Day 1: The Boarding
As the world still lies in limbo, 14 adventure seekers decide to take a chance and gather in Cabo San Lucas. Covid swabs have been completed, temperatures have been taken as well as every precaution possible has been put in place to ensure that our time together will not only be safe but also an exciting voyage. The travelers are not just boarding any floating motor vessel, but a specially designed home away from home. A vessel specialized in taking divers far from the shore … 240 miles out to sea. A distance feared by many but a distance for these travelers that brings excitement as they have their destination set on the Revillagigedo Archipelago (“Revi” or better known as Socorro Islands).
On a Sunday evening in May, as the sun begins to set and the cool ocean breeze from the Pacific blows in, these travelers from many different ports of origin (to include France, Canada, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Texas) are welcomed aboard by the bright smiling faces of the Nautilus Undersea. Champagne is poured and passed around by Iris (stewardess) as the travelers gather on the top deck of the boat to celebrate and cheers for safe travels ahead. As the sun begins to set, all travelers are briefed on what to expect on their 11-day adventure at sea. With safety as a top priority, emergency protocols are discussed in detail but also the introduction of all the crew, meal times, expected voyage times, and what to expect as we all get excited about voyaging out to dive into the cool Pacific waters. Luggage (which I know for my dive family of seven crazy Texans is plentiful) is loaded and strategically placed around the boat making sure dive gear makes it to the dive deck and luggage finds its way to the traveler’s rooms. Osa (Stew) takes the travelers and guides them around the boat showing explaining the layout of their floating home and escorting each to their cozy cabins. The upcoming days will be filled with long journeys across questionable seas hoping mother nature grants us calm and safe travels. Ultimately we know we will be arriving at diving destinations that many divers only dream of.
As the bow and stern lines are released by the crew, Beto (captain) frees the vessel from the dock and allows us to get underway. The winds are brisk as we leave the port of Cabo and the waves are a bit bumpy. But for many of us, it has been a long journey to arrive and so we are quick to tuck into our cabins. It is time to unpack and settle in as we will be onboard for an 11-day journey.
After sorting out my room, it was time to rest. I know 26 – 28 hours of motoring is to be expected. During this time all signal with the world is going to be shut off as the phone is turned to airplane mode. I can not turn it off because I will want to have it to take pictures around the boat. But airplane mode and no wifi means no social media, no news, no email, no contact. This is now a time to be present and to relax while enjoying this very adventurous vacation but also a time to meet new people and make new friends not only with the other travelers but with the fantastic staff onboard.
I am so excited to be on this journey with 6 of my closest friends who really are not just friends… they are family. We are a dive family with some of us having traveled for years together but also a few that are newer to the diving family and going on their first liveaboard journey. As I tuck into bed, I can feel the boat rocking as the swell of the waves is fairly large but I rest peacefully as I know we are in great hands. There will always be someone awake and at the helm and I know as Beto has started our journey, Marty (the Mate) will be taking over as they swap the duty of navigating us southwest of the Cabo coastline. As my eyes get heavy it is time to get some sleep. The next day will be a day at sea as we continue to voyage towards Revi.
Charley, Texas onboard the Nautilus Under Sea