Guadalupe Island, Mexico (2002)
ã Walter Marti
walter @ diver . net
I just got back from Guadalupe Island. 150 miles off of Baja California, 250 miles south of San Diego. Aboard the dive boat Horizon and with Doc Anes of San Diego Shark Diving (sdsharkdiving.com).
After a 21 hour boat ride we arrived at the 4200 foot tall island. The first day of diving: it was windy. We got blown on the prime spot and headed to Westies. A lot of wind chop. I saw only one shark, with a radio transmitter and ropes stuck in his teeth.
On the second day, we woke up at the lighthouse. I did a two hour 'shark watch', looking in the blue 100 foot plus visibility, watching the scad mackerel, yellow tail, and yellow fin tunas swim by. Mainly, just sitting in the 67 degree water. No sharks. I got out, warmed up for half hour and went back in. A half hour later, he arrived. Now the clock is running, my one hour in/one hour out rotations starts. The shark is about 8 feet. Slowly cruising the same course over and over. My video is running and I'm sticking out of the cage to my waist. I get great shots, until my cage mate taps me and shows me a second shark coming slowly at me from my blind side. Having two sharks, later three in the water at once, made me a little more hesitant on sticking so far out of the cage. My jump time is over, I dry off for an hour and do it again. An absolutely fantastic experience. Yes, they were chumming on the boat, why else would the sharks come? Sometime clouds of red and fish chunks drifted through the cage.
Day three. I didn't get in the water right away for 'shark watch'. The sharks came early. I'm in the second rotation. Other passengers and crew are busy fishing. Catching 40 lb yellow tail and 70 lb yellow fin tuna. This morning is a little rough for the fisherman. The first three tuna get eaten by the sharks before it can be landed. The guy under the boat just ate over 150 lbs of tuna for breakfast. Two sharks show up. One goes for the hanging bait, it get pulled away and he bumps into the back of the boat, bounce off fiercely and get his head stuck in the cage for a moment. Who knew that Great White Sharks don’t have reverse?
I had a wonderful time. Ya gotta do it!! It's in our back yard. Sort of. We saw 4 or 5 different Great Whites. Size ranging from 8 to 14 feet. None of them looked like the have missed a meal lately.