This adventure has been at the top of my bucket list for a while and I’m glad that I was able to experience something that many will only see on television while watching National Geographic.
I spent 6 days and 5 nights 200 miles off the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico at the remote Guadalupe Island or Isla Guadalupe!
It’s a 20 hour boat ride to the dive site but the indigo-blue water and the massive great whites were worth that long journey.
I booked this trip 4 days before it’s departure date and it was a mass scramble to make sure that I had all of my paperwork and affairs in order.
I flew from Houston, Texas to San Diego, California and then I was picked up in a luxury coach along with several other divers and driven across the Mexican border via the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Once across everyone on the shuttle had to get off with all of their luggage in order to be inspected by the Mexican Customs officials. Once cleared, we continue on with our journey to Ensenada, Mexico which is about 2 hours from the border.
We arrived at Hotel Coral which was the meet up location to make sure that all paperwork was in order and to get our covid test. I got tested 2 days before I left Houston but they require another covid test before embarkation.
We boarded the boat around 10pm and we were welcomed by the captain (El Capitan Shep). He explained what was to come in the next few days, how the weather would play a factor in our departure time, and answered any questions that we had. We were notified earlier in the day about the weather situation and that we may be delayed for 1 day. Some divers decided to reschedule but 17 of us made the decision to stay on the trip with fingers crossed.
We eventually departed the dock to make the 20 hour boat trip to Isla Guadalupe. The seas were rough with 12+ ft waves and I’m glad that I had plenty of motion sickness medication. We arrived at Guadalupe Island around 4:30 am and the crew immediately got to work prepping the cages for the divers to jump in at 6:30 am.
Diving in Isla Guadalupe is always within a cage. Its against Mexican law to dive outside the cage. It’s not just the high numbers of the sharks that makes Isla Guadalupe such a popular destination, but also the conditions. During shark season, which runs July to November, the water temperatures remain between 67–72 F (20–22 C). That combined with the usually fantastic visibility of near 140 feet (40 meters) in beautiful, indigo-blue water, provide the best conditions for Great White shark diving in the world.
Cage diving in Isla Guadalupe is not solely reserved for certified scuba divers. Anyone can also partake in diving with Great White sharks through the use of a hookah surface air system and cages that stay on the surface. If you do have your certification, you can make use of one of the submersible cages that descend down into the blue where sharks congregate. On our boat there were 2 large surface cages and 3 submersible cages.
When you arrive back at the boat dock on your last day, you will be loaded on a bus and transported back to San Diego via the San Ysidro Port of Entry. You will have to go through inspection with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and then the bus will continue to San Diego to drop you off at your final destination.
I’ve done a lot of adventures in my life but this one has definitely made it’s way to my top 5 list.
The crew was absolutely amazing and that includes the captain, the hostess, the dive masters and definitely the cook! I already have another trip with this company scheduled for January 2022 and I’m looking forward to another exciting adventure.
🔹️Booking: https://nautilusliveaboards.com/. The booking process is super easy and you can always call if you have questions.
🔹️Trip cost: These trips can seem costly but after the experience that I just had I would say that it is well worth it! They start at $2895.00 and can go all the way to $4295.00. This is before any taxes and fees are added. This does not include any airfare or hotel accommodations before or after your trip.
🔹️What’s included: Onboard meals and non-alcoholic beverages, virtually unlimited time
in the surface cages, plus three submersible dives per day for certified
divers, and of course amenities you would expect at a boutique hotel. The food was excellent and there were always snacks such as fresh fruit and fresh baked pastries available.
🔹️Getting there: You will need to book a flight from your location to San Diego. I suggest getting to San Diego the day before or booking a flight that lands early in the morning. You can find more information about transportation to Ensenada on their website under “Know Before You Go”.
🔹️Boat: Belle Amie. This liveaboard has ample living and dining space and there is a bar and hot tub available.
🔹️What to bring: I over packed for sure 🤣. You will be in shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops for most of the trip. Besides toiletries, your camera, a light jacket, and any other personal items you may need I suggest you pack light.
**You will have to have a valid passport and dive insurance. For peace of mind purposes travel insurance wouldn’t hurt.**
**I would suggest bringing enough cash for gratuities and other incidental expenses**
**If you purchase dive insurance and use the transportation information provided by Nautilus you will receive and on-board credit of about $210.00 which can be used for on-board wifi and dive rental equipment**
The camera that I used: Go Pro Hero Black 8 & Go Pro Hero Silver 4.