In September of this year I was lucky enough to experience the Great White Shark dive in Guadalupe, Mexico. I went out with Great White Adventures, on board the Solmar V. This dive adventure starts off in San Diego, California, where you can be picked up at one of two hotels. It’s probably best to stay the night at one of the hotels, as transportation to Mexico leaves at 9am. The bus takes about two and a half hours to reach the docks for the Solmar V in Mexico.
The boat ride out to Guadalupe was around 22 hours, and it was a very rocky ride. I usually don’t get sea sick, however this trip out was different.!! Once on the boat, divers are welcome to fish off the back of the boat, lounge around or watch tv in the dining room. There is a great selection of movies and documentaries to watch during the trip. After a nice dinner and chat with fellow divers, I was off to bed.
I woke up to an anchored boat in Guadalupe, Mexico, excited and nervous to get in the water with the Great Whites. After breakfast and a thorough briefing, the first set of divers geared up for their first hour in the cage. The boat has a maximum limit of 16 divers, the surface cage can hold 8 divers and there is another cage which goes deeper to around 40ft in the water and can hold 4 divers. For the first half of the day we only used the surface cages, so we could get used to being around the sharks. Each lot of 8 divers would stay in the cage for about an hour then we would switch out.
It’s best to bring a 7 or 8mm wet suite as you are not moving underwater, you are simply sitting in a cage watching these magnificent creatures. Once you are ready to enter the cages, you are outfitted with ankle weights to keep you weighed down in the cage, along with a 40 or 50 pound harness. This way you can easily move around in the cages and not have to worry about buoyancy.
My first time entering the cages I became very nervous. Even though I had watched divers for almost an hour, I was definitely uneasy. I sat down on the end of the boat and slipped into the cage, I was handed my camera and down I went. The boat uses a hookah system so you can stay down for as long as you want. I was able to stay down for almost four hours once, but got very cold from not moving around- so would not recommend doing this.
After a few days, it was easy to be in the cage alone or with only one other diver. The cages that are lowered to 40 feet provide an entirely different
The unique opportunity offered by this trip is that you don’t need to be a diver to go into the surface cages, only for the lowered cages. So the experience is open to both divers and non- divers.
When: August – October
What: Great White Sharks
Where: Guadalupe, Mexico