3 years ago, I took a 36 hour boat ride off of the coast of Costa Rica, bound for the dive of my life. It was the legendary Cocos Island, home to the world’s biggest schools of hammerheads, galapagos and reef sharks.
5 days into the trip, I could count sharks we saw with my hands. Another diver told us when he came to Cocos back in 2012, EVERY dive was like nothing you'd ever imagined. We talked late into the night, and concluded on climate change - the water was too warm for the sharks now. For the first time in my life, I realized that everything we do to this planet, as humans, comes with consequences. It was us, our insatiable growth and consumption that's directly and indirectly wiping out the last wonders of this world. Later I also learned that illegal fishing for shark fins was still prevalent in Costa Rica despite Cocos, a declared UNESCO site.
The 6th day was full moon. Before we were about to surface, the picture I had dreamed of all my life, emerged in the distance: It was 5 hammerheads, then 10, 50, then there were hundreds of them, cruising the blue infinity in utter grace and perfection. Between my unstoppable tears and the salty sea, my mask was the only divide. THAT, is the miracle the Earth has in store that completely encompasses and supersedes the reality we live in, our Mother Ocean that gave birth and provided us, the magical Cocos Island that existed after all. I cried with every bit of hope like a newborn. Then I laughed then cried again. Then laughed again. I chased until I couldn't. I had never felt so much joy.
This is how I found my calling –– that moment of staggering pain and unbearable joy that moved me, drove me, made me whole.
We all have taken a thousand pictures of the same clownfish or the same horizon line that connects humanity with what lies beneath, because everything the ocean has in store is so beautiful that it's Impossible to register that there will be more, more, more. In fact there might not be. Fast forward to today, my love for sharks has evolved from a passion to a mission - I want to see them; but more than that I wanted to make sure they're there. I want to explore new ways for mankind and nature to coexist, and dedicate my life to defending the alchemy of this Earth.
In Sharks We Trust is born out of that one single promise.