Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
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derekcs
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Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by derekcs » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:42 pm

Spent a few days in October cage diving with great white sharks on the Nautilus Explorer with Richard Salas.

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It's all cage diving. No snorkeling or reef diving. The boat has 3 cages. The side cages are submersible up to ~8 meters. The center cage stays at the surface. You get 3 scheduled 45-minute dives a day in the side cages and can come and go from the center cage as you please as long as it's not full. You are given a second stage that's attached via a long hose to the boat, no tanks, and a weight harness to keep you from floating. It's cramped and the harnesses were bad on my neck and you'll rock back and forth in the water. Not the best conditions to deal with. Water temperature is 68-70F. Drysuit and long underwear worked just fine for me.


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We had good success with the shark. Couldn't tell you how many individuals we saw. We'd have up to 3 sharks circling around at a time. The sharks are baited with frozen blocks of tuna and mackerel attached to lines they throw out and pull back. Enough to get them interested but not enough to get them frenzied. They got their fair share. Plenty of close encounters. They'll come right up to the cages but not bash into them. It's not as interactive as shark diving in the Bahamas, but it's better than other experiences I've had where you're waiting long periods of time to jump in the water for a pass that lasts 20 seconds.

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With the cage situation, I made the decision to shoot all natural light. The operators warned against strobes that could fire off rapid bursts of flash. Things were difficult enough in the cages as is. I would have liked the strobe light to fill in their faces, but there were so many pilotfish, tuna, and mackerel around that I could have just as easily had 20 small fish completely whited out in the photo. Had a lot of photos that would have turned out great if a fish hadn't perfectly blocked the shark's eye. So I ended up using a Magic Filter the last day, which I thought worked out quite nicely.

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The boat comfortably fit 17 of us. The rooms were mostly typical, but weirdly, our empty luggage wouldn't fit in the cabins. The aft deck had a large camera table, under which we stowed our bags. They asked us not to charge any camera stuff in the rooms and not to charge any phones/tablets unattended. Worked out fine. I actually didn't need to charge my camera battery once on the trip despite taking some 1900+ photos. Food was good. They gave us a nice steak dinner one night. No giant buffets. Not that you were burning enough energy to really need them.

Ernie Brooks 🐐, who taught Richard, was going to be on the trip but couldn't make it. His daughters and another one of his former students was there on the trip, and it was fun to hear stories about him. The boat was decorated entirely with prints from his Silver Seas collection, too.

It was 3 days of diving total. Fly into San Diego, take a chartered bus to Ensenada, and then hop on the boat. Then it's a day out to Guadalupe Island. So altogether with the trip back, it's as much traveling as it is being there. That said, it felt like the right amount of time for the trip.

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All underwater photographs of mine are posted at http://www.dereksinger.com
@dereksingerphotography on Instagram

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dlh
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by dlh » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:09 pm

What a great adventure Derek! Amazing photos of the Sharks!
Dave

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Gdog
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by Gdog » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:11 pm

Fantastic shots Derek! Awesome work!

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ScubaJess
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by ScubaJess » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:38 am

Wow crazy amazing photos Derek!!! Really nice work! Sounds like a fun time! I love going on trips with Richard :)
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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Tom Nic
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by Tom Nic » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:45 am

Awesome
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
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Jan K
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by Jan K » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:02 am

Great job in getting these shots from a cage!

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RoxnDox
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by RoxnDox » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:37 pm

pretty amazing stuff you got!
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YellowEye
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by YellowEye » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:13 am

Nice ones, Derek!!

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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by Sharkb8 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:54 pm

Amazing shots! I really like #3 and the last b/w photo. Thanks for sharing.
Party underwater

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Hoodsport_Diver
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by Hoodsport_Diver » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:03 pm

Great shots, Derek

You take the most interesting trips. Your travel log is my bucket list.



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jmartel
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by jmartel » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:41 am

Interesting that there was only 3 cages for you guys. When I was on the Explorer we had 4 so there was plenty of room. I think I was in the water for over 24hrs total over the 3 days. I tried to use strobes when I did it but found that it just didn't work very well. All my shots that were natural light turned out better. I'd like to go back at some point.

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Vjw
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by Vjw » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:19 pm

Thanks for the thorough trip report! How amazing to get to see the great white sharks and schools so many times during the trip. Epic photos! The natural light looks great. Where’s your next trip planned?

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derekcs
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Re: Great White Sharks at Guadalupe

Post by derekcs » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:08 pm

Vjw wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:19 pm
Thanks for the thorough trip report! How amazing to get to see the great white sharks and schools so many times during the trip. Epic photos! The natural light looks great. Where’s your next trip planned?
Hornby, then Fiji
All underwater photographs of mine are posted at http://www.dereksinger.com
@dereksingerphotography on Instagram

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