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Voyage to Kure: Expedition Diaries

<< Expedition Diaries | About the Islands

Day 20: Success ... and Sharks!

Blair Mott
Blair Mott. Photo credit: Tom Ordway

Being the chief diver is not all about being in the water. Being the chief diver is about everyone else's equipment and getting them in and out of the water safely. I love my job!

- Blair Mott, Chief Diver


Kure Atoll

Date: 7/26/03
Location: N28°23.1' W178°21.4'
Weather: Winds 18-23 knots
Sea Conditions: Swell 1-2 feet with a small wind chop on top

At 5 p.m. on Day 20, the team arrives at the farthest point in their journey, Kure Atoll. A joyful Jean-Michel states, "Arriving at Kure has been our dream, our goal, and finally the mission is coming true." Wasting no time, within hours they are in the water for a night dive, their first dive at Kure, and they are immediately rewarded for their long journey. On this first dive they see more than 50 Galapagos sharks, attracted to the fish that follow their lights. A second dive, which lasts until 2 a.m., reveals even more -- hundreds of feeding sharks as well as a curious monk seal that tags along with the team.

Blair Mott, Chief Diver:

Being the chief diver is not all about being in the water. Being the chief diver is about everyone else's equipment and getting them in and out of the water safely. I love my job!

Quote of the day

On the Day of Victory, no one is tired.

Factoid

The closed-circuit rebreather can triple a diver's bottom time.

What's good

To be faced with the challenges of coordinating 11 divers on a daily basis. To be pushed to the limits of one's energy, alertness and positive attitude under harsh conditions. In reality, what is really good is when Jean-Michel and Don say it's good.

Schools of more than 75 Galapagos sharks, like this one, swam under the Searcher during the three-day expedition stop at Kure Atoll. Photo credit: Tom Ordway
Click to enlarge

What's bad

Having to return to the surface.

What's fun

Snorkeling at the back of the boat by myself only to be surrounded by 50 Galapagos sharks. I love you, Mom!!!!!

What's a bummer

There is no cinnamon bear on board.

Life aboard the Searcher

Spicy because of the different attitudes and personalities.

Rest and relaxation activities

Rest is a must. For me, rest comes only when I go to bed at night. Most nights my bed is located on the flybridge. It's the highest point on the ship, and it's the biggest bedroom on board. I love it up there. You can look over the whole ship, plus it takes a lot of energy to get up there, so you know after a long day it's usually empty, even though it's a common area. It's my favorite place on the ship, hands down!

Name three great things

Dolphins in the shallows in Midway; fresh oxygen and Sofnolime; looking out of the corner of your Supermask and seeing 20-plus sharks.