Thursday, September 19, 2013

To Dive or Not to Dive with a Great White Shark?

A First Timer's Feared Question 

It’s September 19th, 2013; almost one year to the day that I left the corporate world of broadcast news.  Now, if you’d asked me back then, if I had any clue I’d be dunking myself in shark-infested waters 200 miles out at sea, I would have laughed at you with a shudder, as the body tends to do when it senses something unpleasant or scary.  But in 2 weeks, I’m going to be doing exactly that.  I will be climbing into an aluminum cage floating in a depth of 250 feet of water, where one of the most feared creatures waits for me to dip my little body, dressed like a meal, into its salted sea world.

I grew up on the ocean; lived everyday at the beach.  I’m used to the unknown and mystery the vast ocean provides a landlubber, who stares at the horizon and only dreams of traveling there.  But as fate would have it, that dream is coming true.  Sometimes you don’t have to ask for things that you want; they just seem to find their way to you.  My life, like so many others, became mundane; working in an office 50 to sometimes 60 hours a week; punching in, punching out, not making the time or taking the time to live and experience what was “out on that horizon, out beyond the neon lights.” 

In March of this year, through osmosis or cosmoses, I met Martin Graf, Managing Director at Shark Diver, who listened to me talk about my love for the sea, big fish, waves, surfing… anything ‘ocean.’  How could he not make me a member of Shark Diver after hearing my longing to be near it?  I even call myself, 'Ocean.'  Now, I am scheduled for 'the dive' and what is running through my head?  Am I going to be eaten? How ironic though, since my whole working life, I’ve been swimming with corporate sharks, feeling their ‘bite,’ for 20 years.  I fear them more!  I actually welcome a great white’s nibble.  I hear they are turned off by the taste of human blood, anyway.  Mine is way to sweet, I can assure them.  But it’s got to be on every diver’s mind, even the toughest, which take the leap and book a trip to faraway lands such as Isla Guadalupe, where predators lurk.  Some seek a thrill, some fill a bucket list and some are just ‘crazy’ as many do say.  Here’s what I tell the divers who express their fears after just committing to embark on a life-changing undertaking…these are the divers who hear from their family and friends, the shuddering, ‘your crazy.’  I say, “This is living!”  This dive is one of those awe-inspiring moments that God hands to us when we’re least expected.  It’s an offering with an intent on waking our spirit, arousing our soul and forcing us to come face to face with those moments in life that stop you in your tracks and just blow you away.  It’s like a bloom in a barren desert, an eagle soaring over a snow-capped mountain, or a giant fish swimming freely in a seemingly endless blue abyss. They are moments that make you cry at their beauty.  They are moments you don’t want to experience alone.  You are hoping the whole world could see what you see.

It’s not just a ‘crazy’ choice we have made to dive with a giant – no – it’s a climb others may never reach, it’s a cleanse from life’s hazy film, and it is a spiritual moment shared between man and beast that one can only feel by living it!  How can there be any other answer?  “Yes, to dive!”

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at
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