BRUCE: A Great White Shark with Attitude!!! He is dominant, large and loves posing for cameras. Divemaster blog. Guadalupe Island. August 23, 2010.

Arriving at Guadalupe Island is always special. The first spectacular Baja California sunrise, the first time in a shark cage, and of course the first sighting of the Great White Shark. This trip brings many firsts for a lot of people. Today I had a personal first. I had 5 Great White Sharks very close around my cage. If I had taken a camera, I would have been able to take my first photo ever with 5 sharks in it. I have never had that many sharks within such a close proximity to the cage before… and having dived since 2001, I would say that is rather spectacular. Captain Mike is insisting on “one-upping” me though and says that he has seen 6 white sharks circling a submersible cage at one time.
Yesterday ended with a bang. The afternoon was coming to a close, most of the divers were dressed and showered standing on the back deck looking for the last bit of action. The day had been wonderfully full of actions on every cage ride. In the morning, we had four sharks on nearly every dive. I would have ventured to say that each diver had had as much shark action as they could take. I was proved wrong. Just as promised, we leave the cages in the water till 1830 every day for those divers that want as much water time as possible. Just when it looked like we had no more divers for the day, the Italian film crew wanted to jump in to get some low light “night” shots. Now it was not nighttime, but the sun had slipped behind the island and it was rather dark underwater. So armed with their underwater lights, they slipped into the cages to see if there was any sharks still around. As soon as they put their heads underwater… Bruce arrived.
Now those of you who have been to the island in the past may know Bruce by name or by experience. He is a big 16′ male Great White Shark, emphasis on the GREAT part. He is dominant, large, and not afraid of anything. He is famous for swimming extremely close to the cages and eyeballing each person individually. Bruce is the only shark I have known to cause divers to get out of the water just by looking at them. With his grace and style he made pass after pass right on the surface, fin out of the water just in front of the cages. At this point we could tell who the “hard core” shark fanatics were. In all the excitement, they grabbed a mask and jumped into one of the surface cages, some only wearing bathing suits. We could hear squeals of awe as Bruce made pass after pass inches from the divers. It was truly amazing to watch such a large powerful animal pose for the cameras. For a half an hour, Bruce stayed around the cages getting a good look at all the divers. With the fading light, one by one the cameramen gave up and came reluctantly out of the water wishing that we could call the sunshine back for just a little longer.
What a great way to end another great dive day at Guadalupe Island. One more shark day left till we pull up anchor and head south to explore Rocas Alijos and then north again to dive in the beautiful Kelp Forests of San Benitos.
Surface Conditions: Bright sunny days, calm seas, high 70’s days, low 70’s nights, clear skies at night… great for star gazing.
Underwater Conditions: Perfect for sharking… Viz.- +120′, Temp.- 65F, slight current.
Dive Master,
Jessie ‘Sharkchick’ Harper
I had the most incredible dive in the cage with the Great White Shark….His name is Bruce,one huge,beautiful Great White Shark, 16 feeds long…One of Jessie “Sharkchick’s” favorite sharks. I was with my drink tray, dry and warm on deck offering drinks. Everyone was so excited to see such a big shark so close to the cages and they started to say “Silvia… jump into the water… jump.” In order not to disappoint them, I grabbed a weight belt, someone lent me a mask, and I jumped into one of the cages. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I didn’t feel the cold water even though I jumped in wearing only my uniform. Bruce was so huge and beautiful!!! At first I was not going to jump in, but I don’t regret it one bit since it was the best dive I have ever had at Guadalupe. Moments like this really make me love my job. Thank you Bruce… Hostess Silvia:):)
A fantastic day of shark diving today. We had at least 5 great whites on a single cage dive making multiple passes at the cages!  I got on top of the cage with Jessie – shark wrangler extraordinaire – and experienced life as a cage jockey.  Afterward Jessie said this as the most sharks she had seen this close – and that’s saying something!
The Nautilus Explorer is a World Class, 5 star operation. The vessel is crystal clean,the staff is very courteous, nice and lots of fun. Genuine, real people who love the ocean and all its inhabitants. This is the third day of Great White cage diving. It is everything I heard about. The sharks come right up to the cage and say hello to your face! I have some awesome photos from each dive. This has been the greatest experience of my life. To have the opportunity and privilege to dive with great white sharks is an honor. We also did a shore dive and visited the seals.  The moms just had the babies, they were very friendly and playful.
We saw a shark breach the water! Wow. What a day, and the trip is not even half way over. Can’t wait until next year.
J. Turner, Chicago IL

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