I booked this trip on a semi-last minute whim…didn’t do much due diligence per usual so I came into this voyage with limited expectations. Needless to say from the minute we stepped foot on the boat those expectations were SHATTERED!
The crew was BEYOND welcoming, the accommodations were stellar, all the dive gear was top notch and it just kept getting better. On 1st day of diving, I was expecting to see two, maybe three sharks if we were lucky…HA! Within the first 20 minutes in the water, I was surrounded by five large white sharks! To boot…it was my very first time ever using oxygen underwater. Ivan the divemaster who instructed me was marvelous with his instructions. 15 minutes after we started, we were 10 ft down in a cage having the times of our lives feeling like pro divers lol. THANKS, IVAN!
The rest of the amazing dive masters Pascal, Yann, Maryanne, and Kay literally bent over backward to make our dives perfect and as effortless as possible. Always there to greet us on the dive deck after returning from the cages with a big smile on their faces and the proverbial question,” HOW WAS IT, ANY BIG ONES?!” They gave nightly presentations about their decades of diving and shark knowledge and experiences. Experts in their fields openly shared their personal ideals and hypothesis about the sharks, shark behavior, cool stories they’ve amassed over the years, and tons more. Iris and Nubia our host and steward were incredible! Always attentive, always checking to see if they could make our stay better in any way. Shep our illustrious supreme commander captain AND resident bartender was fabulous… kept us in the loop about the voyage, weather, what to expect, his own cool sea stories and so much more. He was always ready to answer any and all questions with a smile on his face. And the food! Julio crushed it! From made-to-order breakfasts to marvelous mussels with Rizzuto and everything in-between, the food was deliciously scarfed down by all.
And then there’s Andy. One of the most well-known and well-respected underwater cinematographers and great white shark experts in the world greeted us and treated us from the very first moment like we were all friends of 20 years. His stories, diving knowledge, tips and tutorials on underwater filming, his intimate and beautiful relationship with these amazing creatures shined through during his evening presentations. His love for nature, the oceans, sharks and just being a good person was palpable and contagious. Every interaction and chat with Andy left us motivated and humbled at his knowledge and passion for these creatures and man o man is it contagious!
With great thanks, Erik Adkins.
- Erik Adkins onboard the Nautilus Belle Amie