These are not aggressive frustrated sharks being drawn in by bait being yanked out of their mouths – instead the sharks silently circle us, their curiosity evident as they glide in and eye us from very close up. Sep 19 2011 – Isla Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico.

copyright 2011 - Jeff Dombrosky

This morning the sun peeks through clouds as the crew gathers on the back deck to lower cages into the blue in preparation for another day of throwing ourselves and guests into the shark infested waters off Guadalupe Island. After a quick breakfast the first group suits up in a medley of neoprene and gingerly lowers themselves into the cool water. It‚s a promising start, with two great white sharks vying for our attention;, circling, planing high towards the surface and back down into the depths. Their movements are silky, each swish of the tail precise and economical. They are beautiful as they cruise by, showcasing the scars and markings that allow us to identify them. I have dived with white sharks in the past, but it was nothing like this. In South Africa, the sharks appear from a murky soup; they are aggressive and frustrated after being drawn in by bait that is literally yanked from their mouths. At Guadalupe, we can see individual links in the anchor chain, one hundred feet away from the cages. The sharks silently circle us, their curiosity evident as they glide in close, eyeing the inhabitants of these metal shells that have dared enter a domain which they are clearly not suited to. Two large females circle close, passing in and out of our vision, while a third stays on the fringes. The hierarchy is constantly re-evaluated ; every encounter is a contest of will; who will back down and bow to the other. All too soon the winch line comes tight, and our viewing pod begins to rise towards the surface. It is time for the early risers to grab some brunch and a hot coffee before relaxing in the hot tub, refuelling for another round of observing these magnificent animals in their home.
– Anthony Rabideau
Surface temp 85F, cloudy in the morning, clearing to blue skies and sun
Water temp 68F, viz 150 ft (45m)

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