This trip was an exercise in patience but climaxed with a good chunk of exhilaration. We also had a lot of fun reverting back to our collective inner 8-year-old selves while bonding over a very short period of time (strange how that often happens on trips of this sort). The great white sharks definitely teased us the first day – we saw five of them but they didn’t want to come and play with us.
The second day we were visited by one serious male; he definitely had the ‘do not mess with me’ vibe and just by looking at him, one could tell he was simply lethal. The subsequent ID process gave in to a lot of spirited debate whether he was known or not and still no consensus either way – if deemed new he shall be called “Stickley”, in honor of a prince of a human being taken from us by COVID.
The third and final day a spirited female decided she wanted to play with us over and over again, for which we were all eternally grateful. She was a lot of fun and gave us a class in ambushing as she would circle, disappear, and then magically teleport to another location completely behind us to make her presence known again. We bequeathed the epithet “Ellen Ripley” upon her in honor of a strong femme who kept coming back. The great white shark has always swum deep in my psyche/sub-conscience and now even a few hours with the animal recharges a lot of batteries within the soul. Add to that a jovial, social, witty, and professional crew it made for an enjoyable experience, even when nature deemed that we had to wait to see what we all came for. The great white shark is one of Earth’s great treasures, and being able to experience them with good people is always more preferable.
- Chris Jacobs, Florida, USA onboard the Nautilus UnderSea