Guadalupe Island, Natural History Photography Blog

California Sea Lion at Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Filed under: Guadalupe Island, Sea Lion on 4/12/2011

I’ve been photographing California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) for about 20 years and still do not have the perfect image of one. They are a lot of fun to dive with, but are notoriously fickle about staying put and posing for the camera. In addition, the fur of a seal lion can at once absorb all the light my strobes put out and yet can reflect sunlight and produce hot spots in the image. So, I’ll just have to continue diving with them and trying to make more sea lion photographs. This photo is one of my favorites. It was taken at Isla Afuera at the south end of Guadalupe Island in the mid-90s on one of our 10-day exploratory diving trips. We dove all around the island, finding new underwater sites that had probably never been seen before except by fish, turtles and sharks. This was some years before the shark diving that has made the island so popular now. California sea lions and Guadalupe fur seals were our nearly-constant companions on these dives. Here, an inquisitive juvenile lines up alongside Lorna McMurray. This image was used as the frontispiece for the excellent National Geographic book “Wild Ocean” by Dr. Sylvia Earle and Henry Wolcott.

California sea lion and diver consider each other, underwater in the clear ocean water of Guadalupe Island, Zalophus californianus, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
California sea lion and diver consider each other, underwater in the clear ocean water of Guadalupe Island.
Image ID: 02251  
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
 
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Guadalupe Island Diving Trip, July 2011

Filed under: Guadalupe Island on 9/18/2010

I’m very happy to announce that our annual Guadalupe Island diving trip is on for July 2011! Skip Stubbs is once again personally leading this special trip to dive remote and unique Isla Guadalupe using the San Diego-based dive boat Horizon as our home-away-from-home. At present this trip is by invitation only (i.e., the entire boat is reserved and Skip is determining who the participants will be). If you are seriously interested in joining us, please get in touch with Skip (or me if you prefer) to discuss it. We have put together a lengthy flyer describing the trip, with links to many photos and lots of information about the island itself. Please read through the PDF brochure first, especially if you do not know anything about Guadalupe Island. You can print out if you wish (it will open in a new window):

Guadalupe Island Dive Trip Information PDF
Guadalupe Island Diving Trip

Note: this is not a shark diving trip. This is an open water SCUBA and freediving trip designed to offer our guests opportunities to appreciate the unique inhabitants and explore the underwater scenery of Guadalupe Island. This is the only open-water diving trip to Guadalupe Island, this year (or probably ever), that we know of. The dates are July 21-29, 9 calendar days with 7 fulls days of diving and two travel days.

Cortez chubb, Kyphosus elegans, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
Cortez chubb.
Image ID: 01020  
Species: Cortez chubb, Kyphosus elegans
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

 

East face and shoreline of southernmost morro, daybreak, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
East face and shoreline of southernmost morro, daybreak.
Image ID: 06152  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island.  Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island. Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography.
Image ID: 09753  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
 

Keywords: Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Isla Guadalupe, scuba diving, free diving, dive boat Horizon, Baja California, San Diego.

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Guadalupe Island :: First Impressions

Filed under: Guadalupe Island, Mexico on 7/15/2010

First Impressions: Guadalupe Island, Mexico

September 1994. Our early expeditionary trips to Guadalupe Island on the Horizon were wild affairs. Each year Skip assembled a superb mix of skilled spearfishermen looking for giant tuna and intrepid SCUBA divers seeking to explore the scarcely seen underwater environment of remote Guadalupe Island. We would dine al fresco each evening on grilled tuna that had been swimming in the ocean that same afternoon, sipping award winning homemade beers and wine, and sleep well in anticipation of the next day’s adventures. Our diving decisions were guided largely by the weather and our interest in seeing sections of island we had not dived before. Over the years our groups had a few encounters with sharks, but this was long before before the cage-diving trips and we were not eager to see them more than necessary.

After 30 hours of travel, we have reached Guadalupe Island. We spent most of yesterday’s travel fishing, reading, relaxing and talking about what we might find while diving. Would the sharks show up when we entered the water? Anticipation is high. Our first anchorage lies on the east side of Isla Afuera, a spectacular and imposing volcanic plug a few miles south of Isla Guadalupe. The water below our liveaboard dive boat Horizon is so clear it appears almost purple. I hop in, drop underwater and swim over to the wall. A mild current has glassed off the surface above me so that I can see the vertical wall of Afuera from its base some 60′ below me to its towering summit several hundred feet above the water. A group of sea lions which had been perched on a ledge when we anchored swims toward me. I can see their approach from well over a hundred feet away and realize that this is the probably clearest water I have ever experienced. A mild current tugs at the several species of kelp that cover the rock bottom here. Looking about under the kelp I find calico bass, lobster, a few abalone and occasional bat rays. The calicos are large and dark brown, evidence that they are mature adults who may have lived here for 25 years or more.

California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
California sea lion underwater, with the 700′ eastern face of Isla Afuera in the background.
Image ID: 00260  
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
 

Schools of perch and chubb swim just above the kelp. With my back to the wall I look out into the blue, wondering what might appear. This water is oceanic, without a hint of any coastal influence. I am struck by how alone and how far from my daily routine I am at this moment. If the current were to take me from here my next stop would be Tahiti, a sobering thought indeed. Small jellies float by as if suspended in air. Periodically a group of heavy yellowtail jacks appear from the open ocean, cruising along the wall and frightening the reef fish into their holes before sweeping back out to sea. These yellowtail are big fish, world record size in some cases, and along with yellowfin and bluefin are one of the reasons were are here, so I am pleased to see them swim by. After a while, sea lions have gathered in the shallows above me, frolicking with one another along the wall. Frequently one or two of them descend and approach me closely, always hanging upside down, and we eye each other for a time. Other than the few local hookah divers that work the island, these sea lions do not see many people. Most are juveniles and naturally curious, so there is no shortage of photo ops. I love to photograph with available light only and the conditions here are ideal: plenty of sunlight, clear water, and inquisitive pinnipeds. I drain my tank, staying with the sea lions as long as possible, and finally head back to the boat already thinking about how soon I can hop back in.

Palm kelp, Isla Afuera, Eisenia arborea, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
Palm kelp, Isla Afuera.
Image ID: 01287  
Species: Southern sea palm, Eisenia arborea
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
 
Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island.  Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island. Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography.
Image ID: 09753  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
 
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Guadalupe Island Diving Trip, July 2010 — Not Another Shark Trip

Filed under: Guadalupe Island, Skip's Trips on 9/8/2009

I’m very happy to announce that our annual Guadalupe Island diving trip is on for July 2010! Skip Stubbs is once again personally leading this special trip to dive remote and unique Isla Guadalupe using the San Diego-based dive boat Horizon as our home-away-from-home. At present this trip is by invitation only (i.e., the entire boat is reserved and Skip is determining who the participants will be). If you are seriously interested in joining us, please get in touch with Skip (or me if you prefer) to discuss it. We have put together a lengthy flyer describing the trip, with links to many photos and lots of information about the island itself. Please read through the PDF brochure first, especially if you do not know anything about Guadalupe Island. You can print out if you wish (it will open in a new window):

Guadalupe Island Dive Trip Information PDF
Guadalupe Island Diving Trip

Note: this is not a shark diving trip. This is an open water SCUBA and freediving trip designed to offer our guests opportunities to appreciate the unique inhabitants and explore the underwater scenery of Guadalupe Island. This is the only open-water diving trip to Guadalupe Island, this year (or probably ever), that we know of. The dates are July 21-29, 9 calendar days with 7 fulls days of diving and two travel days.

Cortez chubb, Kyphosus elegans, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
Cortez chubb.
Image ID: 01020  
Species: Cortez chubb, Kyphosus elegans
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

Keywords: Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Isla Guadalupe, scuba diving, free diving, dive boat Horizon, Baja California, San Diego.

Great White Shark Photos

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Latitude: 29° 9' 44.74" N, Longitude: 118° 16' 27.96" W, Coord: 29.162428°, -118.27444°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Icons, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife — Tags: — on 4/22/2009

This great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) was photographed at Guadalupe Island, Mexico. I think I have made about 15 trips to the island, a mix of open-water diving trips and shark cage photography trips. I am hoping to get down there again for scuba diving, freediving and just plain exploration (no sharking or cages) with Skip in Summer 2010. More details about Skip’s return trip to the island will be sent out soon to those who have accompanied Skip and me on past trips to Guadalupe and elsewhere. See some past blog posts about Guadalupe Island if you are interested in the island.

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,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19465, all rights reserved worldwide.
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. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19465  
Common name: Great white shark
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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More photos of great white sharks, Guadalupe Island photos.

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Guadalupe 2008: Day’s End

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Latitude: 29° 8' 32.06" N, Longitude: 118° 17' 3.48" W, Coord: 29.14224°, -118.2843°
Filed under: Guadalupe Island, Mexico on 10/12/2008

Sunset comes at the end of a day of shark diving at Guadalupe Island.

Dark water, clouds at days end, cliffs, sunset.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21382, all rights reserved worldwide.
Dark water, clouds at days end, cliffs, sunset. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21382  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com. Also, be sure to check out our hundreds of additional Guadalupe Island photos.

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Guadalupe 2008: Great White Shark Portrait, Horizontal

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Latitude: 29° 8' 32.06" N, Longitude: 118° 17' 3.48" W, Coord: 29.14224°, -118.2843°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 10/7/2008

This is one of my favorites from this year’s trip on the M/V Horizon to photograph great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) at Guadalupe Island.

Great white shark, underwater., Carcharodon carcharias,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21346, all rights reserved worldwide.
Great white shark, underwater. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21346  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com. Also, be sure to check out our hundreds of additional Guadalupe Island photos and photos of great white sharks.

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Guadalupe 2008: Great White Shark Face

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Latitude: 29° 8' 32.06" N, Longitude: 118° 17' 3.48" W, Coord: 29.14224°, -118.2843°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 10/6/2008

Here is the face of a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). Check out the detail in the shark’s eye, he is looking straight back into the camera. This was shot with a 24mm lens, full frame sensor, no crop. Pretty tight.

Great white shark, underwater., Carcharodon carcharias,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21347, all rights reserved worldwide.
Great white shark, underwater. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21347  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com.

Be sure to check out our hundreds of additional Guadalupe Island photos and photos of great white sharks.

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Guadalupe 2008: Satellite Tags on a Great White Shark

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Latitude: 29° 8' 32.06" N, Longitude: 118° 17' 3.48" W, Coord: 29.14224°, -118.2843°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 10/5/2008

Many of the great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) at Guadalupe Island are known to researchers and appear in the white shark ID database. Some of the sharks have even been “tagged” and now sport small pop-up satellite transmitter tags that collect data about the shark’s environment and behavior, eventually transmitting the data via satellite back to researchers. Shown below are a pair of satellite tags, located just below the dorsal fin of a great white shark:

Two satellite tags, below dorsal fin of great white shark.  The tags record the sharks movements, relaying data to researchers via satellite., Carcharodon carcharias,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21391, all rights reserved worldwide.
Two satellite tags, below dorsal fin of great white shark. The tags record the sharks movements, relaying data to researchers via satellite. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21391  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com.

Be sure to check out our hundreds of additional Guadalupe Island photos and great white shark photos.

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Vertical Photo of Great White Shark

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Latitude: 29° 8' 32.06" N, Longitude: 118° 17' 3.48" W, Coord: 29.14224°, -118.2843°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 10/4/2008

When a Guadalupe Island great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) first approaches the boat, it is often deep. If there are divers in the cage they typically get a look at the shark as it swims slowly beneath the boat. It seems the shark is surveying things before making a decision to move shallower and approach the boat and cages more closely. Occasionally a shark rises from the deep suddenly, straight up, leveling out only when it reaches or breaks the surface. That’s what this male white shark did. (You can tell he is a male by his two claspers visible on his ventral surface.)

Great white shark, underwater., Carcharodon carcharias,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21362, all rights reserved worldwide.
Great white shark, underwater. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21362  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com.

Be sure to check out our hundreds of additional Guadalupe Island photos and photos of great white sharks.

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Guadalupe 2008: Morning Routine

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Latitude: 29° 8' 32.06" N, Longitude: 118° 17' 3.48" W, Coord: 29.14224°, -118.2843°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 10/3/2008

Each day on a Horizon Charters great white shark trip to Guadalupe Island starts with the crew lowering the huge aluminum cages into the water as guests enjoy breakfast and the morning calm. Often a shark will show up circling the boat and inspecting the cages before any divers have even had a chance to enter the water. Check out how flat the water is in these photos. The shark diving location, near the lighthouse in a broad protected bight at the north end of the island, is typically flat calm and sunny with blue water.

Lowering a shark cage into the water alongside M/V Horizon.  Large, strong aluminum cages protect divers while they are in the water viewing sharks.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21380, all rights reserved worldwide.
Lowering a shark cage into the water alongside M/V Horizon. Large, strong aluminum cages protect divers while they are in the water viewing sharks. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21380  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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Shark cages in water, astern of M/V Horizon.  Large, strong aluminum cages protect divers while they are in the water viewing sharks.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21370, all rights reserved worldwide.
Shark cages in water, astern of M/V Horizon. Large, strong aluminum cages protect divers while they are in the water viewing sharks. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21370  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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Great white shark, dorsal fin extended out of the water as it swims near the surface., Carcharodon carcharias,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21353, all rights reserved worldwide.
Great white shark, dorsal fin extended out of the water as it swims near the surface. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21353  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com.

Be sure to check out our hundreds of additional Guadalupe Island photos and great white shark photos.

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Guadalupe 2008: Approaching the Island

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Latitude: 29° 21' 28.44" N, Longitude: 118° 15' 3.74" W, Coord: 29.3579°, -118.25104°
Filed under: Guadalupe Island, Mexico on 10/2/2008

Last week I made another trip to Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe) on my favorite boat, M/V Horizon, captained by Greg Grivetto. The trip was conducted in collaboration with Patric Douglas and SharkDiver.com. Of all the boats and captains working at Guadalupe Island, the Horizon and Captain Greg have to have the greatest experience at Isla Guadalupe. The Horizon and the Grivetto family have been hosting open-water diving (non-cage) trips to the island since 1994. And since 2001, when he captained the first of the modern Guadalupe island cage diving trips that have since lent the island the fame that it now enjoys as the world’s finest white shark viewing location, Captain Greg has led shark diving expeditions to Guadalupe Island each year, from August through October. I have had the good fortune to join him at Guadalupe at least 15 times now (frankly I’ve lost track as I don’t actually have a dive log anymore) with somewhere in the neighborhood of 110 days spent either tank diving, free diving or in a cage looking at sharks. I like being at the island.

This year we motored down to Guadalupe Island under remarkably uninspiring conditions. The seas were calm and the ride comfortable, but we saw virtually no blue skies once we got south of the Coronado Islands. As we made our approach to the north end of Guadalupe Island the clouds were quite heavy and dark. However, the towering cliffs that make up the north end typically reach into the clouds and hold open a donut-hole of blue sky. Sure enough, as we reached the island, the skies parted and we had glass water and warm sun as we anchored the boat and prepared to get in the cages.

Guadalupe Island, dark and gloomy clouds, northern approach.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #21369, all rights reserved worldwide.
Guadalupe Island, dark and gloomy clouds, northern approach. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 21369  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com.

Be sure to check out our hundreds of additional Guadalupe Island photos.

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Guadalupe Island Photos on Google Earth

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Latitude: 28° 53' 24.61" N, Longitude: 118° 14' 52.4" W, Coord: 28.89017°, -118.24789°
Filed under: GeoBlog, Guadalupe Island, Mexico on 5/11/2008

Many of our photographs of Guadalupe Island can be browsed in Google Earth through some new programming that has been added to OceanLight.com. If you have Google Earth installed on your computer, you should be able to click on the link below and have our layer of images open up within Google Earth, showing where around the island each image was taken. Zoom in and the images will spread out, making it easier to select one. Clicking on an image will bring up a web page with more detail about it!

Click To View Guadalupe Island Images in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly.

Click To View Guadalupe Island Images in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. Photographs of Guadalupe Island on Google Earth. If you do not have Google Earth installed, you can Download Google Earth to get started.

Once we get further along with geotagging images, we can offer the same sort of displays for other places like Galapagos, Alaska, California, and Yellowstone. Currently about 15,000 of 22,000 images have been tagged.

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Photo of a White Pointer Shark

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Latitude: 29° 9' 44.74" N, Longitude: 118° 16' 27.96" W, Coord: 29.162428°, -118.27444°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 1/7/2008

This great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) had a particularly pointy look to him, really streamlined and sleek, with little beady black eyes. When you see a white shark in person its no wonder they are known as white pointers down under.

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,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19465, all rights reserved worldwide.
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. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19465  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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More photos of great white sharks, Guadalupe Island photos.

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Great White Shark Eyes The Camera

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Latitude: 29° 9' 44.74" N, Longitude: 118° 16' 27.96" W, Coord: 29.162428°, -118.27444°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 9/26/2007

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,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19457, all rights reserved worldwide.
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. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19457  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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Here are all of the photos from the trip.

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

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Photo of a Great White Shark Dorsal Fin

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Latitude: 29° 9' 44.74" N, Longitude: 118° 16' 27.96" W, Coord: 29.162428°, -118.27444°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 9/24/2007

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,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19493, all rights reserved worldwide.
Dorsal fin of a great white shark breaks the surface as the shark swims just below. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19493  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

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

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Great White Shark Photo

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Latitude: 29° 9' 44.74" N, Longitude: 118° 16' 27.96" W, Coord: 29.162428°, -118.27444°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 9/23/2007

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,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19452, all rights reserved worldwide.
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. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19452  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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See also: great white shark photos, Guadalupe Island, Isla Guadalupe, Carcharodon carcharias photos.

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Shredder

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Latitude: 29° 9' 44.74" N, Longitude: 118° 16' 27.96" W, Coord: 29.162428°, -118.27444°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 9/22/2007

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,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19470, all rights reserved worldwide.
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. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19470  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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Guadalupe Island Panoramic Photo

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Latitude: 29° 8' 25.69" N, Longitude: 118° 17' 8.9" W, Coord: 29.140472°, -118.28581°
Filed under: Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Panoramas on 9/21/2007

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.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19497, all rights reserved worldwide.
Guadalupe Island at sunrise, panorama. Volcanic coastline south of Pilot Rock and Spanish Cove, near El Faro lighthouse. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19497  
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
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Pano dimensions: 2797 x 16157
 
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Guadalupe White Shark Trip 2007

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Latitude: 29° 9' 44.74" N, Longitude: 118° 16' 27.96" W, Coord: 29.162428°, -118.27444°
Filed under: Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife on 9/20/2007

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,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #19473, all rights reserved worldwide.
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. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico.
Image: 19473  
Species: Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico
Click To View This Location in Google Earth.  You must have Google Earth installed for this feature to work correctly. View this Image in Google Earth!

 

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