Jessie Spielvogel

Happy Shark Week!


June 26, 2016 kicks off Shark Week 2016 on Discovery Channel!

As a shark diver and ocean enthusiast, I love this week. I don’t necessarily love it because of the  programming – I think some of the shows sensationalize the idea of shark attacks and make sharks appear more dangerous than they really are – but I love it because it puts sharks in the spotlight and provides an opportunity to elevate the conversation about sharks needing our help.

Here’s how you can take action for protecting sharks: Read more

Top Instagram Photos from Bahamas Shark Diving Trip 2016

After returning from a shark diving trip, I always look forward to seeing the other divers’ social media posts and photos. Each person captures a unique experience, and it’s exciting to see it all play out from the point of view of someone else after you’ve experienced it first hand.

Last week, I returned from a diving trip in the Bahamas where we were blessed with two good weather days, and cursed with four bad ones. In those two good days, these talented photographers were able to capture some incredible photos. Needless to say, no one will ever be able to say they didn’t make the most with what they had!

Below are some of the best Instagram posts that came out of this trip. Each of these photographers has a personal channel that holds many more incredible adrenaline inducing photos – check them out, and follow along with their adventures! Read more

Bahamas Shark Diving – Beach Cleanup Day


Since we had so much downtime on this trip due to bad weather conditions, the Shark Diver Magazine divers decided to use our time wisely and do some beach cleanup. We all took out some bags and spread out across the beach to collect as much trash as we could. With two bags each, it sadly didn’t take long to fill them up.

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Bahamas Shark Diving – Tiger Beach

Reefs and Lemons tailing the boat at Tiger Beach
Reefs and Lemons tailing the boat at Tiger Beach

We were able to get out on the boat today at Tiger Beach after striking out for the past few days in Bimini. The winds have been completely nuts on this trip, but we were all happy to see the sharks! The visibility was what we expected after the winds kicked up the sands the past few days, but when life gives you lemons, you jump in.

Some of the people in our group got to see a tiger shark and hang with it for a while, but I had wimped out on that second dive because it was a long shot that we’d even see one, and I was freezing!!! Now I have FOMO and wish I had jumped in. We were on the boat for 12 hours today, and I was in a steady state of nausea the entire time. I’m the worst shark diver ever. I didn’t chum though, so I’m going to call that a win! Read more

Bahamas Shark Diving – Snow Days

No dice today or yesterday on diving. Yesterday the wind was brutal, which hindered us from taking the boat out. Fortunately today is BEAUTIFUL with sunny skies and a nice calm breeze, but unfortunately, the wind yesterday shook up the sand so that the visibility today would be a nightmare. It’s a bit disappointing, but thankfully this crew is cool with going with the flow.

We were referring to yesterday as a shark diving “snow day” because it was cold, windy, and we were all stuck wondering what to do for entertainment and getting some cabin fever. We decided to be opportunistic with our cameras because bull sharks like to hang around the marina really close to the docks. The guys who work the dive shop here helped us chum the water to bring the bulls in close, and we had a great time with them! Read more

Bahamas Shark Diving – Day One with the Hammerhead Sharks (and a #sharkieselfie)

Today was our first day out on the water with the hammerhead sharks, and it was AMAZING.

Day one is always a good time to bond with your fellow divers – you have newbies and veterans, photographers and observers, 20-somethings and 70-somethings. It’s a great mix of people from all walks of life. In our group, we have two lawyers traveling together from Switzerland, a firefighter from England with the best accent ever, one sign language interpreter from Kansas who spent 5 years in backwoods Alaska (I should add that her first scuba dive EVER was today, and she did it with hammerhead sharks), some folks from New York and the Dirty Jersey, one woman who lives in Turks because she decided Canada was too cold (amen), an edgy solo traveler from Japan, and then my dad and me, the Texans. The coolest part is that all of these people have little to nothing in common except for their love and passion for the ocean, which is what brought all of us together on this trip. We likely never would have found each other had it not been for this community + Shark Diver Mag, and we’ve already had such a great time sharing stories over beers, photos, and seafood.

After we got settled into the hotel yesterday (and after our ride in the sea plane!!), we spent the afternoon lounging by the pool and eating seafood and fried everything. We called it an early night, and woke up around 7:00am feeling rested and ready for sharks! Read more

Bahamas Shark Diving – Travel Day One

Paul Spielvogel, Peige Turner, and Yours Truly
Paul Spielvogel, Peige Turner, and Yours Truly

I arrived in Fort Lauderdale from Washington, D.C. on Tuesday afternoon and stepped off of the plane to feel the hot humid air – my favorite! Most people think I’m weird for embracing the hot humidity, but it makes me feel right at home and happy.

I met up with my dad who was coming in from Houston, and we dropped our bags at the Fort Lauderdale Ramada hotel, and a friend of mine who lives here recommended we check out a local seafood joint called 15th Street Fisheries. It was a huge hit – it’s right on the water overlooking a dock where we could see fish swimming around beneath us and giant boats that I could never afford off in the distance. The food was great and the weather was perfect! Read more

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