Johnny, our faithful friendly great white shark companion, came up from the depths to say good morning  –  divemaster log – Guadalupe Island – August 19, 2010

Yesterday was the perfect example of why we come to El Faro cove on the north-east side of Guadalupe Island. The sunrise was beautiful, illuminating the red rocks of the cliffs and turning the whole bay into a picture worthy of a postcard. The flat calm seas and crystal blue waters around the Nautilus Explorer set the scene for a great shark diving day. Before the first guests were in the water, the cry “White Shark” was heard on the back deck. This got the energy level up and everyone finished up their coffee and jumped in the cages. When our first group of divers came out of the water, the excitement level on deck increased again. 3 different sharks were around the cages putting on a great underwater show. The whole day we had non-stop sharks. There was not a rotation in the cages that did not have great shark action.
A little note about Great White Shark Behavior: There is an interesting dynamic that is formed when there are more then one shark around the cages. They seem to “compete” for position or possession of the water around the cages. The larger ones follow around the smaller ones until they get unnerved and leave. The males get nervous around the females as the females seem to be more dominant in the complicated social hierarchy of the Great White Shark world. Then there are the smallest males. These are the ones who are unpredictable. They take a chance, swim in fast, take a look at the cages, and then get out of there quickly before a larger shark notices. On several occasions over the years, we have seen some serious “interaction” between two sharks where one will actually bite another. The bites are not fatal, but used only as a warning.
I have been diving at Guadalupe Island since 2001 and every season I get to observe new and interesting behavior. The last couple of days I have been seeing a lot of what looks to us like “yawning” or stretching of the jaws. One even opened his mouth so wide, his teeth protruded out and gave us all a really good look at Great White dentistry. Then later in the day there was a small male, that on one occasion opened his mouth wide and then shook his body “like a wet dog.” There is so much we do not know about the Great White Sharks.
Today, I am sad to report was not as spectacular as yesterday. It is hard to follow perfection. The morning rotations were accompanied by a shark that has been with us everyday this trip. Johnny… our faithful shark companion has been with us on nearly every dive. Sure enough, on the first rotation of the day, up came Johnny from the depths. He said his good mornings to the divers and posed for some great shots. The photographs that have come on board this trip are some of the best all season. In reviewing the shots from the whole trip, I am reminded just how lucky we are to be able to dive healthy vibrant kelp forests full of Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions then a few hours steam away dive with the most powerful predatory fish in the ocean.  Reluctantly, we packed up our cages and heaved up anchor and said goodbye for now to the beautiful Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island.
Surface Conditions: Sunny warm high 70’sF, flat calm seas, light breeze… perfect for cage diving.
Underwater Conditions: Viz. 50-120′, water temp. 65F, light current.
Dive master
Jessie “Sharkchick” Harper

By Nautilus Staff

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

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