- John J King II
Report from the Pacific
Our journey to Guadeloupe Island was on track as we boarded the 120 ft dive live aboard, Nautilus Explorer in Ensenada, Mexico at about 10 PM and set out for the 180 mile journey southwest. Weather for travel was not ideal as a Tropical Storm was pounding Baja California about a 100 miles to the south of our position and sent large ocean swells in our direction. This caused uncomfortable rolling conditions as we stowed our gear, battened down anything that was not tied down and jumped into our bunks for the 20 hour run to the island.
At about 8:00PM the next day, in fading light, we approached Guadeloupe and dropped anchor under the cliffs on the NE side of the island. A familiar sea lion known to the crew as Toro could be seen along side in the deck lights. When dawn came the following morning all were excited to see the island's star attraction - below the surface. And the adventure that unfolded was absolutely thrilling. At times over the three days at the island we had five different white sharks circling our cage and obviously curious about our role in their environment. The water was on the cold side 65 - 68 degrees F. but we dressed for the cold in full 7mm wetsuits. And as advertised - the water clarity was in the 100ft plus range for our entire visit.
About the only disappointment was not being able to explore more of the island and the shores that ring it. This privilege, unfortunately, is off limits to non-Mexican visitors. We did have a visit and a fine lecture from resident white shark researcher Mauricio Hoya who has been studying the population of white sharks at Guadeloupe Island for a number of years. He helped us identify "Guenther" and "Thor" among the population of male white sharks that visit the island at this time of year. He casually mentioned that the legendary mega-white shark male "Bruce" was in the area however we did not see him.