Category

Guadalupe Island

Guadalupe 2008: Morning Routine

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

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, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

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.
Image ID: 21380
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

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)

Shark cages in water, astern of M/V Horizon. Large, strong aluminum cages protect divers while they are in the water viewing sharks.
Image ID: 21370
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Great white shark, dorsal fin extended out of the water as it swims near the surface, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Great white shark, dorsal fin extended out of the water as it swims near the surface.
Image ID: 21353
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

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.

Guadalupe 2008: Approaching the Island

Guadalupe Island, Mexico

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, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Guadalupe Island, dark and gloomy clouds, northern approach.
Image ID: 21369
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Shark Diving resources: Horizon Charters and SharkDiver.com.

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

Guadalupe Island Photos on Google Earth

GeoBlog, Guadalupe Island, Mexico

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. 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.

Photo of a White Pointer Shark

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

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, 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: 19465
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

More photos of great white sharks, Guadalupe Island photos.

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.