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

Horizon/San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions, Sep, 2003,

by Dorothy McDonald, OH, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 754.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 68 to 70 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 0 to 0 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
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.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments 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, etc.

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

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