Guadalupe Island Great White Shark Diving
Your adrenaline kicks into the red zone as the Guadalupe Island great white shark glides past, dead silent, an arm’s length from your face. He’s Carcharodon carcharias, the great white, and this isn’t an aquarium, it’s the world’s BEST cage diving location. You’re sharing the water with the world’s largest predatory fish, protected (this is the good news) from his infamous dental work by a cocoon of welded aluminum bars, floating at the stern of a live-aboard dive boat the MV Horizon. Welcome to shark-cage diving!
Cage Diving With APEX White Sharks
The excitement begins underwater, as everyone nervously scans the void around and below the cage, searching for the day’s first sighting. Suddenly, some eager diver will pound out a bass drum soundtrack on the bars, to announce the approach of a Guadalupe great white shark, looming up from its cruising depth. The drama is palpable. A shark rises into Windex-blue water near the surface, and muffled cries of “wow” can be heard beneath the noisy bubbling of everyone’s breathing regulators. As the shark slows to inspect these strange creatures in their metal enclosure, a rare communion occurs-an intimate close-up glimpse at one of nature’s most mythologized wild animals. But this is no kumbaya moment. Keep your hands inside and respect these efficient killers.
About Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island
Adult great white sharks typically grow to lengths of around 19 feet-plus, and weigh upwards of a ton. They are the ocean’s “apex predators,” the ultimate expression of a line of marine vertebrates who’ve lived on this planet for 400 million years. To scientists and shark buffs, the Guadalupe great whites are a feast of complex behaviors: they’re coy in their breeding and migration habits; they’re surprisingly wary, calculating hunters; and they’re probably the most skillful killing machines in nature.
The inshore waters of Guadalupe Island, located 250 miles off Baja California, are among the few known stopovers for migratory great whites. Horizon Charters, the San Diego-based cage-dive operator, believes Guadalupe is “the most robust white shark habitat on earth.” It’s now a popular venue where tourists in wetsuits and face masks can safely observe this ancient, dangerous life form in its natural lair.
Ready to Go Cage Diving?
Strictly speaking, shark-cage diving isn’t really diving at all. Usually, no scuba certification or even swimming skills are required. In a typical scenario, “divers” are safety-briefed, then descend just beneath the surface, with unlimited air supplied-hookah style-from topside, via scuba mouthpieces and rugged 12-foot hoses. Most cage dive boats spend about three days at the island, (Horizon all inclusive price for the total five-day expedition is $3,695), for each diver making four to five one-hour “rotations” daily, with periodic rest breaks on deck. Ready to go cage diving? Book today!