Everglades USA Exped – Day 16
Vandenberg shipwreck dives
One of the most important lessons I have learned from Mike Horn on this expedition is the absolute necessity to remain calm. The difference between life and death for an adventurer can often be found in their ability to keep a level head in challenging circumstances.
Diving has been the perfect adventure sport to exercise this need to relax and think clearly. It functions on some what of a paradox: the further you come to the limits of human exploration underwater, the greater the need for the diver to slow their heart rate, relax their breathing, and conserve their physical exertion.
Often when we think of extreme sports, we think of fast-pace, on-the-edge, break-neck activity. But diving is a different beast; it’s a finesse ballet — an underwater mind game where we must remain in constant control of our minds. Our dive today took us deep into a military shipwreck but with Chistian, our sepcialist dive instructor and other qualified instructors in the team, we were well entoured and were able to remain calm and clear-headed, to do our most difficult dive yet.
We are a few days away from the end of the expedition and time is disappearing faster than I am soaking it all up. I wish it wasn't so. I wish I had more time to hear Mike’s stories. I wish there were more dives to plunge and sails to hoist, to be pushed further and harder and learn more from the amazing team which makes all this possible. However, this feeling is a symptom: a tell tale sign of the experience of a lifetime.
This being my last blog, I wish to acknowledge a sentiment of Mike’s expressed in a YouTube clip I watched when first learning about the Pangaea project. This boat, our Pangaea, represents one world. All of us here on this boat, from the Young Explorers, to the team, to Mike himself, have poured their hearts into this expedition. We have treated each other with respect, worked together for the benefit of our family on board this boat, laughed together, encouraged each other, and sustained life aboard as a team. It may be a bold statement not shared by all, but I see Pangaea and this team as a microcosm of how our world needs to work together. If we can take this metaphor, and apply it to our world, where all work together for the sustenance and support of one another, we can ensure the preservation of our environment.
When I set foot on dry land in a few days, I will take the lessons I have learned on this boat and let them serve as inspiration and more importantly, hope, for what our world can be. I believe it.