Guadalupe 2015 expedition

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 |

Another great white shark tagging expedition to Guadalupe this fall, the 7th for me over there since 2009.
This year we camped on the island for two weeks, we had to shorten the stay due to boat logistical
considerations though.
2015 is another El Nino year and this truly effects Guadalupe Island. First the water was 25°c, almost 5°C
above normal, this
means that the white sharks were usually staying deeper where the conditions are more stable for them. 
On the other hand the amount of sealife was phenomenal: yellowtails, yellowfin tunas, mobula rays, wahoos 
and the week before we arrived 2 whale sharks were seen!
Above the water the conditions were affected as well. The abundant rain changed the island from that dry 
and inhospitable gigantic rock to an almost friendly green landscape. And of course the rain affected us 
as well,in our base camp during the 3 first days, most of it has no more roof on top of the old walls and 
the remaining parts of it are leaking. All the gear was soaked and we had to fight to find some dry places 
to put our sleeping bags.
This year we had to share the place with a lot more mices and cockroaches than last year and the mices 
were very very active at night and didn’t hesitate to climb on us when they were not making holes in our 
bags and food containers!
In the water we had many great whites, we could tag 6 of them and saw many with with tags we placed last 
year. We were working from Dr Mauricio Hoyos'boat and we had to be ready and fast to get in the water as 
the sharks were not staying very long around it, we noticed that the bigger the boat is, the more 
they stay, the feel more comfortable and can take more advantage of the large shade area to make their 
approach more discreet. The more time we spend in the water with these animals, William Winram and I are 
more conscious of their abilities as apex predators, they learn about divers and their behavior adapts.
For that reason even though we know them better and better each year we are paying more and more attention
to their behavior. I hope that the « expedition leader/photographer » who was performing outside of the cage 
stunts with his clients noticed that as well and will eventually give up doing it before someone really 
gets hurt.
The Islander brought us back to the mainland, they have been supporting us since 2009, if you want to 
book a Guadalupe trip do it with them, they are the best crew and from their cages you’ll be able to 
observe more sharks than from any other boat.
We are now back on the mainland and about to leave for our next adventure, a sailing/freediving/tagging 
trip we wanted to do for many years…..
  • great white shark freediving
  • m/v islander
  • fred buyle
  • william winram and acoustic tag
  • fisheye
  • camp
  • before leaving the island
  • northern elephant seals
  • camp
  • drying stuff
  • m/v islander
  • soaked camp
  • great white shark freediving