We have just completed two EPIC expeditions to Isla Guadalupe off the west coast of Baja Peninsula! The volcanic island lies roughly 230km off the coast and is a National Park controlled by the Mexican Government. It teams with marine life like Blue fin and Yellow fin tuna, California fur seals, Guadalupe fur seals, Elephant seals, Great White sharks and much more.
The White shark season starts at the end of July and runs through to December. At the beginning of the season we encounter mostly smaller male White sharks, but from the end of September we start seeing the arrival of the much larger females. This is why we spend most of October on location in Guadalupe waiting for that special unforgettable day when "SHE" decides to grace us with her presence.
2016 has been the best season since 2012 and we were lucky enough to encounter over 35 individual White sharks while we were there! On our first day we had 11 different sharks around the boat at the same time! We encountered two of the very popular large females who are both over five meters in length named "Scarboard" and "Lucy". Both of them looked healthy and possibly pregnant, and both shared the blue water off Guadalupe with us in a calm and inquisitive nature. A year we will never forget!
There are a number of locations around the world where you can go to see these amazing predators. Guadalupe, South Africa and Australia are the most popular and all three locations are very different.
South Africa is the best place to naturally see White sharks hunt their natural prey (Cape fur seals). I am sure everybody has seen the "flying sharks" of False Bay on the television. This is where we spend most of the year documenting and diving with them. Unfortunately our water visibility only ranges between 3 to 15 meters, so the waters can be murky at times. Here we run day trips as our island is only 14km from port and takes us 25min by speedboat.
Guadalupe is the location with the best bluest water! Average visibility is 20 meters and deep blue. But the island lies 230km from port and you have to take a liveaboard trip of min 5 days to experience Guadalupe and its White sharks.
Australia White sharks can be seen in the permitted areas around Neptune islands, most people take a liveaboard trip but there is also a day boat option. Australia has a better average water visibility than South Africa, but not as good as Guadalupe.
In Guadalupe water temperatures are between 20-23°C, so if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the waters you will need a 5mm or 7mm wetsuit with booties. We tried and tested the Mares 2nd Shell
wetsuit in Guadalupe and this is our first choice for the job!
18th November 2016
Unnamed Road, Baja California, Mexico