Byron Bay with Schooling Leopard Sharks (or Zebra Sharks depending on where you’re from). These animals are just stunning, and are typically solitary sharks. It’s not common you see a school up to 100 strong of them!
That’s it, my 2021 edition of: My Top 10 Underwater Moments and Wildlife Encounters. I’m sure there’ll be plenty more epic experiences in the years to come working and living underwater!