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Shark Week conjures memories of Guadalupe Island and its great whites

August 4, 2009 | 10:55 am

Cage Shark

Shark Week got me thinking about Guadalupe Island and my memorable visit there in October of 2007 aboard the Nautilus Explorer, and my not so memorable trip there a few years prior, when we arrived way too early in the season and saw only one white shark, and it was but a fleeting glimpse.

The sharks ought to be arriving at the remote island west of Baja California right about now, though, from a mysterious mid-Pacific area some scientists refer to as the White Shark Cafe. But please bear in mind, if you're considering a $3,000 five-day cage-diving trip that late summer and especially fall are the most productive periods.

Patric Douglas, CEO of Shark Diver, recently returned from Guadalupe and blogged about a trip that was a lot like my first trip: too few sharks and too many carefree seals lounging atop the water.

The Guadalupe season is really just beginning and a chumming ban remains in place, making things tough on operators, who are trying to persuade Mexican officials to revoke the ban. Some operators are now submerging their cages to place them closer to the sharks, eliminating the need to chum.

That seems a little sketchy but presumably the operators know what they're doing. Regardless, you don't need scuba gear or certification for these trips. You breath air supplied topside, through hoses.

If you're interested in one of these trips navigate the Shark Diver, Nautilus Explorer and Shark Diving International websites, and check out the video. If you go it'll be a Shark Week you'll never forget.

--Pete Thomas

Top photo by Juanmi Alemany

Video courtesy of RTSea Productions