We are nearing the end of our Guadalupe White Shark season with only a couple trips remaining for 2011.
This late in the season it can often be hit or miss as far as wind and wave forecasts for this area, however it seems that for this trip the weather Gods are on our side. The 185 nautical mile transit from Ensenada was the smoothest we’ve had all season, with less than 5 kts of wind and a gentle, low swell for the duration. On departure from Ensenada we were all treated to a stunning display of bioluminescence in the water as we plowed through the Bahia de Todos Santos. A small pod of dolphins came to play in our bow wake, and in the darkness of the night they jetted through the water like some prehistoric glowing creatures, glowing a brilliant green and trailing a jet of glowing water in their wake.
Today was our first day on site here at Guadalupe and we awoke to a gorgeous day, with a clear sky and not a breath of wind. The water here in the anchorage was almost like a mirror this morning and remained almost flat calm all day. We had the bay all to ourselves today, and that means we had the sharks all to ourselves as well. Our first sighting came shortly past 7 am as a medium-sized female great white shark cruised by our stern. Then she cruised by a few more times. By this time our first divers were in
the surface cages and popping their heads up intermittently to let us know what we already knew, that these sharks are awesome! This particular female ended up staying with us the entire day, making tight circles around our submersible cages with lots of up-close action and eye contact, as well as intermittent journeys to the surface to inspect bunches of seaweed that apparently looked suspiciously like food. During one dive the infamous Shredder made a brief appearance, and in the afternoon a second female arrived and stayed the remainder of the day as well, with lots of posturing between the two similar sized females in an attempt to assert dominance.
Conditions under the surface were just as great as topside, with the usual 100 ft plus of blue water viz and a mild current in 18C (65F) water.
A great first day and more to come tomorrow.
– Captain Gordon Kipp