North AmericaScubaSouth America

May 1, 2007: to Malpelo Island

Nothing earth-shattering to report since today was more travel on the ocean, more naps, and more camera / diving talk. Crann, one of the couple from the Isle of White in the UK, told me about a company called Full Circle Expeditions which organizes 10-week scuba trips around the world. They go to 10 dive sights, spending a week at each one and following a theme such as “The World’s Greatest Wrecks” of “The World’s Biggest Fish”. What an amazing adventure that would be — and to top off the adventure, the trip is run by Monty Halls – the UK’s answer to a water-based Steve Irwin. “Quite the character”, Crann said.

Great. Another “Must Do” to add to my list. I need to move to Europe where everyone has six weeks of vacation.

I sat in the sun for a bit until we were driven inside by clouds and light rain. But – despite the weather – the ocean was as calm as soup.

Lots of dive talk today, and further proof that diving is a small, small world. The boat has a number of dive magazines on board, one of which is the UK-based magazine “Diver”. In the October 2006 issue is an ad for Fiji dive company which features a blown-up picture of a man pushing a camera against the nose of a massive tiger shark. Mike, one of the divers on our boat, glanced at this picture and laughed, “That’s me!” His friend took the picture just as the tiger shark was getting aggressive. Later, Ikram was going through the boat’s magazine inventory and she shrieked happily, holding up the cover of “Sport Diver” magazine and showing it to Eric, “That’s your picture, isn’t it? You took that!” Sure enough, the cover featured the Screaming Turtle picture, one of Eric’s most well-known and award winning photos. A small, small world for sure. But that somehow makes it even more enjoyable since you know you’re traveling with like minds.

Lucien, Eric, and Renee –> because it takes a Swiss village to assemble Eric’s camera equipment

Eric and I had a long talk about how he got into photography and why it’s such an easy thing for him to do. He’s never been formally trained but just “took” to it years ago, and now he’s discovered ways to make it work around his life. Of course this means he’s never at his San Francisco home because he’s always traveling, but he’s also doing something he loves and has a widely respected talent.

I could take countless photography classes and I still wouldn’t have those kinds of skills, but that’s why it’s great to have friends like him who can open my eyes to new areas of the world.