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RB-dykare, ha alltid en bailoutflaska...

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I've just returned from the Revillagigedo Islands (Socorros), 250 miles off the pacific coast of Mexico on the Ambar III. Socorros is famous for pelagic fishes, most notably giant pacific mantas and sharks. I packed my Megalodon CCR into my carry-on luggage and packed my remaining gear into (2) 50 pound pieces of checked luggage.

As we all know, airline weight limitations make CCR travel more difficult these days. I traveled Alaska Airlines and they limit to two (check in) 50-pound bags even for international travel. But, there are no weight restriction for carry-on, only size restrictions. Consequently, I found very little room for things such as clothing. I took the suggestions of earlier postings to totally remove valves from my tanks (valves are heavy and small so they went with me in carry-on) & bagged all my Sofnolime in double ziplock bags with the appropriate detailed description in each.

As I passed through airline security, my carry-on always received attention by the X-ray guy. When questioned about its contents I used the mantra taught to me by another CCR traveler, Alan Studley, "SCUUUBA", no more, no less. Thus, no problems whatsoever.

In spite of the arduous weight limitations, I did pack a bailout bottle along with my other two CCR bottles. Although my Megalodon was flawless throughout my trip, I was very glad I carried my bailout. At the end of one of my very last dives I saw a shark in the distance. The shark slowly approached and as he made his first pass at about 10 feet, the distinctive stripes on his side revealed him to be a Tiger. I've been fortunate to dive with many sharks in my days, but this was my first encounter with a Tiger. Additionally, this was the first time that I felt somewhat threatened and ill at ease by the interest a shark showed in me. There was none of the classic shark posturing, only a methodical "closing in".  My friend Studley also told me before this trip that if I was to see a Tiger, not to take my eyes off of it…I can attest, that part came very naturally. Feeling so vulnerable, what I elected to do was unclip my side mount bailout bottle and strategically place it between me and the now 5 foot away circling Tiger. The Tiger did ultimately turn directly toward me at torso height (I'm now in a completely vertical posture) and comes in with mouth wide open for a curious sort of bite. I say "curious" as opposed to "hungry" because everything seemed to be in slow motion. I offered my bailout bottle for him to "taste" which he did for a brief moment. I did not try to "strike" the Tiger with my bailout for fear of pissing him off. After "tasting" my bailout the Tiger seems to loose interest and moves out of sight in the 50-foot visibility.

I quickly concluded my dive, returned to the surface and started sounding my much beloved DiveAlert hoping to expedite my small boat pickup. After telling my story, I was questioned, "how big and how long did this encounter take?" I'm not really sure. Everything seems now somewhat surreal. It was a big shark, but I don't think it was a big Tiger, maybe 10 feet, but they're fat. My encounter might have lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. All I can conclude in saying is that I'm very glad I was carrying bailout.

// Dave

Bert Ytterhag
Bert Ytterhag 2004-03-01 10:27:00
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Huvudinlägg RB-dykare, ha alltid en bailoutflaska... Bert Ytterhag 2004-03-01 10:27
svara KanonstoryKjell Nylund2004-03-01 11:03
svara Smaka... =)Bert Ytterhag2004-03-01 11:17
svara Sv: RB-dykare, ha alltid en bailoutflaska...Danne Krebs2004-03-01 11:24
svara Sv: Sv: RB-dykare, ha alltid en bailoutflaska...Carl Wern2004-03-02 15:06


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