New World Publications have just released Sea Salt: Memories and Essays by Stan Waterman, recounting his 50 years of filming sharks and other exciting marine life. Read first hand accounts of diving with sharks in the open ocean (out of the cage) and filming them for the movies Blue Water, White Death the Deep and more. In 1994 the Discovery Channel presented a two hour special about The Man Who Loves Sharks, Emmy Award winning underwater filmmaker Stan Waterman.
Faced with a decision in life to remain a blueberry farmer and lead a modest life, or take a chance for a bit of adventure like his heroes Hans Hass and Jacques Cousteau, Waterman chose the latter. In 1951 he purchased his first Aqualung underwater breathing system and took his first step toward a life-long career in the underwater world. Soon thereafter he commissioned the building of a forty-foot dive boat, packed up the family and angled the bow toward the Bahamas to start a life in the diving business.
Waterman is the true legendary gentleman of diving. “… And not just a gentleman but a filmmaker, an adventurer, an explorer, a daredevil, a gallant, a poet, an intimate of creatures as exquisitely exotic as the leafy sea dragon and the sloe-eyed cuttlefish and – this above all – a true pioneer in the discovery of our last frontier, the sea. Stan Waterman has spent more than half a century in, on and under the sea, and in these pages he takes you with him on the amazing ride he calls his life. There is excitement enough in his encounters with wild animals and weird people to fill a hundred lives and all their fantasies. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to dive in the open ocean with a huge school of … sharks as they gorge on the carcass of a whale … at night? Probably not. But hang on, because when Stan recounts scenes from the filming of the classic 1971 documentary feature film, Blue Water, White Death, you’ll be there beside him, and astonished that anyone lived to tell the tale.”– from foreword by Peter Benchley (Author of Jaws).
Sea Salt: Memories and Essays begins with Stan’s haunting recollection of the contents of his home on the coast of Maine that succumbed to a fire in 1994. Through his description of treasures and artifacts from his world travels that filled the old Maine house, he leads you on adventures to the Aegean Sea, the Amazon, Polynesia, Solomon Islands, Aldabra, Cocos Keeling and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The second half of the book is a collection of his writings (most originally published in Ocean Realm magazine in the 1990’s) describing his adventures underwater. Vivid descriptions of encounters with a “monster” in the Caribbean, sea dragons in New Guinea, 62 whale sharks in Australia, a shark feeding frenzy in the Socorro Islands, his manta ray riding son (pictured in National Geographic), many different shark encounters and stories from his various expeditions around the globe.
Stan’s filmmaking career was launched in 1965 when National Geographic purchased rights to his family’s tropical odyssey in Tahiti. In 1968 he collaborated with Peter Gimbel on the classic shark movie Blue Water, White Death, and then later directed underwater photography for the film version of The Deep. It was during his ten years of production work with Peter Benchley for ABC’s American Sportsman that he garnered five Emmy Awards (more than any other underwater filmmaker).