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Dive Review of Horizon/San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions in
Mexico (Western)/off Guadalupe Island

September, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Dorothy McDonald, OH, US
Contributor   (17 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 754
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, surge  
Water Temp
68   to 70    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
0   to 0    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
This was a trip to see great white sharks so all diving was in cages.  Cage
rotations were hourly with four people in one of the two cages at a time. 
Diving was only during daylight hours.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Rinse tank and shelves for storing cameras.  Crew reminded divers not to
use camera rinse tank for masks, etc.  Most divers were photographers - on
the trip to get pictures of the great whites.  Shelf space was adequate,
but a little more camera space would be nice.  At night many worked in the
salon on their digital photography.  There was room to recharge batteries,
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
Since this trip was to see great white sharks from cages everyone knew in
advance that we would not be looking at corals, etc.  Chumming was done
from morning until night and people were encouraged to fish (equipment
provided) when not diving.  The sharks put in some cage-rattling
appearances, tearing a hole in a float on one cage, taking 2 bites out of a
surfboard used as a "decoy", bending in a cage bar so much that
the welding attaching it to the frame broke, taking out all four airhoses
in one cage with a single bite, and routinely bumping and biting the cages.
 There were 2 cages in the water at a time with 4 divers in each cage. 
Weight harnesses were supplied, no need for fins, BCs or snorkles, bring
own wet suit and hood (we were told that temperatures are usually in the
mid 60 F).  Air is suplied from the boat via hoses that go to regulators in
the cages.  When the sharks were around time flew by.  In 4 days of diving
we had one cage rotation when no sharks showed - that was a long and boring
hour.  Most times the vis was about 100', however one afternoon everything
from about 8' down became milky and the sharks seemed to just suddenly be
at the cages.  There were times when you could see the fin above the murk
coming towards the cage and then suddenly the whole shark was right in
front of us.  

The boat and diving were run very efficiently and the crew was up beat,
courteous and friendly.  Chef Mark made delicious and varied meals, often
grilling on deck.  Food varied from salads to fresh tuna to steak to
chicken, etc.  Desserts were store bought.  Snacks were always available. 
Special needs were accomodated.  Beer and wine was included in the price of
trip, mixed drinks (delicious) were extra. As on most dive boats, your dive
day ended with your first alcoholic drink.  The salon was not air
conditioned, only had 2 windows that could be opened and quickly became hot
during dinner hours. 

This is a no frills boat.  There are two heads - both on the main deck. 
There were 16 divers and 10 crew and this was not a major problem.  There
is also a hot water, open-air shower for rinsing after dives. Bring your
own towels.  There are no port holes on the lower level where the cabins
are.  The cabins are clean but extremely tiny.  Each has 2 bunks with
reading lights and the smallest 3 drawer night stand imaginable.  There are
4 hooks and a mirror on the wall. One of us would get up and dress then
leave the cabin so there would be room for the other person to dress.  

It would be a good idea to bring a hanger for hanging wet suits on the main
deck.  At the end of the dive day the crew will take wet suits to engine
room for drying overnight and towels will be put in the dryer. 

A superb opportunity to see these sharks up close and personal!
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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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