Guadalupe Island Legends | How Shredder Got His Name | Cage Diving
From 2001 to 2011, Shredder was the most well-known great white shark to visit Mexico’s Guadalupe Island. Recognized by a unique series of slash like cuts to his dorsal fin, Shredder was our “go to” great white shark at Guadalupe Island for 10 happy seasons. There is a long running debate about how Shredder got his name so, we decided to end this debate once and for all – we named him, and like all things Guadalupe Island and sharks there’s a great story to tell.
Guadalupe Island White Shark Seasons, Shredder Makes An Entrance, Gets a Name
Great white sharks have been gathering at Guadalupe Island for over 19 shark seasons, with the prime shark cage diving seasons between August and late November. Shredder visited Guadalupe Island like clockwork every season for 10 years straight and his arrival on that second year, in 2002, surprised us all. The MV Horizon was the first shark diving vessel to discover great white sharks commercially at Guadalupe Island in 2000, and by 2002 her sister vessel the MV Ocean Odyssey was at the island with new shark cages, excited second season shark divers, and on a collision course with a shark that would soon become a legend around the globe.
On the third day of that very first shark cage diving trip for the MV Ocean Odyssey – all was well. Captain Greg Grivetto was in the wheelhouse plotting the course back to San Diego. Our shark divers were on the very last rotation of the trip, already thrilled by at least 7 different sharks, and one shark with a funny dorsal fin who was pretty rambunctious.
The decision was made to dump all of our chum overboard for one last big shark push and then pull the cages for home…and that’s when it happened. Near the bow of the MV Ocean Odyssey a tremendous explosive splash rocked the boat, Captain Greg concerned we had hit something big enough to hole the vessel ordered one of our deckhands up to the bow to see what had happened. He looked over the side, looked back up to Captain Greg and said the following words that put Shredder on the map:
“Captain Greg! The anchor line is totally shredded, we are adrift, and there’s a huge shark ripping apart what’s left!”
That shark was the shark we named Shredder, the one with the wonky dorsal fin, the one who bumbled into shark cages, the one everyone knew but didn’t have a name for. Shredder had been named and immortalized by creating a near marine disaster for us, casting us adrift at Guadalupe Island with divers in the cages on our very first shark cage diving trip. This was how the legend of Shredder began.
Shredded is Named, Renamed, and Named Again – Then Vanishes
Shredder was the “perfect name” for a shark with a shredded dorsal fin and a penchant for marine destruction although some soon starting calling him Scar while others renamed him Cal Ripfin, but to us he has always been Shredder. Shredder was the premier great white shark at Guadalupe Island from 2001 to 2012 and hasn’t been seen since the last season in 2012 – seven long years ago.
By now it’s assumed he was fished out or met his untimely end in any manner of ways a shark can in today’s oceans. We prefer to imagine him fat and happy next to a dead whale carcass somewhere off Hawaii. For those who never got to meet this amazing great white shark in person there’s Shark Week underwater cameraman Joe Romerio who filmed Shredder aka Cal Ripfin aka Scar in all his glory before he faded into memory. Enjoy!