What is the agenda for the activity? What can participants expect?
Participants are expected to arrive at the harbor for check-in at 7AM. Dive gear and camera/video equipment can be rented at the time of boarding. Once aboard the vessel, the expedition leader will conduct a boat orientation and safety-at-sea presentation before heading out to the blue-water dive site.
Once at the site, the Divemaster will provide a shark dive briefing that will include cage entry and exit procedures and in-cage etiquette. The shark cage is dropped into the water and submerged about 15 feet below the surface. The expedition leader then escorts each diver into the cage for a practice dive, which provides everyone a chance to see if they are properly weighted and that all their equipment is functioning. The cage holds four divers at a time. After the practice dives, sharks will be baited with live sardines and anchovies. Four divers will remain in the cage at all times, rotating with an escort by the Divemaster. The Divermaster remains outside cage, baiting the sharks up to get their photos taken. Each diver will remain in the cage for about 40 to 60 minutes—it’s normal to get at least two turns in the cage per day. Dives will continue until near dark.
The Multi-Day expeditions will generally follow the same schedule and dive procedures. However, Guadalupe Island is 210 miles to the south of San Diego and will take about 22 hours to reach. During the trip, watch out for whales, dolphins and large schools of pelagic fish. In addition to the above briefings, the chef will outline the galley procedures and meal times, and a fishing seminar will be conducted by one of the crew for those interested in fishing for yellowtail, scad mackerel or tuna during the trip. Shark diving takes place on days two through four. Before heading back to San Diego, if time permits, a shoreline tour of the Guadalupe Island will be provided, allowing for surface shots of elephant seals, Guadalupe fur seals, and California sea lions.
Note: no one controls the sharks or the weather, and thus, there is no guarantee you will see sharks during your trip. However, in the last three years, the five-day trips have had about a 95% success rate of shark sightings. Usually, 10 to 30 sharks pose for pictures on any given day, and occasionally, other wild animals such as mola mola, sunfish, pelagic stingray, schooling tuna, or sea lions show up near the dive cage as well.
What should the participants bring or wear? Is all equipment included?
Prices listed above do NOT include diving gear or equipment or underwater cameras or videos recorders. Participants can arrange for rental equipment during check-in at the marina. Appropriate diving equipment for doing these dives are a full 1/4" or 7mm wet suit. Booties, hood, and gloves (optional) will keep you warm. A regulator with an octopus or safe second with a submersible pressure gauge are recommended. Also recommended is a power inflator for the buoyancy control device (BCD). Properly-sized BCD, mask, and fins are required. For multi-day trips, depth gauge & dive computer are also required. A full package of required gear can be rented for about $50/day.
A Reefmaster 35mm camera can be rented for about $30/day and a Hi-8mm video system for about $80/day. However, there will be a videographer on board who will be tapping both topside and in-water footage for those who wish to purchase a video or DVD of the entire trip. The cost is about $95/video or DVD.
Those wanting to fish may bring their own fishing equipment or use poles provided aboard.
All meals are included for the multi-day trips.
In addition to the above, it is recommended that participants bring extra towels, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a change of clothing. You are encouraged to bring reading materials or your favorite DVDs and CDs (the boat has VCR/DVD, television and music disc play).
If you are prone to motion sickness, you’d better bring appropriate medications.
All divers MUST bring their Scuba certification card and logbook.
How long should the participants allow for the activity from start to finish?
The multi-day trips board at around 7AM and divers can expect to finish the trip at about 4PM on the last day of their diving expedtion.
When and Where does the activity take place?
All shark diving expeditions board at the San Diego downtown marina. Multi-day trips start in September and continue through November (see schedule below).
Are there any restrictions (age, weight, health, etc.)?
Shark diving is not for everyone. Divers need to be prepared for diving offshore and in water where they won't see a bottom. Since the water is so deep, the boat cannot be anchored and, as the boat drifts, it will rock from side to side. If members are subject to motion sickness, they must take whatever precautions they can prior to boarding the boat.
Also note that this experience is only available to people who are certified open-water scuba divers. Furthermore, if it has been a long time since your last dive, you should take a refresher course prior to booking this experience in order to make sure your skills are up to par. You should be physically fit for the rigors of offshore diving.
Can spectators be accommodated?
Non-divers are welcome aboard (if room is available) for a nominal fee, which, at present is approximately $45/person/day.
Can minors participate?
All divers must be at least 16 years of age and a certified open-water scuba diver.
Can persons with disabilities be accommodated?
All divers must be open-water scuba diver certified and should be physically fit for the rigors of offshore diving.
Can large groups or corporate events be accommodated?
The multi-day trips are limited to 16 divers and 24 non-divers.
Are there any availability or timing restrictions?
The Multi-Day trips are limited to 16 divers and go from September to November each year. The remaining 2008 multi-day diving expeditions are scheduled as follows:
September 4-18: Guadalupe Island, 5-day, Liveaboard, 7 spots left
September 10-14: Guadalupe Island, 5-day, Liveaboard, 15 spots left
September 16-20: Guadalupe Island, Liveaboard, SOLD OUT
September 30 to October 4: Guadalupe Island, 5-day, Liveaboard, 14 spots left
October 6-10: Guadalupe Island, 5-day, Liveaboard, 18 spots left
October 12-16: Guadalupe Island, 5-day, Liveaboard, 20 spots left
October 18-22: Guadalupe Island, 5-day, Liveaboard, 20 spots left
Although we strive to provide you with everything you need to know about our activities and experiences in these webpages, we realize that you may have additional questions. If such is the case, please feel free to call us at 818-988-9428, and a knowledgeable Customer Care professional will answer any additional questions you may have.