Diving with the Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island

shark dive Guadalupe Island
shark dive Guadalupe Island

The margaritas flowed as we left land behind and the Solmar V scuba-diving boat morphed into a party cruise for the 18-hour crossing from Baja, California. There was a lot to celebrate: we were heading out to the land of great white sharks and planned to dive with the ocean's most feared predator. It was something I'd long wanted to scratch off my bucket list, and, after talking to the other passengers, I learned I was hardly the only one.

But in the morning, when Guadalupe Island finally appeared through gauzy layers of marine fog hovering above the horizon, I felt the hollow in my stomach outgrowing my courage. The mood among my fellow passengers had changed, too. The previous night's party vibe had stilled into something more reverent and wary as we all quietly took in the striking scenery and let our minds settle on what was lurking below the water's surface.