The alarm rings, I wake up super excited about this new day.
Stein, Pato, and I get up the dive deck and start getting ready. I open the freezer and start picking up the heavy bags of frozen tuna to bring on the deck before the guys chump it into pieces. It’s only 5 am and we’re already manipulating a chainsaw with bits of tuna falling in the water, mackerels jumping all over the deck and the colors of the horizon starting to brighten up a little bit. By the time we’re done with our baits, already organized in bags in the freezer, and once the dive deck is cleaned, we have time for a nice cup of coffee watching the horizon. One of the most stunning sunrises I’ve ever seen. I take a deep breath and absorb all that good energy.
It’s 6:30 am and Pato is already on the platform wrangling the sharks in this early golden hour when the 1st divers show up and decide to jump in the surface cage. A nice good morning with cheerful eye contact, select the right weight belt for his body, connect him to the compressor and there he goes in the chilly water in the early morning with the 1st sun rays piercing through the surface.
20min pass and I get to see the first shape of a shark swimming underneath the cage. It’s a shame we got to wear a mask because I’m sure everybody’s smile would be contagious. A few moments later I get to see the dorsal fin of a great white gliding through the water and that already makes my day… but it’s just the beginning!
8 am, 1st cage goes down and of course, I’m the divemaster going down. The cold water entering my wetsuit wakes me up way more than my coffee. I close the hatch, look at my divers, we smile at each other with the regulator in our mouths and our thumbs down says it all. The cage goes down and we’re looking all around us into the blue to look for a moving silhouette. As I turn my head around, I see a shape moving. I stop moving and I focus more on that shadow which becomes more and more of a massive, powerful, elegant, stunning beast.
The shark swims straight at us and it feels like he is staring at me while swimming (I’m sure we all had the same feeling) and I’m mesmerized by this impressive caudal movement with that toothy smile swimming straight at us.
Just a few feet away from the cage, the shark starts turning and circles us with curiosity. What are you guys doing down there? Why are you making bubbles and what are those black lines connecting you everywhere? We for sure must look different for one of the greatest predators of the ocean.
While swimming around us, I could see his thin blue iris around his black eye. There’s intelligence in there, that’s for sure. You know how you can look in the eyes of your dog and you feel you can see their soul through them? I had that same feeling with this shark. This is a beautiful and very enriching experience.
The cold water doesn’t even feel that cold anymore and our 40min bottom time felt like a few breaths. I got to see 3 different sharks on that dive of different sizes and unique behaviors.
As soon as we got up and surfaced slowly ascending with the cage, I come out of the cage, disconnect my second stage and help my divers get out of the cage. All of them couldn’t believe their eyes and were diving into a hypnotizing dream for the last 45min. There were many laughs and emotions on the dive deck.
The next divers are excited too, I set them on the ladder, make them go down in the cage, connect my second stage regulator back to the hose, close the hatch and there we go again… Life is good.
- Divemaster JC onboard the Nautilus UnderSea