Location: Isla Guadalupe, Mexico
After the serenity of diving the kelp forests at San Benitos it was back to Guadalupe for the adrenaline portion of our combo trip. The 153 nautical mile crossing was very pleasant with average seas of 4-6 feet, which is almost as good as it gets in the open Pacific ocean. Being the Nautilus kids week we had two special guests onboard, 11 year old Jordan Glenn, and 9 year old Gordon Glenn, whose essays on the mighty Great White Shark earned them both a space onboard to see their favorite animals up close in their natural environment. They were thrilled with their encounters with the fur seals and sea lions of San Benitos and I couldn’t wait to get them in the cages with the sharks!
Arriving at Guadalupe around noon of dive day 2, we promptly dropped our cages into the water anxiously awaiting our first glimpse of our favorite sharks. Although activity that first day around the cages was a little slow, we still had a couple white sharks around, enough to incite some excited head popping from the surface cages as the young boys yelled out to report quickly on their first shark encounters, before ducking back under to catch more of the action! After the sun went down we settled in for a cocktail or two to await Dr Mauricio’s insight on white sharks and Guadalupe. Unbelievably, shortly after Mauricio boarded the Nautilus, an exceptionally large shark was sighted near the stern, and we quickly lit up the dark ocean with flashlights, looking for what we thought was a behemoth white shark. We were all shocked to discover the mystery monster was actually a young whale shark! Only the second time ever a whale shark sighting has been recorded at Guadalupe! The young whale shark approached our stern directly, lightly bumping the quarter, close enough to touch, before turning and bumping the stern cages and swimming off. A very rare occurrence! The next couple of days passed without a lot of white shark encounters, save some short bursts of action near the stern and a full breach only 40 feet off the vessel. Enough to keep us on the edge of our cages and wanting more!!!
Finally, on our last day, the white shark God delivered what we were all waiting for! Shark action, and lots of it! At least 5 individuals kept us busy craning our necks up, down, left, right, and every point in between to catch sight of the beautiful animals as they jockeyed for position and cruised by our cages both at the surface and 40 feet down in our submersible cages. The backdrop for all this action was a clear blue ocean brimming with schooling mackerel, smelts, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, and more. A gorgeous sight to behold in itself, but with 3.5 – 5 meter white sharks prowling through the scene it became a truly heart-thumping and emotional experience. Before the day ended we had witnessed a solid cage bump at the stern and almost every dive ending with a quick heartbeat and big smile. Captain Gordon
Water: Visibility 100 feet plus with some short periods of reduced visibility. Water temp 71 f.
Weather: Skies mostly clear, some cloudy periods. Winds mostly light with some gusty periods.
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