What aspect of the dive are you most afraid of, or that worries you most?
Having a bad day. Just having a bad day. I don’t think you can afford a bad day. That was Sheck’s reservation, too. When we first talked about doing this, and honestly, Sheck was the one who encouraged me to seek sponsorships ‘cause he knew my financial situation. And to seek sponsorship you have to seek exposure. Sponsors don’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts.
We also both agreed that we’ve seen the camera kill people. Sheck was too mature to fold to that, and that was not the case there. This next time, I’m really considering who I’m going to have there, or if I’m going to have anybody there. Like NBC, I’m sorry they weren’t there. They want to be there next time from what I hear. Can you imagine going up there and having that little gut feeling—you’ve had it haven’t you? Haven’t you pulled a dive for just nothing specific, it just doesn’t seem right? It’s better you do that with few media guys there.
Right, there is a pressure. Sheck wrote about that in Caverns. Just the whole pressure of saying, “Well, they’re here. Let’s just do it.” Have we reached the limits of scuba?
I think we are approaching it. Though some people would say that it’s already way passed. I don’t know and I don’t particularly care. When Sheck broke Hasenmayer’s record (656 ffw/195 m), nobody gave him a rat’s ass chance of succeeding. But he did, and then he went back and broke his own record.
Anything I would say in answer to your original question is subject to people wondering if that’s what I really feel. But I’ve already got the record. I don’t need to go break the record. And even if I break my own record, which I will with a successful dive—I’m confident will be successful—I really believe somebody will break it. And, yes, I think some people will die. Do I sound invincible? No, I’m not invincible, and no, I don’t have a death wish. I’m going to start a family when I’m eighty.
If I do reach the bottom, it’ll be the result of several months working on the perfect set, on correcting the mistakes I made last time. Then, if I don’t feel that I can, I won’t do it. I really don’t have anything to prove. I just would like to see the bottom of Zacatón like somebody would like to see, I don’t know, the dark side of the moon or whatever. I just would like to see it. It’s a personal thing. And if that’s a shallow desire by other people’s standards, well, so be it.