Join filmmaker Skyler Thomas and photographer Michael Bolton on a special expedition focused on white sharks.
Our objective: Celebrate the awe-inspiring creatures of our planet while embodying a genuine concern for our environment.
This ecotourism adventure will provide firsthand experiences and insights into adopting a more ecologically friendly lifestyle upon returning home. From the menu to the toiletries, every aspect of this trip will align with our mission – to lead by example.
Taking place aboard the magnificent Southern Sport, amidst the crystal-clear and warm waters of Guadalupe Island is a volcanic island located 241 kilometres off the western coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula this journey will occur during the prime season for white sharks, from October 2nd to 7th, 2020.
This timing ensures a guaranteed presence of white sharks while avoiding the ocean swells that often arise towards the end of the season. While I hold appreciation for all the boats and their crews that have taken me to Guadalupe, the Southern Sport holds a special place as my personal favorite, for numerous reasons.
Reasons to join us
- Why this type of trip? It has bothered me for years…getting on board ecotourism boats where nature enthusiasts come to enjoy wildlife while proclaiming their love for the planet only to see that the boat is providing single-use plastics and serving up meals sourced from the leading causes of biodiversity loss. I’m a firm believer that we must lead by our actions, not our words, so it is with great pleasure that I am finally leading my first white shark trip with an emphasis on improving our behavior as responsible earthlings.
- There is an unfortunate perception that being environmentally responsible means you are going to suffer in some way or another when in reality it just means you have to get over the initial inconvenience of change. Everything you needed before will still be there, only better, while also being better for you and the planet. This trip is meant to inspire while demonstrating through action how we can make a difference in our daily lives.
- Many of the trips to Guadalupe only allow 2 and a half days of being at the island with the sharks. Although these are still great trips I usually find myself with that nagging feeling that the trip is almost over shortly after arriving. This trip by contrast is nearly four full days at the island at a comparable price to the shorter trips on smaller boats! Trust me, the days go crazy fast so you’re going to be thankful for the extra time.
- Fewer people on a bigger boat! Yes, boats half the size of this one often have several more passengers! This is in thanks to my partner, Michael Bolton, believing in keeping the trips at the topmost quality while avoiding any sense of overcrowding.
- Presentations. I will be premiering the final cut of my new film on shark culling, ‘Monsters, on this trip. I’ll also be giving my interactive presentation, ‘Purpose’, which combines my best footage from the last 20 years with science to look at shark/human coexistence. Servando Rueda, our official biologist provided by the Mexican government will be providing a presentation on the island itself and its wildlife.
About your hosts
Mike Bolton (Silent Hunter) is an American who has lived most of his life in Panama. He travels the globe filming sharks year-round offering unique charters to help people appreciate these animals.
Skyler Thomas is an independent filmmaker and animal advocate trying to make the disconnection between humans and the planet we live on a little smaller.
Our meeting point is San Diego, California. You can stay where you wish and arrive to San Diego anytime prior to departure, but you must be at our meeting point on time for our group border crossing.
Day 1 (Oct. 2nd)
Your transportation to Ensenada from San Diego will be provided for you. Departing the designating meeting spot in the morning of day one will get us to Ensenada harbor around 11 AM. On the boat there will be a briefing and snacks before the ship leaves harbor.
Once onboard you’ll receive your cabin assignments, unpack, settle in, relax, eat, watch a movie, etc. The journey to the island is an overnight crossing so you will sleep through the bulk of the trip.
Pictured left, two guests relax on the top deck under the canopy as the boat begins the journey to Guadalupe.
These crossings are usually smooth, but many people choose to take sea sickness pills just in case. Everyone is different so whether or not to take pills or wear a patch is completely up to the individual. Please bring a brand that you have researched and trust for your own sensitivity level. The great news is that if you happen to be very sensitive to sea sickness you can take a sleeping pill and just wake up in Guadalupe.
I shot the video to the left last year (2019) on our way out to Guadalupe Island just before everyone settled in for the night. This provides a good indication of the ocean conditions.
Day 2 (October 3rd) Arrival and All Day Diving
The island is coming into sight with the early morning sun on day two. Breakfast starts being served at 6:30 AM for those who are early risers and coffee is brewing much earlier than that.
Once at the island the conditions are typically remarkably calm. As soon as the cages are in diving begins so if you have been chomping at the bit to get in first thing in the morning it will serve you well to do all your camera and other equipment preparations before going to bed the night before.
(Video) Shortly after arriving in Guadalupe on day one of the 2019 trip I walked the first level deck of the Southern Sport. Sheltered by the giant island we are protected from wind and waves.
Day 3 and 4 (Oct 4th and 5th)
Full diving days
Day 5 (Oct 6th)
This is almost a full diving day, but the boat will begin the journey home mid-afternoon on this day.
Day 6 (Oct 7th)
Arrive back to Ensenada Harbor around 10 or 11 AM. Provided transportation will return people back to the original meeting spot in San Diego or directly to the airport for those catching a flight the same day. The border crossing conditions vary but you should be back in San Diego around 3 PM. If you have the time and the means I recommend staying in San Diego one more day just to increase your ability to relax, but if you need to get home it is entirely possible to fly home that same evening (I’ve done it several times).