Weisser Hai (White Shark)

Location: Isla Guadalupe, Mexico
Day 1
This week we have a group traveling from Germany.  As a special guest, Erich Ritter, Shark/Human Interaction Specialist has been invited to conduct “Shark School” while on board. The group of 25 had just dived in Catalina for a week and were eager to get to know the Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island. With weather reports of high seas, all the guests boarded the bus early and we started our Mexico adventure a bit early. After passing through the boarder without incident, we made out way south to the boat. Being greeted with margaritas, all the guests settled in for a bit of a rocking and rolling transit. Upon arrival at the island, like waking anenomies, all the guests began to smile and joke about how excited they were to be in the calm waters behind the island. All slept well that night.
Day 2
Feeling the excitement, most everyone was up and ready to jump into the cages bright and early. The sharks must not have noticed the sun was up as the sky was mostly cloudy, because it took them a few hours to find us. The first couple rotations in the submersible cages got a good look at the mackerel who took up residence under the Nautilus, but the action soon picked up. There were dives that had up to three sharks circling the cages. Shredder, Lucy, and #89 were the stars today. There were strobes firing as the sharks took turns circling the cages. Today was also a good day for watching the Yellow-Fin Tuna rocket past the cages hunting the massive school of mackerel under the boat. The visibility was close to 100′. By the end of the day we identified four different sharks, two of them stayed with us most of the day. As soon as the cages were pulled out of the water, Shark School continued with Erich educating the group about shark behaviour. After a “Steal Beach” crab feast, Dr. Mauricio Hoyos was invited to give a talk as well. He discussed the findings of his 6 years of research at Guadalupe Island and about the island itself.
Day 3
Waking early, a few divers took the first shift. With high hopes and strobes at the ready, at 0800 the first rotation of submersible divers headed underwater. The sharks were not as cooperative this morning, although they were around, they tended to stick just below cage level.  Perhaps the lack of sunshine and sporadic winds kept them down. Toward afternoon the sun broke through and the sharks came in to get a good look at us. About this time, a Mexican navy boat pulled into the bay to do customary inspections. They requested all divers out of the water so, shark diving was suspended for a time while they boarded us and inspected the boat. As soon as they left, we were back in the water, the sun was out and we had multiple sharks around the cages. The visibility today was not a good as yesterday, but was still a good 50′-60′. Because of the interruption in the diving schedule, we kept the cages in the water an extra half hour.  It started to get a little dark down there, but we wanted to get everyone their turns in the cages. After the diving was closed down for the day, Erich continued with shark school. After dinner, there were a lot of photos downloaded and sharks to ID. We had five sharks today around the cages.
Day 4
Eager to get their photos, the schedule for the day was filled up quickly and the diving began early. With a beautiful sunrise and the bay full of warm morning light the day looked promising and turned out great. With calm weather and partly cloudy skies, the sharks in came to check out the cages and made several passes close to the divers. While not in the cages observing the underwater “land lords” we took groups in close to shore to take pictures of the beach inhabitants. The island was made a marine pinnaped sanctuary by the Mexican government and since that time, two species, the Guadalupe Fur Seal and the Northern Elephant Seal have recovered from near extinction. The island gives us the opportunity to see the healthy and thriving colonies of both species along with the California Sea Lion. Back in the cages, the action continued till the end of the dive day. Closing the cages at 1700, all gear was pulled out of the water and we turned our bow toward Ensenada. Before dinner, the crew organized a fun 50/50 drawing for donations and prizes. Congratulations to Gerhard for his winning ticket. After passing beyond the northern point of the island, most everyone tucked themselves in for the night’s crossing. We had smooth sailing back to Ensenada.  Thank you to the fun group traveling all the way from Germany to visit us and to get to know the Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island.

By Nautilus Staff

Updates, exciting information and other news from the staff at Nautilus Liveaboards.

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