For most of the trip, however, the skittish sharks didn’t even show.
“We didn’t see hammerhead sharks for a while—for days,” Zimmerman says. “We were starting to think there weren’t even hammerhead sharks around. We’d hear from tour groups that they’d seen some. Everyone had seen them but us. We started to go insane.”
In a feature this month, Thayer Walker details Healey’s quest to tag these rare sharks. But even the days Healey spent searching for hammerheads are chock full of adventure. From tagging other rare creatures to exploring big-wave surf spots around the world, this is what a few days in the life of a professional waterman look like.
Photo: Healey learned to swim before he could walk and says he’s spent “a third of the year with a dive mask on since the age of 12.” Though he earns a living surfing the biggest waves he can find, Healey’s first love is spending time underwater. “People always think of Mark as a professional surfer,” says spearfishing record holder Cameron Kirkconnell, “but the truth is, he surfs to support his diving habit.”