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Guadalupe Trip Report, November 2017

Guadalupe Trip Report, November 2017
Our group trip to Guadalupe started in the wonderful US city of San Diego. From here we were taken by coach across the Mexican border to the port of Ensenada where we boarded the Nautilus Belle Amie Liveaboard ready for our 22 hour sail to Guadalupe Island. Guadalupe is a small volcanic island in the Pacific, 240 km from the Mexican mainland, and is home to Guadalupe Fur Seals and California Sea Lions making it a perfect place for Great White Sharks to gather. Over 220 individual Great Whites have been identified in the bay where the cage diving takes place.

Our crossing to Guadalupe was incredibly smooth giving us plenty of time to get to know everyone onboard and set up our camera gear. For myself Great Whites were what originally made me interested in the ocean. As a young boy I was given a book by my parents all about sharks and in there was a photograph showing a Great White staring into a diver’s cage. The angle of the photo exaggerated the size of the shark to the point it looked like a submarine. It occurred to me during our crossing to Guadalupe that whilst I’d dived with many amazing shark species, it was this trip that would finally bring me back to that starting point where my fascination with the ocean had begun!

Sunset at Guadalupe Island (Ben Jackson)

On our first day at Guadalupe the cages were in the water before the sun had chance to rise. A few us stared at the water wondering were there really Great Whites in there but as the sun was still rising our question was answered with the first call of “Shark”! From sunrise on that first day, until the cages were taken up on the last day we had great shark action on our Guadalupe trip. We often had multiple Great Whites, both male and female, entertaining the submersible and surface cages.

In the submersible cages you see the sharks cruising around, swimming by the cages and then occasionally heading up to the surface to have a go at one of the tunas been expertly wrangled by the crew. From the surface cages the view is entirely different, from here you see the sharks up close as they head for the tuna just in front of you! We had three days in the water with the sharks and whilst days 1 and 2 were good, day 3 was definitely the best with the sharks entertaining us non-stop all day! From the sun deck of the boat we even saw a Sea Lion chasing a Great White, playfully biting at its tail – something we were told happens quite often! It appears that humans are much more scared of Great Whites than Sea Lions!