Talking to Mike Bolton, the legendary treasure hunter, salvager, shark diver and underwater cinematographer better known as the Silent Hunter.

Over a brew we chat about Mikes work as diving outside of the cage with some awesomely scary sharks.

And to  add some context to some of the conversation, this is the second recording of this episode after some horrific sound issues on the first. So mike was gracious enough to give me another opportunity to get his story, he’s a top bloke.

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Mike started diving in 1960 at the age of 17. He grew up watching episodes of Mike Nelson’s Sea Hunt, a show that inspired the dream in him to pursue diving. While in the US Air Force, he was transferred to Panama where the opportunity to pursue diving came to light and he jumped on it immediately! He became one of the first Scuba Instructors certified by the YMCA in Panama, where he still lives to this day with his wife Becky who accompanies him on almost all shark expeditions.

Spearfishing became his passion in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  He represented Panama in spearfishing competitions where top competitors from North America, South America and Europe participated.

Mike has been involved in underwater research and the recovery of shipwrecks, salvaging the Spanish Galleon Nuestra Señora de la Maravillas that was lost off the Bahamas in 1656. He is currently involved in recovering the Spanish Galleon San Jose lost off Pacific Panama waters in 1631.

He always had a passion for underwater photography and video which led him to contract shoots for ABC’s Wild World of Sports, filming underwater action shots of pelagic large game fish. He has collaborated with the Smithsonian Institute in the study of sea snakes and squid and the reality TV show Survivor. His most recent was cinema footage in the new documentary Saving Jaws.

Cinema shooting and documenting sharks is his passion and has been leading several shark trips each season for the past twelve years to Guadalupe Island, the home of the Great White, taking small groups of divers that want to learn about and dive with this majestic animal.

Over the years, Mike has had the privilege of diving, working and learning from some of the best in the diving world: Ocean Ramsey, Juan Oliphant (ABC), Andy Casagrande, Michael Dornellas (Discovery Shark Week), Rob Stewart (Sharkwater), Forrest Galante (Animal Planet), the late Philippe Cousteau Sr. and Bob Cranston (IMAX Cinematographer).

His mission is to always strive to learn more, stay humble and pass on his experiences and knowledge about sharks and ocean conservation to others, contributing to shark awareness and conservation through cinema and photography. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words!

His dive equipment has always been essential for a safe, comfortable and rewarding dive. Over the past 60 years he has used many brands, but his preferred choice is Mares on every dive.

His YouTube:
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His Film: 
His recommended camera for a beginner: 

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✅ Tools I use:
Olympus OMD EM-1 Mk2
GoPro Hero 8
RØDE Shotgun Mic
Audiotechnica ATR2100 Mic
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
Final Cut Pro X
Apple MacBook Pro

The music I used in my video:

'Outside In'
Written By S.L.J. Kalmeijer
Performed & Produced By Sounds Like Sander

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