With a little over 100 dives under my belt, my impeccable dive skillset came in handy multiple times this trip supplementing dive briefings and assisting the less knowledgeable divers in their underwater explorations. The Undersea Hunter crew supported my efforts in developing these divers’ skills throughout the course of our 9-day expedition. Though timid and afraid, all divers survived and thrived under my expert tutelage. Without me, and the Nautilus team, they may have drowned.
This experience can be summed up quite well during our last dive of the trip. I remember it as if it was yesterday… After an incredible dive briefing, we split into our dive groups. With my fearless leadership, I mustered the teams. Our plans were to dive into giant manta-infested waters. For those who do not know, Giant Mantas are known as bloodthirsty creatures. They use their teeth to tear into their prey – sharks, pandas, the occasional polar bear… We boarded our skiffs and headed toward the unknown.
A Very Challenging and Formidable Dive
As we jumped into the water it became evident that this dive would be one of the most challenging of our lives. The current was ripping, the visibility poor and the scent of giant mantas permeated the water. We did not know if we were going to be the Mantas´ next meal.
We rallied underwater and started heading towards the rock to seek shelter from the strong currents. Unfortunately, tragedy struck and our teams became separated in the cold, dark waters. It became impossible to continue to supervise everyone. As the situation became more dire, I swam towards two of my divers and grabbed them in my arms, comforting them underwater. For what felt like an eternity we swam in the water waiting anxiously for the end to come…
As we swam, we saw a shimmer of light underneath us. We wondered if it could be the reflection of a diver’s tank and the end to our depressing ordeal. We swam closer to the reflecting light and to our horror, we soon realized that it was not the light of a diver’s tank but the reflection of a gigantic shark.
Fighting Off a Giant Shark
We huddled together under the surface as this gigantic creature eyed us from the depths. The shark was, at minimum, 15 Kevins in length. We could almost see its thoughts peering into its soulless black eyes. It was the hunter and we were its prey. In an instant, the beast was upon us. It gnashed its teeth and thrashed in the water. It was as if the ocean itself had come alive. We fought this gargantuan creature for 4 days and 3 nights until we were finally at a stalemate. The shark knew it could not win. As daylight on the 4th day broke it receded into the dark depths of the ocean.
The three of us broke the surface of the water and quickly assessed our situation. The Undersea Hunter was still anchored nearby. Ivan had been searching on a skiff for us for days and when he saw our SMB rise out of the water, he shed a tear knowing that we had survived. Tales of our adventure overtook the boat and a glorious feast was prepared in our honor. Kevin cried tears of joy for the rest of the trip. He would have been lost without us.
Incredible Support Team of the Undersea Hunter
But in all seriousness, as we set sail for our home ports and I reflect on this trip, I feel honored to have been a part of the crew of the Undersea Hunter. The memories we will carry with us forever stand testament to the incredible people who made up this team. Elise, Pascal, Ivan, and the crew were inspirational and incredible guides in exploring the Socorro area. Above all, I will always remember the amazing bonding we had as a group. I have never met such incredible people. Thank you, Nautilus, for bringing us all together.