The Magnificent Deep Blue
An imagined tale inspired by the biggest known Great White.
Sunlight glittered off the water as our boat sliced through the water like butter. The beautiful, lush island of Oahu shrank behind us as we continued our trek into the sparkling sea. Waves crashed against the boat as we finally came to a slow stop. A thrill shivered its way up my spine as I pulled out our goggles and wet suits; my mom had instilled in me a love for the ocean, and this was to be my first real open ocean free dive with her.
“Hey Keira! Can you grab our gear while I get everything set up?” Mom called as she shut down the engine and busied herself lowering the anchor.
“Already on it mom,” I said as I dragged the gear to the rear of the boat.
My mom and her best friend Kyla checked and rechecked the underwater cameras before pulling on their wet suits. Both were professional free divers and marine biologists and they had been training me for years to finally go on a deep dive with them. I finished lacing my suit before fitting my goggles snuggly to my face and fastening my little camera to my chest.
“Think we’ll see anything cool? I really want to see another sea turtle!” I asked my insides roiling with excited anticipation.
Mom grinned widely as she pulled the ties of her wet suit, but Reagan was the one the answer with a wink, “I guess we’ll find out once we’re out there.”
They grew serious once more as they ran through the rules one last time with me, giving me the same tips, they had drilled into my head over the years; I tried hard not to roll my eyes.
At long last, it was time to disembark from the boat. Kyla was beside me her snorkel already in place she gave me a thumbs up before plummeting into the water. Reagan gave my hand a quick squeeze and motioned for me to follow my sister. I took in a lungful of air and dove into the abyss.
As always, I was struck by the sheer serenity of the water. Gentle currents pulled this way and that. I could see my mom a little way below twirling in the water as though she herself were a fish, she waved at me when she saw me. I made my way down slowly admiring the beauty of the endless blue expanse that had swallowed us.
The silence of the water made my heart flutter in the best way possible. The ocean had become a second home for me over the years, I’d grown up here almost as much as I had on land. I couldn’t help but smile at the weightless feeling as I twirled like an otter. Hundreds of tiny fish glittered and danced like a choreographed light show in the distance.
I was proud of myself for being able to keep up with Kyla and my mom. Upon our third resurfacing we were some distance from the boat now and my mom pulled the snorkel from her mouth and dipped above the surface. I followed suit and bobbed into the bright air; a grin was spermanently plastered to my face.
My mom grinned back, “You doing ok? If you need to take more breaks, we can.”
“I’m great, I had some great teachers!” I said before diving back into the glorious water. I flipped and twirled like a ballerina drinking in the vastness that lay before me. Crystal blue water twinkled and swirled around occasional fish would dart this way and that. I longed to live here, to dwell among the bright coral and caressing water.
My bliss was shattered by a vice-like grip on my arm. My head snapped to side to see my mom staring wide-eyed into the sun streaked waters, Kyla too was stock still staring in the same direction and I struggled to see what had them both on edge.
Then I saw it, an enormous and dark shape looming against the happy blue water. My heart slammed against my ribs as my mom calmly pulled back to the direction of the boat. Kyla slowly swam backwards her eyes never leaving the approaching dark figure.
Before I thought possible the hulking figured materialized, it was the biggest great white I could imagine. It was at least twenty feet long and I stared slack jawed as it calmy swam by us eye swiveling as it took us all in. I resisted as my mom continued to tug at my arm. There was something familiar about the beautiful beast.
There were distinct marks on its skin and the docile demeanor of the enormous creature finally clicked into place the identity of this gentle looking giant. This was none other than Deep Blue, my mother and I had obsessed over this shark for as long as I could remember.
Known for her calm demeanor and almost friendly manor around humans Deep Blue was the biggest great white shark in known history. I frantically motioned for my mom to really look at the gentle giant gliding past us.
I could see the realization dawn in her eyes as she really studied the shark. Without thinking I drifted closer to the animal. Utter calm had somehow overcome me, my heart no longer threatened to break free of my chest, and I sensed a benevolence from the creature that loomed in front of me.
Her large black eye seemed to peer into my soul as I approached her, I reached out with a surprisingly steady hand, to brush against her tough, muscular side. She made no indication that she felt my touch or that she minded it if she did. Her thick, powerful tail continued its slow swish back and forth.
My eyes never left Deep Blue but out of the corner of my eye I could see my mother drifting closer for a better look at this almost mystical creature. Her fingers delicately brushed the enormous fin and I could see the almost childlike glee fill her face.
Abandoning all good sense we followed the glorious creature, fingers trailing along its magnificent body. I hung onto her broad and unique dorsal fin for a long moment letting her pull me along for an unmeasurable amount of time.
As my chest ached with the need for air, I let the beautiful being go on her merry way before drifting to the surface and taking in a lungful of fresh air my head almost exploding with excitement. I stared awe struck as the world’s most magnificent creation drifted dreamily along into the impossibly blue water until I couldn’t see her anymore. We all rushed back to the boat clambering aboard, my chest was still heaving in amazement.
“Are you two insane?!” Kyla cried as we pulled off our gear.
“A little, “ I said chuckling.
“Do you know who that was? That was Deep Blue!” My mom asked almost breathless.
“I don’t care! You know we never approach a shark! She could have ripped you apart if she felt like it!” She shouted.
“Sharks are not mindless killers,” I said looking out at the mystical blue expanse. That shut her up, despite her love for the ocean Kyla had always been leery of sharks. My mother had taught me that they were beautiful beings that deserved respect, not fear. “She knew we weren’t a threat, she knew we weren’t food, she knew we just wanted to say hello. I could feel it.”
“I never thought I would live to see this day!” My mom said tearily with a hand over her heart just beneath the tiny reflective camera.
“The cameras!” I screamed remembering the little cameras we all had fastened to our chests. We hurried to pack our belongings and rush back home to check the footage we had captured.
I felt like I was flying as we sped back. My heart was light and so filled with joy I thought it would burst. This would forever be the single most amazing day of my life.