Sunset in an open ocean crossing

The Quiet Beauty of an Open Ocean Crossing

We’re in the middle of nowhere and that’s where we should be. We are on our open ocean crossing between Ensenada, Mexico, and Guadalupe Island, with not a cloud in the sky and no wind. The winds have calmed from the last afternoon rush of fresh air coming from offshore.

Almost every day in the Ensenada cruise port, it’s like a game played with the Captains: how they will gracefully depart from the dock? Usually, the winds are fair and die down as the sun burns another hole into the horizon. The night is settling and a small ripple is cast upon the water around the dock from the waning breeze. The lights at the security gate in the front of the cruise port cast down to illuminate the staggering sight of the shark called Shredder which adorns both sides of our very own luxury coach which is transporting the incoming guests from our hospitality suite in San Diego to our vessel in Ensenada.

“Shredder” passes through security and the crew are waiting at the top of the dimly lit dock to greet the new shark seekers. Half weary faces mixed with smiles come rambling out of the bus. Happy to be here and get their adventure underway. With a quick safety briefing, accompanied with a nice refreshing glass of champagne and homemade sushi by our Chef, we are ready to head to the Isle of the Shark.

The crew positions themselves around the boat to act as extra sets of eyes as the Nautilus Explorer departs from the dock. We slip by all the old yachts just behind us. The boat slowly spins with the bow passing just in front of the yachts. We are free. The rock wall on starboard points us out of the marina and we find two sea lions skipping down the cement wall to join a small group of their friends, resting just above the water line on the dock. Navigational lights rooted into the harbour bottom flash yellow, green and red in sporadic patterns, reflecting off the surface of the water and creating a pathway out of the harbour. Our open ocean crossing begins.

The overnight run is quiet and refreshing, with guests enjoying their first breath of the slight, delicate, ocean breeze. Some guests are reaching into assorted boxes and bags to begin the arduous task of prepping their cameras in hopes of taking their very own National Geographic-like photos. Our new (huge) camera table is fitted to address all needs of the photographers, with localized charging stations on the table and large spaces to work on.

The night passes with a gentle rock of the boat. The open ocean crossing to Guadalupe is very comfortable. With just a breeze and a rolling swell coming from the northwest, we are greeted by a wonderful sunrise that makes us squint as the first light of day shines through. The sun brightens up the ocean and we have a deep azure pond below and softest light blue in the sky.

I always find myself going back to a song by Tom Petty called “Wildflowers” that reminds me of why I do this job, and it has popped into my head quite often over the past few weeks. I think there is a little piece of each guests represented in the song and makes them keep coming. It’s good to be here.

–Captain Lowel

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