Isla Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico 31-July-2011
This expedition has been our first trip back to the beautiful island of Guadalupe for this 2011 season. We started this 10-day trip with some world-class kelp diving at the Islas San Benitos near the coast of Baja California before coming over to Guadalupe for 4 full days of cage diving with the infamous white sharks. We are in the middle of day 3 of cage diving so far and have experienced both ends of the spectrum as far as the action down under.
On day 1 we spent the entire day in our submersible cages without having any white sharks come by for a visit. We did see the famous dorsal fin on the surface cruising by our bow about 100 ft off, but apparently he had somewhere more important to be than visiting with the Nautilus Explorer, although I can’t imagine where!
Not easily discouraged however we were back in the cages early the next day waiting and hoping for our first encounter of the season. Again the morning started slowly, but finally around mid-morning a well known male named Chugey arrived for a visit and enjoyed our company so much he spent the remainder of the day with us!
Chugey is a 4 meter white shark easily identified by his caudal (tail) fin which is missing the tip of the upper caudal portion. Chugey was extremely curious and unafraid of us, making numerous approaches in close to our cages to eye up the occupants hiding inside. I had a couple guests with me when Chugey came in for some very close passes, swimming at eye level with us and clearly making eye contact. The big male was swimming in tight circles around us, clearly intrigued and seemingly slightly annoyed with us, before disappearing from sight. Then we would wait in anticipation to see from where he would appear next. Many times he approached us from above, giving us an amazing view and a super adrenaline rush as he swam directly down and toward the cage before veering off to inspect other divers. Near the end of the day he spent a lot of time near the surface, giving the guests watching from the stern and guests in the surface cage some great action as well. Super day!
Conditions here have been superb, with clear sunny skies and calm conditions on top of crystal clear blue water beneath. Today, our third day, has been slow again with a different male whitey showing up and making a few passes on two of our dives, but otherwise all quiet below. I think that means we’re due for another spectacular day tomorrow 🙂
Captain Gordon Kipp
Diving conditions: Visibility 100-150 ft (30-45m), water temp 60F (15C)
Surface conditions: Air temp at night 19C (67F), day 25C (77F), winds light, skies clear