Friday, October 9, 2015

Another exciting trip to Isla Guadalupe!

Oct 06, 2015 
Hola Solmar V Fans!
A journey of almost one day on the luxurious Solmar V has started!  Our destination of Isla Guadalupe, in Mexican territory is also the feeding ground of the Apex predator, the great white shark!
The day after our departure, we spotted the island early in the morning.  As we approached the island, we can see the brown color of it its also covered with some green color of the vegetation due the recent rain.
It was quiet as we approached the island, the first thing we heard were Guadalupe seals barking welcoming us to the island! No other noise but seals, the wind is even not blowing! Our guests are excited about the pristine looking island, as you approach Isla Guadalupe, it looks like something nobody has ever seen before! 
For many there is an emotion that can best be described as: "I CANT BELIEVE IT! MY DREAM IS JUST ABOUT TO BECOME REAL!" At the same time that they are hand touching, feeling the emotion, and looking at the empty inside of the cage!
The main anchor hits the bottom of the ocean, the crane on board starts lowering the surface cages in an ocean so calm and glassy that it reflect the clouds on the surface. 
We were just about finished with cage diving guidelines when we heard one of our favorite words coming from outside! "SHARK SHARK!" A 12ft one broke the surface, from the sundeck many could see how slowly it swims in front of the cages, at times speeding up to get the bait, from inside of cages a clear view of it, every wrinkle of the skin was visible, every scar, the tip of pectoral fin almost touching the cage, then a second shark made the first one go away in a display of dominance! It didn't want the bait, it was just swimming back and forth from bait to bait! Seagulls flying over the bait to get a piece if it! We can still hear the Guadalupe pup seals barking loud! The submersible cage was also active counting up to 3 to 4 sharks at the same time and very interested in whats inside of the cage, swimming underneath, the dorsal fin almost rubbing the bottom of it, other times coming from the surface straight at us open mouth displaying white sharp teeth with pieces of fish still trapped! Below the surface, the shadow of the Solmar V make the sharks look darker, it seems they like that area by not getting out of it. 
The wind picked up, clouds showed up in the sky, making the sharks a bit difficult to see until they are right in front of you! The bait is still in the water, lots of yellow tail and yellow fin tunas were feeding on it, but of course at some point sharks came into the area not interested in it! They decided to hang out at 20 to 30ft of water, making the submersible cage once again the one everybody wants to be in, some confrontations happened between male sharks without biting each other, just the display of dominance.
On our final day we got a nice sunny day back, as early as 7 am divers already in the water, sharks made themselves visible this early, from there it was a non stop shark action wanting to take bait, a big male named Gunter showed up, putting on a great show, by stop swimming right in front and on the side of surface cages showing from snout to tail the whole white belly, open mouth out the water several times just inches away from swimming platform, we could have touched snout if we wanted to do it! From the surface we were able to see through gill slits, other males came into the area as well, the water visibility being as good as 80ft made a fantastic photo opportunity, water temp 73F, from sundeck we counted 3 to 4 sharks by the surface cages and one seal with head always looking into deep water, don't want to be ambushed! From submersible cage even 5 sharks distributed in the same area, a little chase of a shark going after a yellow fin tuna we eyewitness, the excitement was really on! Back on the surface cage a few shark breaches just inches away from it happened a few times, so top side photos were taken by everyone, many of the photos are very good candidates for the SOLMAR V PHOTO CONTEST!
Our return trip to Ensenada very smooth, near the area several beaked whales made appearance showing the white color of their heads, dolphins also were in the area, but not in big number this time!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.

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