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

Great White Adventures, Sep, 2003,

by David Nixon, ma, USA . Report 759.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 question.

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 showers.

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.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Western Pacific, Eastern Pacific, Caribbean, Northern Atlantic
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas noCurrents
Water Temp 65-75°F / 18-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-100 Ft/ 6-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay in the cage. Wear gloves.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Ambient light is perfect. Use digital imaging - action much too fast for film. DVT cameras are available for rent. Equipment table with limited electricty.
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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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