Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Shark Cage Submarine for Great Whites!


(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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