Many people ask me "what is it like spending so much time on the ocean?" The idea of being thousands of miles away from civilisation, for many, is a very appealing concept. Over recent years I have spent more time in the company of White sharks than I have my own family and just like with any job, it has its ups and downs. Here I give a run down of what it is like living the "shark diver" lifestyle…..
A classic day
A classic day on the boat consists of a very early start (something I struggle with to this day!) After a strong cup of coffee we begin before the sun comes up……and it does not stop! Divers onboard a trip of a lifetime for only 5 days at a time are also excitable and are typically up just as early in anticipation of the days diving ahead. Once the cages are in the water and the diving begins it does not stop until that final guest is ready to get out, often late into the afternoon. Every single day is like a mini adventure with a script that writes itself as the day progresses. We go through great highs of adrenaline as well as experiencing at times many hours of waiting in the sun for a predator that when he (or she) does arrive can throw our guests in to a state of delirium in seconds! By the end of the diving day, stamina, fatigue and adrenaline has given you the run around but it does not stop there……
Typically we run between 12 – 15 trips per year which on average are 5 days in total each. For guests its the adventure and holiday that they have been waiting for most of the year….for myself and our team its just another day at the office. Its true, we can and sometimes do take the wildlife for granted but I truly believe that myself and the team have just as much passion (and in most cases more!) than that of the guests. Only someone who truly loves what they do is able to even do it for that amount of time, every day, for almost 4 straight months! Of course there is a lot of prep pre season as well to take into account and if we get contracted for a film shoot (which is often late into December) the season will extended even more!
Life on the boat is a life choice. As much as it can be exhausting, on the other hand I can honestly say I am happy and have been rewarded with some of the greatest moments of my life. Being along side the crew who are also some of my best friends each day is a privilege as well as hosting so many similar minded shark loving guests never gets boring. The boat is more like a home to me. When I sit and eat dinner with the guests and talk about the days wildlife and the experiences we shared, it feels like Im having friends over into my house. There is something about getting away from it all and being more in touch with the natural world – Something that for many has been completely lost in todays society.
I have lost count of how many trips we have now ran over the years but each season brings new stories and experiences that almost makes it addictive and impossible to give up. I mean……what else would I do if I didn’t do what I do! So here is to all the past years and to all the seasons in the future and the memories and experiences as yet, unwritten……