As previously mentioned, one of our guests, Ryan, has been writing incredible blogs for us all about his Guadalupe Great White Shark Adventure. This is his third and final installment, in which he reviews the Nautilus Crew! Dive days one and two are also excellent, and you should check them out!
My final entry to the ship’s blog and also my saddest, as it marks the final day of diving at Guadalupe Island. Today was heavily overcast as the air currents had shifted slightly and the mountain of an island caused condensation to form when the warm moist air rose up the rock face. However, those conditions were a photographer’s dream as the bright sunlight was now diffused, creating even lighting all across the water and even below the surface. We seized that opportunity with mucho gusto and spent a large portion of our final day focused on taking pictures of these magnificent sharks… and a few Facebook selfies of course.
One thing that I want to mention specifically today is the Nautilus crew, their proficiency, and their total joyfulness while they work. Every member of this crew was proficient at every job and they were perfectly willing to rotate through positions, ensuring that everyone was fresh for each guest’s enjoyment. I cannot stress enough how many charters should learn this paradigm. We’ve all seen a brilliant crew member grow tired and lose his sheen as the trip wears on, but this never happened here, in any respect. Every day felt like the first dive on the first morning thanks to the Nautilus crew’s avarice and passion.
Captain Rey was often seen wrangling sharks with great precision or dive mastering a submersible cage. He always seemed lucky as well and I started remarking later on the trip, “Where the Captain goes, so go the sharks.”
Vincente and Julio took breaks from watch on the bridge to wrangle the sharks and also to share their perspectives with the Nautilus crew. Julio especially was always available for conversation from the platform, only stopping long enough to yell “Shark” so us amateur photographers could capture a magnificent breach.
Fernando was a brilliant engineer. Everything worked, all the time, every day! 100% operation rates are tough to maintain in good conditions and with a staff, and how he pulled it off by himself on the rolling seas is too much for me to understand, but I’m certainly grateful.
The hot tub especially was not only a welcome perk but also required. My back needed that warm water to wake up in the morning and we all needed that hot soak and massaging jets to warm up after hours in the 70˚F water!
I’ve already commented on Felipe, so I’ll just say every meal was a feast and he made every meal accounting for some very tough allergies on board. Two of the guests had onion allergies, and there was also a peanut allergy amongst us, and we never had a problem. Somehow he accomplished this without compromising anything in regard to taste or diversity in his meals. It truly was brilliant work in the kitchen. Oh and finally, all his breads were remarkable.
Osayuki was a perfect host and gentleman. For five days I can honestly say I wanted for nothing. His smile and conversation were welcome at any time and his efficiency while taking care of 18 guests was second to none.
The heart of the operation though has to be the shark wrangles and the dedicated divemasters. Tony, Rodolfo, and Garrett (eh!) kept the sharks present, ran a perfectly executed dive schedule, and most importantly, kept us all safe.
Rodolfo is a marine biologist and answered every question shot at him with practised poise. Tony, an Englishman from Dominique, was the class of the act. His shark spotting underwater and wrangling on the surface almost matched the elegance of his conversation in the Queen’s English.
Garret, the old hand, seemed to run things from behind the scenes and his Canadian bubble rings provided much levity on the trip. He was also the crew member that said, “we can do that, no problem, eh” and meant it, to just about every request made, no matter how strange it might have seemed.
I couldn’t have custom-built a better group of guys to take us on our first cage diving experience and will remember these names and faces for a long time.
Thank you Nautilus for a once in a lifetime experience and you can be assured that if my wife and I ever venture back to these waters or any waters your company services, it will only be with your charter!