As the rest of the world was watching another Discovery Channel Shark Week marathon on their televisions and as hundreds of thousands of people were flocking to San Diego, CA for COMICON, there was another exciting event taking place just south of the border. North Americas live aboard dive boat fleet was arriving in Ensenada from Cabo San Lucas after a 800 mile migration for their annual shipyard refit.
To many of you that may not sound so exciting and that is OK. This is the real behind the scenes work that is necessary to maintain and upgrade these beautiful floating resorts. Maintaining to internationally recognized standards and strict marine safety regulations are paramount.
Though I have only recently joined the Nautilus fleet, as a USCG licensed captain for over 25 years I am no stranger to shipyards and commercial vessels. So I can speak or in this case write with some authority on the matter and I have to say that I am really impressed with the Nautilus organization. The amount of talent and experience our crews have and the management style of Mike Lever and my fellow captains and engineering officers is world class.
It is pretty amazing to see hostesses that are also excellent carpenters or dive masters that are expert welders and pipe fitters or the chef up on man lift painting the side of the ship. Not only is everyone working hard and long hours but doing so with smiles on their faces and with pride in their work. It is truly a pleasure to be part of the crew.
So next time you are aboard and a hostess hands you a nice cold beer or a glass of wine, you might also be sitting on furniture she built or if you are with a dive master in one our shark cages just know he might also be the welder who built that cage. So you should feel safe and comforted that he is in there with you.
With a fleet of two vessels now, the legendary Nautilus Explorer and the new star of the show the Nautilus Belle Amie (NBA) we certainly have our work cut out for us. As you can see with the images here, the NBA is a BIG and beautiful ship even out of the water. Her interior is so spacious and luxuriously appointed she is only rivaled by our own Nautilus Explorer. At nearly 600 tons the NBA is certainly the largest most luxurious white shark cage diving vessel in the world. Having two vessels in the shipyard at once is very challenging and requires a incredible amount of organization and expertise. With Captain Mike Lever’s leadership in orchestrating this massive task is a sight to see. He is a real hands on owner who is well respected by his crew. He will be giving a painting demonstration one minute and the next he is in the engine room getting a situation report from the chief engineer then up to the salon to meet with electrical contractors and interior designers the next. That is how it all gets done!
Thank you for this great opportunity!
Captain Lawrence Groth