Phil’s Big Shark Adventure

Philip White has always been a keen adventurer. Ever since he was very young, he’d had a dream of working in and on the ocean. The underwater world with it’s vast expanse, biodiversity and amazing creatures had always fascinated him. In particular, sharks had a special place.

From a young age he began pursuing this dream,  fishing, diving, and study. At the University of Victoria Phil pursued a degree in marine biology, ecology, and biodiversity, much to the surprise of some of his college teachers. University was a challenge, but motivated by the dream along with a lot of support from parents and friends, he graduated in 2018.


After graduating he wanted to pursue a career in research diving or an aquarist and signed up to a diploma in Scuba instruction. This hit a massive roadblock when he received a message from the head of PADI wanting him to do a commercial dive medical due to asthma. He failed. Devastated, his dream was put on hold.



Instead, Phil began chasing a different outdoor passion. He enrolled in a diploma in outdoor instruction and risk management at ARA, Timaru. Meeting some amazing people along the way, he found new hobbies including whitewater kayaking, rock climbing and mountaineering. With support from tutors and friends he graduated  at the end of 2019.


He joined Blue Mountain Adventure Centre, Raurimu in the central north where, for the last five years, he worked as an outdoor instructor . Helping people find their  potential through the outdoors was very rewarding.

Despite being located far from the ocean, his marine  dream was never forgotten. Phil has been accepted as an intern with the Blue Wilderness Research Unit is South Africa. He recently left on the ‘adventure of a lifetime’. This unit is  dedicated to advancing scientific understanding and conservation efforts whilst trying to uncover the mysteries of shark behaviour, ecology, and population dynamics. Their mission is to protect marine ecosystems and ensure a harmonious coexistence between sharks and the environment through education and community outreach programmes, inspiring a passion for ocean protection, and empowering youth. Phil will be in South Africa for 10 weeks through winter and plans to use this experience  to pursue a research career back in NZ.

The internship is self funded. In efforts to raise money he has cut off his hair, losing the legendary caveman look that he was well known for.

Phil was well acquainted with Earth Sea Sky clothing through his work at Blue Mountain Adventure. Seeking garments he could rely on to manage the winter work on the South African ocean Phil approached Earth Sea Sky for assistance with clothing.

Phil’s Earth Sea Sky favourites…


Zeal Guide                                                                        Katipo Pants

If you would like to help Phil you can donate at