John Smallwood - Diving with Sharks

John Smallwood - Diving with Sharks

​John Smallwood likes nothing better than diving with sharks.

Here's his story about what inspired him -

Since gaining my first Scuba Diving Certification in the Mediterranean Sea in Cyprus in 1993 I have always been intrigued by sharks. I grew up up with the dreadful “Jaws” series of films that put lots of people off going into the water and, back in the day, cast such a bad light on sharks. I on the other hand enjoyed watching things like the discovery channel and in particular documentaries about the world’s oceans with Jacques Cousteau, Ron & Valerie Taylor and Sylvia Earle.

Now as a scuba diver I have completed more than 2,500 dives and I have had the opportunity to explore some of the world's most beautiful underwater environments. However, one particular experience that I absolutely adore is diving with sharks. Some people may think that diving with these creatures is dangerous or scary, but for me, it is an incredible opportunity to witness the grace and beauty of these fascinating creatures up close.

Sharks are one of the oldest and most fascinating creatures on the planet. They have been around for over 400 million years and have evolved to become some of the most efficient predators in the ocean. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the small and harmless dwarf lantern shark to the massive and awe-inspiring great white shark. Each species has unique features and behaviours that make them so captivating to observe.

One of the reasons why I love diving with sharks is because of the sense of awe that they inspire in me. The first time I saw a shark up close, I was struck by their sheer size and power. I could feel the excitement and adrenaline pumping through my veins as I watched them gracefully glide through the water. It's an experience that I will never forget and one that keeps me coming back for more.

Another reason why sharks are so fascinating is because of their incredible senses. They have an acute sense of smell that allows them to detect even the tiniest amounts of blood in the water from miles away. They can also sense electrical fields, which helps them to navigate and locate prey. And, of course, they have razor-sharp teeth that are perfectly designed for tearing through flesh. All of these unique features make them some of the most efficient hunters in the ocean.

Diving with sharks also gives me a greater appreciation for their important role in the ecosystem. Sharks play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy balance in the ocean's food chain. As apex predators, they help to keep the populations of other marine animals in check, which in turn helps to preserve the delicate balance of the ocean's ecosystem. Without sharks, the ocean's food chain would be severely disrupted, leading to potentially disastrous consequences.

Despite their fearsome reputation, sharks are actually quite misunderstood creatures. Many people view them as mindless killing machines, but the truth is that they are intelligent and curious creatures that are often just as curious about us as we are about them. Diving with sharks has given me a new perspective on these amazing creatures and has helped me to better understand their behaviours and how they interact with their environment.

In conclusion, diving with sharks is an incredible experience that I absolutely love. These fascinating creatures are beautiful, powerful, and awe-inspiring, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to witness them up close in their natural habitat. Sharks are an important part of the ocean's ecosystem, and it is our responsibility to protect them and preserve their habitat so that future generations can enjoy the same incredible experiences that I have had.

Here are some great pictures - not just stock footage - but from John's personal album, with some background from him on each one.



Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)

Malapuscua in the Phillipines

Thresher Shark (Alopias Vulpinus)

Elphistone South Plateau, Red Sea

Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)

South Africa, Aliwal Shoal

Silvertip Shark ((Carcharhinus albimarginatus)

Ponta Do Ouro. Mozambique (during the nesting season)

Ragged Tooth Shark (Carcharias taurus)

Cayo Largo

Silky Shark ((Carcharhinus falciformis)

Jardines de la Reina

Caribbean Reef Shark (Carcharhinus perezi

Cornwall, UK

Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)

Back to blog

Leave a comment