Friday - August 18, 2006
Back in April Randy had seen mention of two spaces opening up on a Great White Shark trip on WetPixel.com. Rick had wanted to do that for quite some time, so we signed up. We even discovered that Randy's friend Norbert Wu would be one of the trip leaders, along with Eric Cheng, who runs WetPixel.
Friday evening we took an evening flight from San Jose down to San Diego and stayed at the Hampton Inn. After checking in we decided to take a walk to find a bottle of vodka for the trip. We ended up walking a number of blocks to an Exxon station which also sold liquor. In the process we walked through San Diego's "Little Italy" neighborhood which seemed to be quite lively.
Saturday - August 19, 2006
We woke up and had breakfast down in the lobby (the breakfast was billed as "A Real Crowd Pleaser"). We saw several people who looked like they might be on the boat with us, but we weren't sure. At 8 we boarded a large motor coach that took us down to Ensenada, Mexico. We met our trip leaders Norb and Eric, as well as most of our fellow divers: Brant, Steve, Jim, Hal, Jackie and Mary Lou, Dale, Peter and Douglas. The trip was mostly uneventful, except for our brief stop at the border where they had us take all of our luggage off the bus and stand around waiting to push a button that would light up either a green or red light, indicating if we were to be searched. We never did push the button, we just all got back on the bus.
In Ensenada we pulled up at the dock and boarded the Solmar V, our boat for the week. We met Lawrence, who runs Great White Adventures and the final two divers, John and Kelly. After loading all of our luggage aboard the boat set sail for Guadalupe Island, which is about 200 miles Southwest of Ensenada and would take about 20 hours. Lawrence gave us a trip briefing and introduced the crew.
The sail started out relatively flat, but then some chop picked up, making a few of the passengers a bit ill. After dinner we headed to our cabin where the boat rocked us to a sound night of sleep.