Two hundred and thirty miles southwest of San Diego is the (very) remote island of
Guadalupe, uninhabited except for a small Mexican naval station. But the island is
permanent home for the Guadalupe Fur Seal, a small Labrador dog sized pinneped,
California Sea Lions and Northern Elephant Seals. Only the female Elephant Seals are
here in September, the giant one ton plus males will not arrive until November. The
other big seasonal visitor is the awesome and unjustly vilified Great White Shark.
They show up at the beginning of a Yellowfin Tuna run and while the seal pups are
abundant (and inexperienced). The sharks migrate down the western coast of the US
and start arriving in late August.
This trip was arranged with Paul "Doc" Anes of San Diego Shark Diving, a specialty
operator who I have been diving with since 1991. Our home for five days was the
"Andrea Lynn" a Mexican flagged vessel that left from Ensenada, it's about 18 hours
to get to the island from there.
Like most remote oceanic islands, Guadalupe has special character to it. Sheer
volcanic origin cliffs, unpolluted blue water, a small cedar tree cloud forest at the top.
But the dozen different Great Whites we were able to get to see, lured by tuna "baits"
in the water were the highlight. And yes, we were in cages on this trip!
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