In January 2012 I joined Jim Abernethy and crew (Mike, Matt and Jay) for another one of their incredible week long shark adventures to the northern Bahamas. We were lucky to have well known Photographer Andy Sallmon along too. During the trip, Captain Mike mounted a Go Pro Camera on a remote controlled speed boat and enticed a couple of tiger sharks to try their hand at boating (Luckily Mike recovered the GoPro and Andy got some incredible images of the event).
The week started off a bit rough and windy. Jim elected to dive two shallow reefs, before heading out to Tiger Beach. After one day of bad weather, the winds calmed down and seas settled back to calmer conditions. We spent a day on an amazing reef at the edge of Hammertime and Ginormous. We set up photographs at the top of swim-throughs and indentations in the coral reef with sharks continually making fly-bys. We took advantage of the opportunity to allow some of the Caribbean reef sharks to pose with splashes of colorful sponges and lionfish. Despite a persistent wind and somewhat spotty visibility we had awesome close-up encounters with Caribbean reef sharks, lemon sharks, tiger sharks and a friendly Goliath Grouper. When we parked at Tiger Beach, after the wind had died down a bit, we were treated to more incredible photographic opportunities. Tiger beach is only about 20 feet deep, but features swarming lemon sharks, intermixed with visits from tigers measuring up to 18 feet in length. The lemon sharks, measuring up to 10 feet in length, sport a toothy sinister smile and their sleek ‘fighter jet’ profiles make for awe-inspiring portraits. However, the tigers are the real "super models," measuring up to 18 feet in length. The tiger sharks deserve, and require, your constant attention. On this trip we were underwater with as many as 8 tigers at a time.
As an underwater photographer I have had the good fortune to work on assignments shooting sharks all over the globe. Jim Abernethy runs a very professional “stick to the rules” operation that allows photographers and videographers one-of-a-kind encounters with a variety of large predators that are available nowhere else in the world. Passengers on his live-aboard boat, the Shearwater, will also be treated to Jim’s hands on expertise in dealing with sharks and his awesome knowledge of photographing large predators. I can’t wait to go again for another unique shark adventure.
To see more images from Steve's adventure, check out his Return to Tiger Beach Gallery.