The Sling - Spearfishing in the Bahamas by Felix Leander

Primitive spearfishing while freediving is really the only way it should be done - and the most challenging is with a Hawaiian sling.  Last September, Mike Portuondo and I spent Labor Day weekend in the Bahamas to best capture the essence of spearfishing with the sling.  And of course there were a lot of sharks as well - basically on every dive.  Below is the video...

Spearfishing with Hawaiian Sling in the Bahamas hunting grouper, cubera snapper, hogfish, lobster and other reef species. Freediving with tiger sharks and Caribbean reef sharks. All video shot on GoPro while freediving. Freedivers are Mike Portuondo and Felix Leander

Featured Photographer - Thomas Peschak by Felix Leander

My dad always said you need to get close to your subjects...Thomas Peschak with Tiger Shark in South Africa.  Photo by Wolfgang Leander 2007

My old man wrote this about Thomas Peschak years back: "In his field, wildlife and shark conservation photography, Thomas is, in my and many others' opinion, one of the best - world-wide."

Thomas with large Tiger Shark in South Africa.  Photo by Wolfgang Leander 2007

While I have not had the pleasure in meeting Thomas (we have corresponded) - my father was able to spend a lot of time with him in the water in Aliwal Shoal, South Africa, freediving and photographing tiger sharks.  Then already an accomplished photographer, Thomas has risen above most capturing stunning wildlife images and is a contributing photographer to National Geographic.

The now famous Great White shark and kayak photo by Thomas Peschak

But what makes Thomas so special, beyond his photography, is his involvement in conservation.  "Thomas believes that the combined force of photojournalists and conservation NGOs is very powerful. In the past he has worked as the official photographer of WWF-SA and the Chief Photographer for the Save our Seas Foundation. He continues working with NGOs on a regular basis, collaborating often with Pacific Wild, the Manta Trust and WWF."  He now is the director of conservation at Save our Seas Foundation

Be sure to follow his Instagram feed -  and visit his website at: and

Manuel Menendez Hunting for Dinner by Felix Leander

If I were stuck on a deserted island there is only one person I would want to be with in terms of survival and having "food on the table".  When I was approached by a friend who was tasked by AJ+ (part of the Al Jazeera) to do a segment on "Hunting for Dinner" - I knew Manuel Menendez would be the person to feature.

Manuel is a Miami native who has been diving the South Florida waters for over 30 years.  He knows where to find fish and how to catch them (pole spear, spear gun, hands, whatever it takes) while freediving.  You go out with Manuel and you are pretty much guaranteed to have a delicious dinner and a better understanding of the SOFL wildlife.  

We have been friends for over 5 years now and it is always a pleasure to explore the ocean with him - solid guy who will be there when you need it.

Below is the video that was featured on AJ+

Cormorant Freedivers by Felix Leander

Cormorant are Miami's best freedivers.  We always see them in the bay swimming on the surface and diving.  Usually it is next to impossible to get close to them - they are weary and shy. However, the other day we saw one that had just caught a fish and was having problems handling it.  I was able to get close enough for some footage.

Cormorant freediving for his dinner in Miami, FL