Freediving with blue sharks is a dream come true for many divers. The irridescent blues of this slender and graceful creature make it seem to appear and vanish from another dimension as it moves through the shifting light of the ocean. It has long pectoral fins, which complement its narrow form, a pointed nose, and large eyes. Like other sharks, it is curious about divers, and will come close for a look.
It’s an adventure. You swim like a champion, trying to be as streamlined as possible and glide effortlessly through the water. Your heart rate is already at its limits and your breathing borders on hyperventilation. Your focus is on the sperm whale and its blow, which you can see just as you slide into the water. You are hoping to get the animal in front of your camera, but it is a bit of gamble.
It’s been almost 15 years since my first visit to the Azores. I was studying law then and was on my first diving trip, with all of eight dives written down in my brand new logbook. Six years later, I was living in the Azores. I had traveled and dived in many remote locations by then, Africa, Australia, Asia… but one place never left my mind—those nine small islands that stood alone in the middle of the Atlantic.