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Recent Guadalupe Island Great White Shark Chumming & Mexican Navy Issues

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Anyone just get back from any of the trips that went to Guadalupe Island? I heard from a San Diego based photographer who is going out on the Horizon next week that there were some recent problems with the Mexican Navy and the dive operators over chumming for the sharks. Were you involved and how did this effect your trip? I am going out with Doc from SD Sharkdiving on the 7 day trip next week. I emailed him this am to see if there are any problems that I should be aware of.

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I've just returned from a trip on the Nautilus Explorer and it has to be said it wasn't that good a trip. The Mexican authorities have banned chumming and as a result the sharks don't come in close anymore. The skippers all say this isn't a problem but let me tell you it most definitely is. If you are thinking of going my advice is to forget it. Yes you will see the sharks but only in the distance and very rarely on the surface. Ask any operator around the world - they all chum for sharks and without bait in the water the chances of getting them to come in are very remote. Until they change this rule Guadalupe is finished as a shark destination in my opinion.

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Jon,

 

By now I hope you are back and had good shark action. My group was the first with San Diego Shark Diving this year for a 7 day trip Aug. 27th - Sept. 3rd. We were on a Mexican boat, the M/V Andrea Lynn, which is normally a charter fishing and dive vessel up in San Felipe' area of the Sea of Cortez. Big, roomy, but could have used a bit of sprucing up. That said our group had a great time with consistent shark action (maybe due to going early) and people got plenty of shots with multiple animals up to 15' + .

 

Jessie Harper despite having no Biology degree has more documented information on the individual animals returning to Isla Guadalupe than anyone. Many researchers try to "piggyback" on someone who has been in the field for years observing and documenting these animals. Not trying to dismiss anyone, just relating what I've seen since going to Guadalupe back in 2002 and 2003.

 

So my group was lucky enough to get a lot of insights into many various research projects being conducted on the White sharks at Guadalupe.

 

I have used Doc for 3 trips now as he pioneered White Shark diving at Isla Guadalupe. The business has changed (I was last there in 2003) with multiple Mexican authorities saying you "can or cannot" do this or that. Likely due to the many boats advertising and trying to run White Shark trips.

 

I guess I'm saying I banked on Doc's experience and it again paid off.......

 

Just my two cents.......

 

dhaas

 

 

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"If you are thinking of going my advice is to forget it. Yes you will see the sharks but only in the distance and very rarely on the surface ... Until they change this rule Guadalupe is finished as a shark destination in my opinion."

I disagree. I was down there last week, perhaps at the same time as you as I saw the Nautilus Explorer down the coast a bit. We had pretty good sharks. I had more trouble dealing with the lack of sunlight than lack of sharks. I spent about 18 hours in cages over three days and had perhaps 1 hour without a shark around. Yes, things they are a changin' at Guadalupe but its still the place for white sharks in good water. Some images from last week, I felt they were close enough for good photography:

 

http://www.oceanlight.com/lightbox.php?ss=...349,21360-21362

 

I'll go back next year too, my 17th trip to the island, always and still a fun place to be.

 

Cheers,

 

Phil

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Beautiful images Phil! Thanks. :offtopic::P:):beer::starfish:

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Hi,

I was at Guadalupe on Oct 4 -6 aboard the Nautilus Explorer. Our boat did no chumming or wrangling, but we did have hang baits below the cages. Since this was my first trip, I can not comment on how things have changed since the chumming ban, but I can say that we had pretty continuous action. Almost every time I went into the cages I saw big animals. In the 40 ft submersible cage I saw up to 5 sharks at once. They seemed more interested in us than the baits. From talking to friend who has done this trip in the past, there seems to be one difference. The sharks were always relaxed and swimming leisurely. I didn't see any fast or aggressive motion, nor did I see them go after the baits (although some others did). They occasionally came close to the cages so I was able to get some good images, but of course I would have loved for them to get closer. The photography was WAY better at 40 feet. It seemed to me that they really didn't like coming to the surface. Several people speculated that this was because they are creatures of 3 dimensions. When they come to the surface they are suddenly bounded. My analogy is when you are driving on the freeway and you lose the shoulder, you tend to want to move over since you have lost mobility on one side.

 

The big caveat to everything I wrote was the fact that the Solmar V was a couple hundred yards away and was chumming away like no ban had been enacted, so perhaps we haven't seen the true effect of the chumming ban. However, I have to say that the action got BETTER after the Solmar left. Perhaps this is because the sharks weren't splitting their time among the boats. Who knows. Only time will tell. I am still working on my images, but you can find them at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drsteve/sets/72157607869293974/

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