Tied Up to the Dock in a Dust Storm

Location: Gran Peninsula Shipyard, Ensenada, Mexico 

Comments: We are supposed to be at anchor in Lighthouse Bay, Guadalupe Island and cage
diving with great white sharks right now. Instead – and for the first time in my 15 years of being in the diveboat charter business – we have postponed a trip because of weather. This was a really tough call to make but the weather forecasts were calling for a seastate of 16 – 25 foot seas on a 10 second interval on the west side of Guadalupe Island. That is one mean and ugly sea.

The transit to and from the island were not forecast to be as bad with 10 – 15 footers on the way down to Guadalupe and slightly bigger seas on the way back to Ensenada. Freak conditions for sure with a large residual wave train travelling down the coast and colliding with the strongest sustained Santa Ana winds in Baja California that anyone can remember.

It’s been blowing 35 – 40 knots in Ensenada for two days now with very reduced visibility in a miserable dust storm. Everyone in town is wearing dust masks, the power is flickering on and off and everything – EVERYTHING – on the Nautilus is covered with a thick layer of gritty dust. It hurts your eyes just to walk upwind. I suppose that we could have kept everyone’s money on this trip and gone out anyways. It would have been a rough crossing and I am quite sure that the weather conditions on station would have precluded any shark sightings.

But Mary Anne, Judith and I just don’t operate like that and we preferred to take the grief associated with guests unhappy with the postponement vs taking their money, knowing that they would not see sharks.

Sighhh…  This is the first time in three years of running great white shark trips that we have seen weather like this. Guadalupe Island is normally such a benign kind of place. Perhaps the shark gods are giving us a reminder not to take our fantastic, awesome great white shark sightings and behaviour of this season for granted.

–Captain Mike

Weather: Air temperature low 70’s, offshore winds 35 – 40 knots (40 – 45 mph), clear skies above from what we can see through the dust cloud

By Nautilus Staff

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