Location: Ensenada, Mexico
Excitement is running really high among the crew as we make final preparations for boarding our first great white shark trip to Guadalupe Island tomorrow. Everyone has been working flat-out to get the Nautilus Explorer turned around at the shipyard. We yanked and changed out the carpet on the main deck, dorm and crew quarters with Transport Canada rated 100% wool fire-retardant carpet that had to be specially ordered from Greece, prepped the dive deck for glistening new white paint with the help of the top-notch crew from the Gran Peninsula, overhauled the 5 ton hydraulic crane, got all of our shark diving gear and cages out of storage, tested everything and put it all back together for another great white season, cut up 2200 pounds of blue-fin tuna into shark sized bits on an assembly line that started with a gasoline chain saw and Tim and Sam wearing bright yellow slickers and ended with Will wielding an electric drill with a very long bit and an armful of hemp leader (kudos to Eve, one of our bright, smiling hostesses for diving in and trying out a chainsaw for the first time although it would have been better if she had been wearing a slicker!!) and have done a deep clean of every nook and cranny on the ship as well as freshening up the interior with new paint, varnish, some new paintings (my personal favourite – the charcoal sketch of a bosun yelling orders is now a thing of the past), new door frames, etc. Not bad for 4 days work huh!! Have to say that the Nautilus is looking pretty darn good. Our new submersible white shark cage is most exciting of all. Now I know that I am boat guy and somewhat susceptible to getting excited about things like a beautiful TIG weld, but this new cage really is something. As far as I am concerned, it is a piece of art made out of 2″ aluminum round bar. All the corners are beautifully radiused. The welds are perfect. It’s beautifully symetrical. The escape hatch is a marvel of engineering with stainless steel arms that fit perfectly into holes that are actually small diameter pipe that have been fitted into the aluminum bars and then welded and polished to perfection. I love the clear lexan floor – the idea being that divers will feel that they are standing on water with nothing between them and the ocean floor at 250 feet except for the odd great white shark. And a quarter inch of clear plastic (which we are told will be more than thick enough to be impervious to a head butting great white shark). The camera ports are within a millimetre of the maximum size allowed by park regulations with wrap around corner so that photographers can pan on the sharks as they swim past with wide angle lenses and or HD cameras. Ahhhh, I can’t wait to take it for a dive when I am on the Nautilus next week. Captain Mike
Weather: Sunny nice weather with temperatures in the low 80’s, light winds and not a cloud in the sky.
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