goodbye Guadalupe Island 2015

Nautilus Explorer's Captain Baron's Final Dive With Great White Sharks For The 2015 Season

Divemaster Ryan pushed in the lever that slowly began lowering my submersible cage. I opened the ball valve on the ballast tank and watched the mass of air escape to the surface as Wiebke, Marc, and myself descended on what would be my final dive of the Guadalupe season. The previous two dives had been good with two large great white sharks one male and one female curiously eyeing the cages. When we leveled off at the end of our line we had traded our male shark for another, this one being a bit more curious and far more spunky. The slightest bit of movement from within the cage would send him into a figure eight loop around both submersibles. Darting to and fro, inspecting each cage, closely analyzing each of us… this is what we came for! Half way into our dive our friends swam off. And as I was gazing about I noticed a large school of yellowfin tuna, hundreds strong, ghosting by on the edge of visibility. We gazed transfixed until the last straggler swam into the vast blue. Just then our buddy Mr. Shark came swimming towards us from up current. He came to within 20 ft. of us before he turned his attention to something else…. A sea turtle! Not 50 ft. away from us a sea turtle effortlessly swam by minding its own. Our shark took a dramatic change of course, lined up on the sea turtle, and quickly accelerated. I was certain this was it!! A predation viewed from underwater….on a sea turtle no less!!! Just before the shark was in chomping distance the turtle gave a stroke and the shark took another 90 degree course change and paralleled the turtle for a second. The turtle continued on its course and the shark came back to further inspect the cages. I don’t know what kind of deal the two struck, but both seemed to be happy with the outcome. My heart began to settle and before I knew it I was juggling chains, air lines, and ballast tanks. Topside bound after my last dive of the season.

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