Growing up in Atlantic Canada, in both Newfoundland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, I was about as far from Baja California as you can get in North America. Yet for some reason I was always intrigued by the little strip of peninsula jutting down below California. Well, it looked little on the globes and in the atlases anyway.
I remember playing some board game of which the name escapes me now, in which the board was a map of the world and the object was to capture as many areas of the world as you could. I always wanted Baja California. I knew nothing about it, but to me it felt mysterious and exotic and I always imagined it to be a magical place.
I never would have imagined that 15 years later I would be Captain of a liveaboard vessel exploring the waters surrounding the strip of land that had always had that pull on me. I must have known something after all, because it really is a magical place. Today we got to show our group of 24 guests visiting us from Russia a little taste of that magic on the first dive day of this expedition. We woke up to a gorgeous sunrise with clear skies and calm, blue water in the sheltered anchorage of northeast Guadalupe. The view is spectacular, with the ocean meeting rugged, sheer cliffs full of pock marks and colorful layers from it’s volcanic origins. Although our morning was beautiful, it started off very slow in the cages. We did have one young white shark at the surface for a couple of minutes before we started our submersible dives, but after that we had nothing but one brief sighting from afar. Then after lunch everything changed when a huge 6 meter female great white shark showed up. A big female like this is the real deal, dominating the ocean, moving with the grace and confidence of knowing who is in charge. After hundreds of hours in the water with these animals, I still get so excited when I see a big dominant shark like that show up. It’s humbling and awe inspiring and adrenaline inducing all at the same time. This big girl stayed with us all afternoon, circling the submersible cages and the surface cages repeatedly, close enough to touch on many occasions, even after the last person got out of the water. We also had a smaller male white shark around for much of the afternoon who kept a respectful distance. Our guests finished up with a cold beer in the hot tub as the sun set over the island.
– Captain Gordon Kipp
Diving conditions: water temp 68-69F, viz 125ft plus surface conditions: sunny and warm, 80F during the day, at night around 71F