you jump in the water, if you just happen to look in the
right place at the right time there is always something
that will absolutely blow you away," says Peter Schalkwijk
a dive guide in the Sea of Cortez.
His words certainly rang true in the summer of 2003, when
he was watching a huge school of fish concentrated along
the edge of a rock island. "It was like swimming in a can
packed with sardines. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye
I see an animal that just shouldn't be there. It was a
bird - a cormorant chasing dinner for all it was worth.
The title of the piece, Swim For Your Life, doesn't apply
only to the fish and the bird, but also to me. I pride
myself in being able to swim rapidly underwater, but it
was all I could do to keep up with the hunting cormorant
that paid absolutely no attention to my presence."
of Dutch extraction, Peter Schalkwijk has always loved the
ocean and everything related to it. Alternating his time
between a formal career in architecture and an informal
participation in all types of water sports, Peter became a
SCUBA instructor and dive master. He began guiding dive
tours in the Sea of Cortez and filming underwater in 1999.
He focuses his work on the sea's beauty and documenting
the exotic marine creatures that inhabit the two-thirds of
our planet that we barely know.