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Steph Schuldt: Getting Up Close and Personal with Sharks

“The best mornings are the mornings you wake up knowing you’ll be spending the day in the ocean.” We couldn’t agree more with Stephanie Schuldt’s outlook. She made this dream her daily reality, and now spends her days amongst the waves freediving with sharks.

Steph’s Sea Star Stats

Before we dive in to our shared passion for marine life, here’s Steph’s Saltsy Sea Star stats at a glance:

Steph is a Florida native, master freedive instructor, 100 Ton Captain, spearfishing guru (she holds 7 IUSA records!), model, proud dog mom, and ocean conservationist. You’ll even catch sight of her showing off many of her skills in Child of the Cenote, a short film by André Musgrove that follows a female freediver through the underwater caves of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula.

When she’s not slaying records and rocking photo shoots, the multi-hyphenate sea-lover is sailing her 46′ sailing catamaran, Sail La Vie, and documenting her underwater journey on her successful social media channels, @freediversteph and @saillavie_.

Freediving with Sharks

One of the things we get most excited to see pop up on her feed are the incredible photos and videos she takes with sea creatures, especially sharks. Just look at some of these awe-inspiring interactions from @freediversteph:

For Steph, it’s clear that she admires the beauty and majesty in these creatures, and she works hard to share that passion with others. In fact, she focuses a lot of time teaching others to overcome their fears of diving and — you guessed it — sharks.

People protect things they love. They love things they have had meaningful experiences with. My goal is to help people have these experiences so they learn to love our oceans and marine life and in return want to protect them.

– Steph Schuldt, Instagram

Collecting Shark Teeth

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photo credit: @freediversteph

Although the Saltsy crew hasn’t had a chance to float alongside Steph and her predator pals, we do like to appreciate them in other ways, like searching for shark teeth.

A skilled freediver like Steph has easy access to these neat relics. However, even if you’re not a pro with your breath hold, with a little bit of research and time you can learn how to scour the surf for centuries of fossilized shark’s teeth. Plus, this hobby is an excellent gateway to learning more about sharks and their lasting value to our oceans.

Also of lasting value is Steph’s growing community of students whose relationships with the ocean are blossoming thanks to her guidance. In an interview with Gainful, she speaks more to her passion for teaching people to find connections with the sea:

Now my accomplishments are not so much about depth or time, but more about seeing my students have breakthrough moments. Like when they overcome a fear and in a matter of two or three days they’re hanging out at 50 or 60 feet, interacting with sharks and dolphins and their life is changed.

– Steph Schuldt, Gainful

Want to see more about how Steph is changing lives and making waves in women’s ocean adventures? Then be sure to follow @freediversteph and @saillavie_ for fantastic underwater photography, great seafood pics, and a heavy dose of shark inspiration!

Love sharks? Get more shark love this week as @SaltsyCo shares a fun sharks teeth DIY!

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