Great white shark biting on cage

How did we end up huddled in a cage with three strangers at Guadalupe Island looking for Great White Sharks.

On a slower dive, one’s mind tends to wander, focusing mostly on the light shimmering off the enormous school of silver bait fish or the seemingly electric charge of a yellowfin tuna as it darts towards the surface. Sometimes you simply wonder how you came to be huddled in a cage with three strangers, nearly 200 miles off the coast, hoping for an encounter with one of nature’s most beguiling predators. Today, staring at a lone male weaving between the cages, I thought about history- about the tiny speck of time that human civilization has been on Earth. Watching the contraction of the lateral line along a torso of smooth muscle, I can’t help but feel that I am close as I will ever get to a dinosaur; a blueprint of the evolutionary engineering that has taken place since the first Elasmobrachii appeared over 400 million years ago. It seems intimidating at first, the fact that this creature has been adapting and improving since long before we arrived on the scene. On the contrary, I think it’s thrilling that we have only begun to scratch the surface of scientific discovery, and that the ocean will continue to be a playground for research as long as we have the technology, together with strong conservation efforts. But where does this drive for discovery come from? From curiosity, a match lit by an encounter with nature in one of its many breathtaking forms. It is this curiosity which I think is the greatest souvenir of these Guadalupe trips, more than the t-shirts or “perfect shot” photos. It is my hope that the cage diving experience here continues to inspire divers to ask questions, to find answers, and to keep their sense of wonder for the mysteries of the ocean.

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