Monthly Archives

September 2007

Great White Shark Eyes The Camera

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

This is my favorite shot from my Shark Diver trip last week on the liveaboard boat Horizon to see great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) at Guadalupe Island. One shark in particular took to circling the boat clockwise and would pass very close to the starboard side cage. As it did so, I managed to get some close photographs with good detail of its eye, gills and the ampullae of Lorenzini on its snout.

A great white shark swims toward the photographer.  Perhaps the shark is considering him as possible prey?  The photographer, a "shark diver" is safely situated in a sturdy metal cage.  The best  location in the world to "shark dive" to view great white sharks is Mexico's Guadalupe Island, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

A great white shark swims toward the photographer. Perhaps the shark is considering him as possible prey? The photographer, a “shark diver” is safely situated in a sturdy metal cage. The best location in the world to “shark dive” to view great white sharks is Mexico’s Guadalupe Island.
Image ID: 19457
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Here are all of the photos from the trip.

See also: great white shark photos, Guadalupe Island, Isla Guadalupe, Carcharodon carcharias photos.

Photo of a Great White Shark Dorsal Fin

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

This is the dorsal fin of a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) at Guadalupe Island, sticking above the water as the shark cruises at the surface.

Dorsal fin of a great white shark breaks the surface as the shark swims just below, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Dorsal fin of a great white shark breaks the surface as the shark swims just below.
Image ID: 19493
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

See also: great white shark photos, Guadalupe Island, Isla Guadalupe, Carcharodon carcharias photos.

Great White Shark Photo

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

I was pretty lucky to get this photo. This is a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) that I photographed at Guadalupe Island while I was on a Shark Diver trip last week on the liveaboard boat Horizon. This one, a medium size (e.g, 12-13′) male, surprised us all. We were cooling our heels in the cage during a five minute lull, a rarity on this trip as virtually every minute we had at least one shark visible underwater. I happened to be staring off the port stern corner of the boat when suddenly this shark came streaking in from the edge of the visibility, took a huge bite at the bait and missed. I have never seen a shark swim so fast in my life. What motivated him to approach like that was a mystery. Typically the sharks at Guadalupe swim rather slowly around the boat, accelerating only with two or three final thrusts of their tails to take the bait. But this guy was going full steam the entire time, even as he disappeared into the gloom on the starboard side of the boat. His momentum carried him in front of the cage with his mouth still agape, which was awefully impressive. When I returned onto the deck later, the crew even commented how they were caught offguard by his rocket approach and how he left a pressure wave on the surface as he pumped his tail below. That such a large creature could move through the water with such speed was a real eye opener for me.

A great white shark opens it mouth just before it attacks its prey with a crippling, powerful bite.  After the prey has been disabled, the shark will often wait for it to weaken from blood loss before resuming the attack.  If the shark looses a tooth in the course of the bite, a replacement just behind it will move forward to take its place, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

A great white shark opens it mouth just before it attacks its prey with a crippling, powerful bite. After the prey has been disabled, the shark will often wait for it to weaken from blood loss before resuming the attack. If the shark looses a tooth in the course of the bite, a replacement just behind it will move forward to take its place.
Image ID: 19452
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

See also: great white shark photos, Guadalupe Island, Isla Guadalupe, Carcharodon carcharias photos.

Shredder

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

This is “Shredder”, aka “Scar”, a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) often seen at Guadalupe Island. In 2003 Shredder bit the anchor line of the Ocean Odyssey clean through, severing the boat from its anchor. He is named for his shredded dorsal fin. Shredder is about 13-14 feet long. Note that in this photograph he is sporting three satellite tags on his left flank just below his dorsal fin. They are covered with algae but are probably still operational. These tags collect information about his diving habits and water temperature and transmit this information to a satellite for use by researchers.

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico's Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean.
Image ID: 19470
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

See more photos of great white sharks.

Guadalupe Island Panoramic Photo

Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Panoramas

I shot this panoramic photo, a series of six individual photographs, one morning last week, shortly after sunrise, from the upper deck of the boat Horizon. Guadalupe Island was covered in that great golden sunrise light that only lasts for a few minutes. The ocean surrounding the island was covered in clouds, but we were sitting in a broad pocket of clear sky — the 4257′ tall island was holding the clouds back. You can just see some clouds peeking over the topmost ridge, but that’s as far as they got. A beautiful morning.

Guadalupe Island at sunrise, panorama.  Volcanic coastline south of Pilot Rock and Spanish Cove, near El Faro lighthouse, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Guadalupe Island at sunrise, panorama. Volcanic coastline south of Pilot Rock and Spanish Cove, near El Faro lighthouse.
Image ID: 19497
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Guadalupe White Shark Trip 2007

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

Just back from a quick trip to Guadalupe Island to photograph great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). I had heard that this season has been a particularly good one for white sharks at Guadalupe, and I managed to get a few days off to get down there for a look on my favorite dive boat, the Horizon out of San Diego. (Patric Douglas at Shark Diver runs a series of trips each fall aboard the Horizon to see white sharks at Guadalupe.) Guadalupe is my favorite island, I love the place. I think I have made 15 trips to the island now, most for diving but at least five for white shark photography. I am always looking for an excuse to visit Isla Guadalupe as it never fails to offer up something extraordinary. This time was no exception. During three days at the island and about 18 hours in the cage, I saw probably 15 different white sharks ranging from about 8 feet to 13 feet or more in length, a mix of males and females, some I had seen and photographed before and some that were new to me and perhaps new to the white shark photo identification project. We’ll see on the latter once I submit the images to the researchers. We had only about one hour total where there were no sharks around the boat. We often had two at the boat, and on a few occasions had four within sight at once and six at the boat during a dive. There are a lot of white sharks at the north end of the island right now and from the sounds of it there have been for at least a month. It will take me a few weeks to sort through the 1700+ photos that I shot, select the keepers and get them processed for the web. Since I was using a new camera housing and lens, I was not entirely certain of how sharp the combo was so I pulled a few shots up on the computer between dives on the first day to check sharpness and exposure. Here is one:

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico's Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean.
Image ID: 19473
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

See more great white shark photos.

Ponto Sunrise Photos

Surf

Got to my favorite break at sunrise this morning. It was a short chance to cool off from the weird heat and humidity we’ve had. At 6:30 a mist was still hanging along the bluffs so that I could not see the sand from the water, just enough sun was poking through, and the water was glassed. At 8:30 the beach had become a zoo, RVers from Arizona or wherever had taken all the parking along the coast highway, and I had to run to make my daughter’s soccer game. Ah, got to love Labor Day in southern California…

Breaking wave, early morning surf, Ponto, Carlsbad, California

Breaking wave, early morning surf.
Image ID: 19404
Location: Ponto, Carlsbad, California, USA

Breaking wave, early morning surf, Ponto, Carlsbad, California

Breaking wave, early morning surf.
Image ID: 19405
Location: Ponto, Carlsbad, California, USA

Breaking wave, early morning surf, Ponto, Carlsbad, California

Breaking wave, early morning surf.
Image ID: 19406
Location: Ponto, Carlsbad, California, USA

Click here for a few more.

Photo of Ponytail Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Landscape, Oregon, Photo of the Day

My daughter and I took a hike in the Columbia River Gorge one morning to see three waterfalls. The four-mile roundtrip trail we walked was entirely within a cool, shady forest overlooking the Columbia River. The most striking of the falls was Ponytail Falls, also known as Upper Horsetail Falls as it lies on Horsetail Creek above, obviously, lower Horsetail Falls. Horsetail Creek races through a slot before dropping over a rock overhang into a shallow pool. Hikers can walk behind the falls or even step down into some of the spray to cool off. Most excellent.

Ponytail Falls, where Horsetail Creeks drops 100 feet over an overhang below which hikers can walk, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Ponytail Falls, where Horsetail Creeks drops 100 feet over an overhang below which hikers can walk.
Image ID: 19337
Location: Ponytail Falls, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA

Ponytail Falls, where Horsetail Creeks drops 100 feet over an overhang below which hikers can walk, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Ponytail Falls, where Horsetail Creeks drops 100 feet over an overhang below which hikers can walk.
Image ID: 19340
Location: Ponytail Falls, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA