Monday, November 21st, 2011
Hi friends. Final day here at Isla de Guadalupe on our Great White shark diving/research trip was a fantastic day. We had two sharks around the boat for most of the morning and sign of that Yellowfin tuna once again. Only a handful of people got in the cages today as today we were on one mission; get tissue samples for Omar and Cesar. After trying to get a good sample from one from the Supreme we knew what we had to do. Put Omar, Cesar, and Chugey in the skiff. After having several good looks at the animal, she was just too far out of reach on every pass. But the last pass, it was go time. All or nothing. Chugey cocked the dart back and got her. A beautiful display of aim and strength and wouldn't you know it, we got the sample. After two days of patience, Omar and Cesar were rewarded for their perseverance and it paid off. They now are all smiles, ear to ear. In the name of science; booyah.
Today was also a day for a little crew cage-time as well. Drew H. and Drew C. got a couple looks at one and it was time for the birthday boy, Chef David Schooler, to get his turn. The picture of Schooler in a full wet-suit was enough for most of us to call it an awesome day but after only about five minutes in the cage, Schooler got out for, as he said "fear of not living to see another birthday". Well, I figured I'd go join Scootch in the cage as he filmed the action and I'd like to spend a couple minutes talking about my experience.
First off, that was the coolest thing I have ever done in my life. The next coolest thing isn't even close. Petting Grey Whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon was a unique experience but that was nothing in comparison to being underwater and being a fingertip away from touching one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. Scootch, myself, and galley assistant Jamie, had probably one of the best shows in the cage in the three days down here and it's one we won't soon forget. Looking this creature in the eyes will humble any person and Shark Week on an HDTV does the Great White shark no justice. at all. I found myself having to put down the camera for a few occasions as trying to get a good shot was taking away too much from just admiring the presence of this majestic creature. Aside from being inches from this beast, on the next pass, we got to witness Chugey lunge the dart into the shark from the skiff as we were underwater. Game over. Sample acquired. After the sample, all we saw was a white flash as the best propelled itself from our viewing and we propelled ourselves out of the cage and the chores of closing up shop began to prepare for the ride back to Ensenada. I'm sure we'll have an accumulation of all of our photos and underwater footage from Scootch on our website and our Facebook page in the next few days. Be sure to take a peak. All in all, it was the experience of a lifetime. Everyone on-board, especially the crew of the Supreme would like to issue a major thanks to Tom and Honey Pfleger, Chugey, Scootch, Cowboy, and everyone at PIER for allowing us to be apart of this adventure. Hopefully, it won't be our last.
So that is all. Our crossing from the island to Ensenada is a tad windy but we're aren't rolling around too much so we're happy with our ride at the moment. We're scheduled to arrive to Ensenada tomorrow morning and our ETA back to San Diego is sometime tomorrow in the early evening. We'll be tying up the Supreme for Thanksgiving and we'll return to fishing for our 12-day departing on the 29th of November. We have a few spots still available so if you're interested in being apart of the big tuna chase, give Susan a call at 619-390-7890. Speaking of Susan, tomorrow (the 22nd) is her birthday and we all would like to wish her a very happy birthday and thanks for being the glue to our operation. Happy Birthday, Susan! Good night everyone and we'll chat with you on the 29th.
Sunday, November 20th, 2011
Hi friends and happy Sunday y'all. Day two of our Guadalupe Island Great White shark adventure started off the same as it did yesterday. A couple of viewings for the folks in the cages and a decent sign of that 60-100 lb. class tuna swimming but it wasn't as consistent as it was yesterday, atleast on the tuna end of things. We had sporadic shark viewing today with the majority of our views being of the "smaller" sharks. A while after lunch, "Large Marge" showed up and boy, did our viewers get the thrill of their lives. Up close and very personal cage-time as this creature really put on a good show for our party of three inside the cage. Even seeing her from the boat, it was a sight that we all won't soon forget. Aside from that, our next best viewing went to Polaris Supreme crewmen, Jed and Ensenada scientist, Omar. After hanging out in the cage for a while and without seeing a shark for a couple of hours, patience paid off and they were both treated to a nice showing on about a 15 foot shark. Most everyone had the opportunity to get a nice viewing and we're looking to finish up tomorrow with a banner day. Our weather today was much better than yesterday's wind, cloud-cover, and light rain showers that would most definitely wash off our bronze. Today, we had premium bronzing for most of the day and great visibility for our divers. Let's hope for a repeat manana. We'll chat with you tomorrow evening and wish us luck.
***2015 hours update***
At the conclusion of Chef Schooler's delicious seared Ahi dinner, the battle ensued. A singing battle between classically-trained Riley McGuire versus relief crewmember, co-owner of the M/V Pacific Queen, and my roommate, Drew Card. Early on, It looked like a sure runaway for Riley but with a some expert coaching from Drew Henderson and myself, Drew rocked a lovely rendition of Neil Diamond's classic "Sweet Caroline". After a vote, it was decided that both Riley and Drew would ultimately have to share victory as no winner could be decided upon. If I personally had to pick a winner it would be Riley on every level except for two; singing most out of key and crowd participation (you just can't help belting out the words to the chorus of "Sweet Caroline"). Those two victories definitely went to Drew. A little post-dinner fun lasted for only a few minutes as rain squalls bombed through and the wind began to howl. It only lasted about an hour or so and we're now sitting comfortably as we get rested up for our final day tomorrow. So that is all. Just thought it would be fun to send out a little bit of an entertainment report to hopefully, well, entertain you. Reports aren't always about fishing and bronzing conditions. We'll chat with you tomorrow. Good night.
Saturday, November 19th, 2011
Hi friends and good evening from Guadalupe Island. We cleared Ensenada customs at 0100 on Friday morning and traveled all throughout the day to arrive to the island last night at around 2200. We got our bearings straight this morning and got the cage in the water around mid-morning. While eating breakfast and awaiting the cage briefings, we had a friendly juvenile shark swimming right next to the boat for an hour or so. When we got our divers in the water, it wasn't long before this little guy was giving our divers a nice little opportunity for some up-close and personal views. While in the cages, our divers saw Yellowfin tuna in the 50-100 lb. range all throughout the day, which made for some excitement from us fishermen and fisherwomen on-board. Although the "smaller" shark was a sight to see, we had been hearing rumor of a giant female lurking around these parts. In the afternoon time, we saw her, Large Marge. Not necessarily the longest shark seen but my goodness, she is one of the girthiest sharks our scientists have ever seen. In all honesty, this beauty of a shark is as wide as a school bus. Only a few of the divers were able to see her from the cages but the folks who viewed her from the boat were in shock by the size of this animal. Hopefully, everyone gets to witness this behemoth from the cage.
With our shark viewing and tuna viewing all day, we're hunkered down in the cove and the guys and gals are enjoying some Prime Rib before they hit the racks. It was a successful first day of "getting our feet wet" and tomorrow, we're hoping for a full-day of sharks and tuna and hopefully some time for a little research for our PIER guys and our scientists from Ensenada, Omar and Cesar. Omar and Cesar are hoping for some tissue samples so we'll hopefully make their wish come true. The female we saw today has plenty of tissue to give and hopefully, they can get a sample from her and not the other way around. We'll report with you tomorrow.