When I started my trip to Guadeloupe (seems like so long ago), I thought I would keep a record of the daily happenings. Well, that lasted all of the flight out to San Diego. Once in San Diego I was sort of distracted and I really didn’t keep up with it once on the boat. So, here I sit getting ready to write, and I have to go off of my memories, and as my friends know, I don’t have the greatest memory. And to make matters even worse, it took me a few weeks to actually write this blog.
First, I have to talk about the boat and the crew. The boat, the Islander, was about 90 feet long, She was nothing all that special, but she is a good little fishing vessel. The crew, however, they were special. From the Captain, to the cook, to the “tour guide.” Every member of the crew took the time to get to know each of the passengers. Their first priority was the safety of the passengers and their second was to make sure that the passengers had an amazing time. As much as I would like to fault them for putting my safety ahead of me having fun… I just can’t. After all, I was going to enter the water with Great White Sharks. What sane person does that? Even in a cage?
Since I am writing about the crew, I should write about the cook. I cannot say enough about the food that we were served. The cook consistently prepared amazing food for us. Even though I tried to throw her a curveball by being a vegetarian, she stepped up to the plate and repeatedly hit home runs. I don’t think I heard a single complaint, except by those who ate too much (like I did). We had a healthy variety food. Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, and snacks. They were all excellent. I hard a hard time adjusting to the garbage I cook for myself after I returned home.
Second, the sharks and the dives. While the weather caused some issues with the visibility during the morning dives, the sharks were there. My trip took place not long after a hurricane, so the soot was all turned up. The dives ran in two groups of eight people. When one group was in their cages, the other group was resting, eating, warming up, and preparing for their rotation into the cage. Each rotation would last about an hour. The cages were spacious, easily fitting four people each. There was not one moment when I felt unsafe in the cage. And when the water did clear up, we all got some amazing views.
On this trip, the submersible cage was not used. I would love to fault Jimi for this, but I truly feel he made the right call. On the first two days, we had pretty low visibility and the sharks seemed a little timid (surprising for Great Whites). So, while I missed out on doing the 30-foot dive, I would rather have skipped that than scare away the sharks we had. It was the right call. And by the time we had a shark that wasn’t timid at all (looking at your Dotty) we didn’t have enough time to actually do the deep dives. Again, Jimi made the right call.
So, since we didn’t scare away the sharks, we did get the chance to see many of them. There is even the chance that we got to name one of them (Hasslehoff!) since everyone believe that it was a previously unidentified shark. All of the sharks that we saw were amazing creatures, but the 17-foot Dotty was special. I have been on this trip before and I have seen other large female sharks. And each one holds a special place in my heart. And Dotty was no different. You just knew that she was not afraid of the cage or the weird things that were inside of the cages. We were not even limited to just sharks. I got to see a sea lion, mackerel, and a lot of jellyfish. And while those were interesting, I would have preferred to see more sharks. But those sharks do not always follow the script.
I enjoyed this trip, and the crew so much that I will be taking it again. In fact, I plan to be on a two-year rotation. Every aspect about this trip was fun (except for the small fight with seasickness I got). Every aspect about this trip was worth the money it cost to go. Every time someone asks me about the trip, I recommend that they go. Even when people don’t ask me about the trip, I recommend that they go. Log onto the website and book a trip as soon as you can!