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(Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a series of blog posts about the Feb. Cocos Island Expedition to track sea turtles and sharks in order to create a protected science-based swimway that will safeguard endangered marine wildlife during their migrations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. You can read the first blog hereView the entire series of blog posts here). 

Feb. 19, 2015

Today is our last day of diving and we got up a little early to be sure to squeeze in three full dives. I watched the sunrise on the bow of the boat while taking photos and even spotted a few dolphins playing by the bow off to the starboard side of the boat.

sunrise

I had the good fortunate of having a curious Galapagos Shark check me out on our first dive. An omen for more sharks to come.

On our second dive of the day, I swam amidst a large school of benitos, while my dive buddy Mark dropped lower in search of a shark to tag. He dropped down below 100 feet, and then rejoined the rest of the group pumping his fist. He had just tagged the first shark of the expedition – a huge Galapagos Shark! (We will be sharing Mark’s first hand account of the surreal experience of tagging a shark on our blog in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that!)

For the final dive of the day I hopped ships and had the chance to dive with Randall Arauz of PRETOMA, and the Yellow Team.   It was a fun dive in the coral garden and a chance for everyone to say goodbye to this very special place on our planet.  Randall and I spotted a white tip shark with it’s dorsal fin bit off  – perhaps by another shark – and on the way back up to the surface a school of snappers biting at the surface of the water.

We arrived back to the Argo, to find the crew  busy preparing to pull anchor and leave. Soon, the Argo was headed back to Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience this magical slice of the world, and having visited it in person I am even more committed to making sure it is protected and pristine.

There are lots of challenges ahead, but I do believe that together we can make a difference. You can help right now by clicking here and signing our petition to stop the export of shark fins from Costa Rica, and if you’d like to help with our important research to create a marine protected swimway by making a donation here, or you can join an upcoming expedition here.

View the entire series of blog posts here.