Incredible expedition to Shoot Tiger Sharks, Great Hammerheads, Lemon Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks Hammerheads with the editor of Shark Diver Magazine – Eli Martinez.
I am an adventurer and modern day pirate. I like to think of myself as an EcoPirate.
It is a hard road. Nothing comes easy…. It is always “life on the edge” some how. I always seem to make it but it is not never flawless execution. Being an EcoPirate is not easy…
It is the slow season for white sharks and diving off california. The Shark Boat – R/V Sea Watch sits awaiting the next season to draw near. It is a lonely time for us. Seems like it is just me and my good friend Danger aboard.
Danger isn’t a person… Danger is more like Wilson from the movie castaway.
I bought Danger from a hardware store, I saw it him hanging behind the counter while buying parts for the Shark Boat – R/V Sea Watch before and expedition. He spoke to me right then and there. He asked if he could come along. He wanted to be part of the crew.
I figured it was the lack of sleep or due to stress and laughed at myself. But for the 12 bucks they were asking – I thought it was a worth the money to have a skull and crossbones that spoke to me. What good pirate doesn’t have a skull and crossbones anyway?
Danger has become my good friend since then. Danger is awesome. He now wears a beanie and has become part of the crew. Danger warns me when he feels uneasy, supports me at challenging times, comforts me when things go wrong, congratulates me when we win some of our battles, and laughs at me when I cry – that dirty bastard.
As I packed for a expedition to film Tiger Sharks with Shark Diver Magazine – I didn’t know what to think. Danger would not be with me. I spoke to him about it and said there would not be room on this adventure for him to come along.
Danger was quiet while I packed. He did not speak his words of support when I was tired. He did not help to motivate me when things were not coming together as easy as I had hoped.
I said my goodbyes and grabbed my gear. He was still silent.
As I have put thousands of miles between us and my next expedition is only a few hours away…I think of him. I could use his words of support and direction.
I miss my good friend – Danger. Being an EcoPirate isn’t easy.
Hanging out and having a beer with Yvon Chouinard at the opening of a new Patagonia store… We talked about new adventures, making a difference, not caring what people say or think but following heart and dreams. Being a dirtbag is not a bad thing, but something that sets people like us apart. We are the ones that lead the way…. Very motivating.
Gotta say it – I have led a charmed life.
It hasn’t been easy by any means. In fact challenging, hard, scary, and tiring come to mind first. Then recollection of challenges bring up much headache, heart break, and disappointments.
Yet the rewards have been incredible adventures, epic journeys, and intense connections with amazing people. I have done many things that others dream about, some things that others have nightmares about, seen sunsets in places people just don’t go, followed by sunrises that were even further away. For these things, I am proud.
All this has made me who I am. Every step has had risks. I have always calculated the risks, assessed the situation, and made a decisive move. I have never looked back nor questioned my commitment.
Confidently – I can say I have earned each and every experience by taking risks that others were not willing to take and doing things other people would not do.
Somewhere along the way… blazing the trail became easier – the trail turned into a path.
I am now at a fork in the road. I can see a hint of a trail on my right and a path on a bumpy road filled with pot holes ahead of me on the left.
A solo journey to the Yucatan provided time for deliberations and deep thoughts over many a cold Pacifico. I thought I had it figured, but yet now upon my return to the states, it does not seem as clear.
My steps are nearing me to the decision on which way to go….
Do I blaze a new trail or follow the path?
Damn – It is true. Everything does happen for a reason. Often its hard to know why though.
Karma has paid back 10 fold. I came to Isla Mujeres to help a family friend. New found focus and motivation. Determination. New experiences. New friends. New adventures.
Although this chapter of my adventure is a short one, it has already done so much for me. I learned an incredible amount about so many things and met some great people while living out my dreams. Even though none of it is “easy” is is well worth the challenges and obstacles.
So – just do it. Don’t follow the road but please – blaze a trail. Do what you love and love what you do.
Captain Chris Wade
You know… being a dive pirate has its privileges.
It had really been a tough couple of weeks for me. We had been planning a Blue Shark dive trip off the R/V Sea Watch. Just not enough folks to make sense to run, it was going to cost me money.
My primary job – as the Dive Safety Officer of an major educational institution – well. Lets just say living the dream ain’t easy. It had been a pretty tough run over there as well. I could really use a break!
On mothers day – I spoke with a good family friend. Sadly, his Aunt had passed away. She owned a dive shop in Isla Mujeres Mexico. Although they are all divers and solid water people – they haven’t worked a dive operation, it was her baby.
He asks if I would be open to going down to help with figuring out the best plan for the shop. I looked at my schedule – it was ugly. We talk about other options for him to look at.
A bad couple of weeks got worse – it came to a point. I called him back…. What if I could go this weekend?
I am now wheels UP less then 24 hours later, heading to the Yucatan to help a good friend. Maybe a few hours filming whale sharks will help get me back on track! I love traveling and Mexico.
Off to check in for the last leg of the flight. Check back for pictures and more updates of the adventure.
In my job – I get to do some pretty cool stuff. Operations – Sea to Mountains was one of them.
Problem- I can’t do much by myself. I have to ask a lot of folks for help. Some are paid professional staff – most are volunteers. Seems that when I reach out for help – many step up.
I want to stop and thank those that made our aspect of the Science Festival with the National Park Service at Paramount Ranch a huge success. With our efforts I can assure you we many people thinking about science and our ocean.
I know it isn’t much – but – its all I got.
Here we go:
From the job whose name I can’t mention in my blogging.
Misha Body, Chuck Kopczak, James Cowley, Bill Fike, Michelle Adams, & William Johnson.
From the National Park Service-
Lena Lee, Kelly Moore, Josh Sprague, David Kushner, Mountain Restoration Fund.
My biggest and most heartfelt thanks goes to my dive team. You people are incredible!
Gwen Noda, Ed Conn, Jana Frazier, Eric Rippon, Laurel Bartels, Erin Shull, Pandora Kronenburg, Camille Hayes, Marea Perez-Bactin, Phillip Simmons, Luis Rojas, Susy Horowitz, and Josh Griffiths.
You are all visionaries and truly wonderful people. You have each earned my respect and admiration!
Capt Chris Wade