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Dive Review of Great White Adventures in
Mexico (Western)/Guadaloupe Island

September, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by David Nixon, ma, USA
Report Number 759
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Western Pacific, Eastern Pacific, Caribbean, Northern Atlantic
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
65   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay in the cage. Wear gloves.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ambient light is perfect. Use digital imaging - action much too fast for
film. DVT cameras are available for rent. Equipment table with limited
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Its about a 22 hour crossing to Guadaloupe Island, 215 miles WSW of San
Diego and 155 miles W of Baja..  There was one sea sick casualty on the
outbound leg that recovered on the second day at anchor. The crew did every
thing they could to make him comfortable and didn't just ignore him in his
discomfort.  In fact, the crew did whatever the guests needed.  The food
was top rate - primariliy American with some Mexican overtones. We even had
a vegetarian whose needs were met without question.  California wines were
offered with dinner, softdrinks, water and beer (premium and domestic) were
available at no charge - the only stipulation was typical dive etiquette -
first alcoholic drink means you're not going to dive again that day. 
Coffee and munchies available all day.

We were also happy to have Scott as our diver master, who just so happens
to be an aquatic biologist specializing in Great White sharks.
Nice to have an unassumming expert on board capable of answering any stupid

The boat, Searcher, is a 95' sportfishing boat. The double occupancy cabins
are cramped but functional.  The AC worked so well that we (unanimously)
asked that it be turned down.  It was and we no longer froze at night, but
it did make the galley a little warm for dinner.  The galley seats 20, but
with a maximum guest load of 16, its not uncomfortable.  There are 4 heads
- 2 with showers and a fresh water shower on deck.

The 2 cages are attached by 4 movable pivot points to the stern, so that
the cages move independent of the boat and each other.  This makes for some
fairly rough moments with the swells, but I can't imagine what the
competition's boat with solid attachments is like.  The top of the cages
sit at the surface of the water and you slide/climb into them from above. 
You're weighted at the ankles and waist with 35-50 lbs of lead.  The waist
belts have shoulder straps so they are a little more comfortable than you
would think.  And the crew is more than happy to relieve you of the weights
as soon as you get out of the cage onto the swim platform rather than
waiting until you're back on the deck.  Once under the water the weight
keeps you planted on the deck of the cages but your natural and neoprene
bouyancy still allows you to move comfortably and nimbly.  Each cage fits 4
divers, but 2 was the best - 2 sets of eyes and room to move all around. 
Most divers were in 3mm jump suits, some with hoods, gloves are a
requirement and hard soled booties are a strong recommendation.  Oh yeah,
bring towels.  None are provided.  But not really needed either.  Just for

Air is supplied through regulators attached to an air compressor on deck. 
The water temps were in the 70's and visibility ranged from 20-100 feet. 
By the end of the first day, the established hourly diver rotation system
dissolved into 2 groups  - the hard core who usually stayed in well past 2
hours and the casuals who rotated in and out in an hour or under. The cages
were occupied from the first sighting in the morning (7-10am)to about 30
minutes past sunset. (6pm)

Shark activity ranged from none to a maximum of 5 with one fearless sea
lion finning in and about the sharks.  He even went so far as to nip a
couple of tails/fins as he swam around and he even swam in the cage with my
wife, Ann.  The water was constantly chummed with a mixture of water and
fish blood and there were 2 dead jacks on lines off each corner of the
stern as "hang bait".  At the end of each rope was a "shark
wrangler" (guest or crew) who's job it was to tease the shark into
biting the bait as many times as possible by pulling it just out of their
reach, putting on a show for the divers in the cages.  But more often than
not the shark won on the first bite.  The sharks are in no way intimidated
by anything.  They never attacked the cages directly but several times the
cage got in the way of them getting and eating a fish and their jaws ended
up part way into the cage or they simply body slammed the cage.  At a
couple of thousand pounds, a body slam was no gentle tap.  Most sharks were
in the 10-15 foot range.  There were a couple smaller and a couple larger. 
Its their girth that is the dramatic measurement.  These animals are small
trucks and are simply impressive.  On deck the activity and excitement
didn't end, there was shark wrangling on the stern and Laurence, company's
CEO and founder, has developed another form of shark torture, appropriately
named "shark in the air".  A full yellow fin tuna is attached to
the line of an electric winch and dangled just in the water at the side of
the boat.  As the shark bites the tuna, the hoist is slowly raised and the
shark just follows the tuna up into the air - creating a thrashing scene of
bloody carnage.

As there are no depth considerations and other scuba concerns or skills, it
is open to uncertified divers - in fact the sea sick casualty had never
been on the water before.  Don't go if you are expecting a plush liveaboard
or want a variety of sights and experiences.  But if you want to see some
of the prime predators of the world 'doing their thing'; Go.  You won't
regret it.

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All Mexico (Western) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Mexico (Western)
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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