June 2017 – Blue Shark Encounter – SD Expeditions – San Diego CA
Talk about your awesome day trip in SoCal – I did a blue shark snorkeling experience with SD Expeditions and had a great time. I first met them at the Scuba Show in Long Beach, CA and then we did a news story together a few weeks later. This time, I’d get to go out on one of their day trips and experience the real fun. Owner/Dive Master Nick is most definitely a shark whisperer. His calm and confident presence in the water seems to be a natural attractant for blue sharks. Well, that and a little chum, fish oil, and patience.
We left Dana Landing about 11:00 am and headed out to sea for about an hour. Nick and crew began to marinate the water when we reached our destination and after about 1.5 hours we had success…a beautiful Blue Shark. She was about 5 feet long and I’d estimate her weight to be around 150-200 pounds. My new camera got some great footage at the beginning of the trip but then started acting up on me. Boo. Fortunately, Marley from the SDE crew figured it out for me and I managed to get some decent clips. She insisted on trying to fix it for me while I got in the water and enjoyed myself.
All guests were briefed on what to expect when we got in the water. This shark was particularly comfortable with us so she would come in very close. We were told to push her away and keep her out of our personal space with our cameras or sticks that were provided to us. That was one of the rules that Nick and team insisted upon, that and staying out of the chum slick. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. We aren’t her food but we really don’t want her to be too curious and take a nibble.
It was really exhilarating to be in the water with the shark. I hadn’t seen a blue shark in the wild (that I could recognize/remember). Once you see one there is no mistaking how they got their name. What a beautiful blue color they have. Ours was very sleek and it was fun watching her try to eat the chum bucket.
Yes, chum. This is the ongoing battle that researchers and conservationists deal with. Do we attract the sharks in order to get experiences and video to educate on this animal’s importance in our world? Or, do we simply leave them be and assure they are untouched by human influence? I don’t have that answer but I do know that the team at SD Expeditions are well trained conservationists that truly understand the importance of these apex predators. I hope to get out with the SD Expeditions team again.