Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Isla Guadalupe - August 2009 - Trip Report

August 17-21, 2009 was one of our best expeditions this season. Great divers, great weather and of course lots of white sharks on site:

Since I have worked at a dive shop since the ripe age of sixteen, I have been lucky enough to travel to many exotic places all over the globe.But nothing could prepare me for what I would see at Isla Guadalupe.

The trip exceeded every expectation that I had, (and I was VERY excited to go) because I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Would I actually get to see the white shark?

Would the service be any good?

Was the right operation to use?

All of my questions would be answered in three short days. The most important thing to me was actually getting to see as many sharks as I could; and the crew of Shark Diver delivered.The first time in the water we were lucky enough to see a “small” eleven foot shark swimming though the water with grace and ease.I was amazed to realize that I wasn’t actually scared.

The shark was swimming around as if the cages weren’t even in the water.In fact, he couldn’t have cared less about our presence.I got out of the water shaking with excitement; little did I know that it was all uphill from there.We saw as many as five different sharks in the water at the same time and I got more pictures than I knew what to do with.By the end of the trip, I found myself disappointed if I only saw one or two sharks per dive.

That part of the trip could not have been more of a success.The sharks were amazing, but the crew at Shark Diver made my trip for me. EVERY staff member on the boat was nice, knowledgeable, and would drop what they were doing to help me in any way. They knew about the sharks and they knew how to attract sharks to the boat without disrupting any of the shark’s normal routines.

The food was fantastic and would be prepared any way I desired. But I also noticed that they were making dishes that were suitable for all the customers. We had people onboard with food allergies, vegetarians, and just plain picky eaters. Not a problem for the cook; he pleased everyone. Once dinner was served, all conversations ended because people couldn’t stop complementing the cook. I actually felt bad because I didn’t feel my 20% tip was enough, but unfortunately it was all the money I brought…

As I said in the beginning, I work at a dive shop in Austin, TX called Tom’s Dive and Swim. We do international travel through the shop and because of the rave reviews we came back with, the owner and I have already started planning a trip for 2010 to take our customers on. I have nominated myself as the trip leader because I cannot wait to return to Isla Guadalupe!

If anyone is even thinking about this trip, you have to strongly consider Shark Diver as the charter to use because they will make your trip. And if anyone had doubts about the trip, please call me the dive shop at 512-451-3425 and I will answer any questions you have about the trip.

You only love once and this is certainly something that you must do at some point in your life. So what are you waiting for?

Sam Holan

W: 512-451-3425

Editors Note: Thanks Sam, you and your crew are welcome aboard anytime mate. - International Lifestyle Magazine

This month the uber cool International Lifestyle Magazine covered Isla Guadalupe and

The article, by author, writer and adventure persona Jim Cornfield features the world of big animal shark diving with stunning images by Juanmi Alamany who shot with our crews back in 2008.

Shark Diver was the first commercial shark diving company to initiate and support full scale shark research efforts in tandem with Mexico's CICIMAR, and U.C Davis, California at Isla Guadalupe.

As a proof of concept this ongoing shark research effort has now been adopted and is supported by 90% of the operators that use this pristine site. Divers can now donate to research efforts via the Isla Guadalupe Conservation Fund and media sources like Televisa, Mexico are now producing programs that feature this collaborative effort.

See magazine online here.

Go Kids Go! - Commercial Shark Diving

When it comes to marketing for the commercial shark diving industry what you often get is a patchwork of efforts around the world with regional flavors.

New media sites like You Tube and Facebook have helped the industry grow, feeding positive images and video to a growing adventure tourism base.

But the granddaddy of all marketing efforts is toy marketing. Today we would like to congratulate Toys R Us for marketing the Playmobile Nautical Expedition Playset: Shark Diver to the next generation of shark expedition seekers.

Kudos on the effort it's hard not to like this toy.

Product Description

It takes an adventurous person to go underwater diving with the sharks! Includes a figure dressed in diving gear, underwater cage, camera, and shark. Both the shark and underwater cage can float in water.

Alaska Shark Mystery 2009

Jim Reynolds sent us the following image this morning (thanks Jim). Shot in Alaska this fuzzy picture is a 15 foot shark.

The question is: what species of shark is this?

The original site this images came from is Alaska Outdoors Forum and "Big Jake". You have to be a member to post and read the ongoing threads here:

This shark was caught by a seiner near Ketchikan. Reported to be almost 15 ft. long. seems too long for a salmon shark. Any able to tell from this poor photo?

We'll go out on a limb, because the tail of this critter would tell the tale, and as you can see this shot has no tail. This is a Great White shark.

MBARI 2009 Pacific Northwest Expedition

Without a doubt one of the most exciting deep sea expeditions in a long while is happening now, in real time, and you get to follow the action day by day.

Join the crew and research teams from the 2009 Pacific Northwest Expedition as they discover the the oceans deep secrets.

Daily in depth reports and detailed analysis of discoveries are just part of this fantastic website and public outreach campaign in tandem with MBARI.

iPhone Geek Tip: Do a search for this site on your iPhone then click the "+" icon and "add to home screen" as a button. Now you have this site as a "on the go resource" for airport lounges, coffee shops, or long drives.

RTSea Productions - Guadalupe Island 2009

Just returned from a successful assignment filming white sharks at Isla Guadalupe, Baja, Mexico. Isla Guadalupe has become a critical site for white shark research because of its ideal visibility and calm waters (most of the time) and because of the number of white sharks (70 to 100 est.) that migrate to the island in the fall months.

Ecotourism operators and marine researchers work hand-in-hand so that we can learn more about these magnificent predators. I was working with Wild Coast, an ocean conservation group serving the Hispanic market, and Televisa S.A., and Telemundo. All of these organizations are working to make the Spanish-speaking populace more aware of the natural resources that Mexico has within its waters and its borders. To promote shark conservation, they are advocating ecotourism to government agencies and decision-makers, so that village economies can benefit from business models based on living sharks rather than dead ones.

On this particular trip, half of the boat, the Horizon from San Diego, were paying ecotourists from SharkDiver, and the rest were various representatives of Wild Coast and the two Hispanic broadcasting companies. The sharks, primarily males at this earlier point in the season, were numerous and "frisky." We saw some interesting behaviors like "parallel swimming," where two sharks uncharacteristically swim side-by-side. White sharks are not known for extensive social behavior, so it was a treat to see these two male sharks checking each other out to see who is the "top dog."
I came away with a lot of footage that hopefully Wild Coast and the broadcasters will put to good use in making Mexico and, indeed, all of Latin America more aware as to the important ocean treasures it has within its borders - whether it's white sharks, hammerheads, whales sharks, or humpbacks - and what it needs to do to insure their continued survival.

-Richard Theiss RTSea Productions