Friday, August 28, 2015

Another great adventure on our 4th trip of the season to Isla Guadalupe!

Hi all!

August 25, 2015

At the barking sound of sea lions we leave the port of Ensenada, once again taking the heading for Isla Guadalupe Mexico, some how the seals here remind us of great whites!

Our crossing was a bit bumpy for some of our guests, as we are getting into the Biosphere of Guadalupe we look at this huge island covered with fog on its higher point! Our captain Gerardo drives the boat at good distance from it to show those huge volcanic walls and smooth waters since are under the shield of it, a panorama that at the same time makes us think how fascinating and remote this island really is.

It was 10:30 in the morning when the first male shark appeared, not one of the biggest ones we've seen, but its got the two distinctive colors, and for many of our guests it is the first one they have ever seen! They rushed to get in the surface cage to see the first bite it will inflict to that yummy chunk of yellow fin tuna! Others had the opportunity to observe from the sundeck how it slowly swim cutting the surface of the water with dorsal fin! It will take one hour before a second rotation of 8 enthusiastic divers get to see the shark below the surface! But a second shark comes into the playground making every one not wanting to wait more time!

We have a water temperature 22C/72F, visibility of over 24m/80ft, and the sharks kept coming in and out throughout the day! Even seagulls floating on the surface need to watch out! Sharks investigate anything that floats away from cages! When we have 3 or 4 sharks in same area, the wrangling becomes a lot of fun, challenging but fun! At sunset time the color of the water get more intense sharks were still swimming back and forwd around the cages.

The next day during the same trip we had the fortune to see once again sharks that we know by name: Mau, Zapata, Atlantis and Horizon, plus five more joined them in just one day, and an unexpected guess came by totally out of the blue! A 2.0/6ft long scallop Hammer Head that spent about 30 minutes swimming around the baits, it's swimming pattern was erratic when compared to a white shark, attracted by the smell of blood went straight for it, sinking the floater over and over finally took with it a good piece of fish!

With the island in front of us, today had a spooky look! Foggy, clouds half way down from the top, letting see at times those caves with a dark entrance, Guadalupe and Elephant seals constantly barking from the beach! Other juvenile seals dare to cross that area where sharks are just waiting the opportunity to ambush one of them! Of course our cameras are always ready to capture the moment.  A bit deeper than just surface cage we had a different perspective of how shark gets ready to launch the attack, they are curious, they investigate, they come close and closer to the point we make eye contact! Then you wonder…. What is happening in its brain right this second?

Dive Instr

Daniel Zapata
Solmar V.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our 3rd trip of the season at Isla Guadalupe!

This was our third trip of our Guadalupe season and it was another good one! The passage to the island was very smooth with calm seas, when we got there we realized that there was a strong south swell which is unusual for Guadalupe.  When it happens it usually stirs the water up and creates poor visibility which is what happened this time. So for the first day we had about 10ft visibility and 72F/21C water temperature but still we had two male great whites that came close by several times through the day.
The second day started with very similar water conditions but the swell was starting to die down and by the afternoon the water cleared up and we got our usual 80ft/24m plus Guadalupe visibility.  As soon as this happened the action started and we got more sharks. At 30ft/9m the temperature dropped to 65F/19C which made the submersible cage get a lot of action with a couple of sharks a bit deeper. On the last hour of the day once again we were visited by some of the celebrities of the island, including Zapata(Bruce) and Atlantis showed up, these are two big males that are usually very active and like to get really close to the cages giving us a really good show!  After the sunset we had another visitor on the boat this time it was our friend Mauricio Oyos, a biologist that is in charge of the study that is being done about the great whites in Guadalupe, and who knows just about everything about them! He was kind enough of giving us a talk about his study and share some of his experiences with this amazing creatures.
For sure, the last day was the best of this trip, the conditions remained very good and we had 5 sharks all day until we left with a lot of action no one wanted to get out of the cages to leave the island! We hope the conditions stay the same on the next trip so we can enjoy some good shark action keep in tune to see what happens next.
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our second trip to Guadalupe island was a great adventure!

Hola amigos!
Our second trip to Guadalupe island was a great adventure!
We received an eager group of videographers, photographers, and a couple of first timers, everybody was ready and excited to go see the apex predator of the ocean...the great white shark!
Once we left port and made it out of the bay we found a quite rough sea and that lasted all the way to the island. Once we were approaching we could see a cloudy sky and only the surroundings of the island were clear and sunny, which made me think that we had a great trip ahead.
Got to the island, set up all the equipment, and about 30 minutes after we had the bait in the water the first shark showed up!, a 12ft male came to try to get the bait, a few minutes later a second one joined...great start for the trip!
The water was warm for the entire trip, 22C/72F, calm the first day, but that changed for the last 2 days when it got windy and we had some little waves that made the cages be a little bumpy.
Our first day was exciting with many appearances, great passes, specially close to the surface cages, action was on and off as we had another 4 boats close to the area but that changed for the next couple of days.
For our second and third day 1boat left and the action keep going, sharks gathered around the boat having from 2 up to 5 different males around us, they came from all directions, trying to get the bait from the wranglers. We had many sharks, probably around 10 to 14 different sharks on this trip. Our submersible cage also had action, with the sharks coming very close checking us out.
On this 3 days we had the visit of at least 3 sharks the we already know, Zapata, a big 15ft male that gave us action for the 3 days, Atlantis, another big male, this one a little smaller probably around 13-14ft, with a small tail, probably the result of a fight with another male and also we had the visit of Horizon, a crazy male that makes quick but frenzy appearances trying to get the bait with quick moves and some times jumps.
Sadly 3pm on our third day of diving brought the end of the water activities on the trip, and we started our way back to Ensenada, which was very rough on our first day but yesterday morning got a lot better as we came closer to shore.
Now we await for our 3rd tip of the season, and we expect it to be as exciting as the first two!
Stay tuned because there is more shark action coming your way!
Antonio Romero

Dive Instructor

Solmar V