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Cage Diving: Great White Sharks

Cage Diving with the world's largest oceanic predators is the ultimate divers' dream!

Great White Sharks are the largest "toothed" shark in the sea (basking sharks and whale sharks are larger, but their hunting habits are tame compared to Great Whites).

Until recently, if a diver, photographer, or videographer wanted to experience Great Whites up close and personal, it used to mean a very long flight to South Africa or Australia, and big, big dollars!

Now, for about the cost of a regular live-aboard trip, you can experience HOURS of Great White Shark interaction, daily , from the safety of not one but TWO cages, aboard the Solmar V on her 5 day Luxury Great White Shark Adventures. These take place at Guadalupe (Wah-dah-LOO-pay) Island, just 160 miles off the west coast of Northern Baja, Mexico.

Ensenada, your departure point, is just over the border from San Diego, CA.

The SOLMAR V is your luxury live-aboard base of operations , and return guests will recognize our staff, but we also carry extra specialists on board these special trips. Your shark diving hosts are a team of very experienced shark handlers from Great White Adventures.

The SOLMAR V carries all of the cages and other shark diving equipment onboard. The trip is limited to 16 passengers, although our normal Solmar V trips carry 22 passengers!  We have found this type of "limited load" is exactly the right number for the cages and our Guadalupe Shark trips.

Here's how the cages work. First, we lower the main cages into the water, and begin to attract the Great Whites. It's usually only a matter of minutes before the first ones show up! The divers (four divers per cage), enter and exit the cages from the stern swim platform of the Solmar V. Every hour or so, the divers rotate turns in the cage and everyone gets an equal chance at these awesome encounters. 

While you are in the cage, you'll be breathing surface supplied Scuba (commonly called a "hookah" system). No tanks needed, and it makes moving around the cage to get better angles and shots that much easier. So you'll be spending plenty of time each day day in the cage, and rarely without shark activity. These big animals come in close, and hang around!

If that's not enough of a lifetime encounter, we've also got an additional cage (number 3) which Great White Adventures call "the submersible cage", and this descends to a depth of around 20 feet or so, very close to the other cages.

It will be just you and a Solmar V guide in the cage, and the camera angles are simply unbelievable. These cage dives last 20 minutes for each encounter, and everyone gets a turn in the submersible on a rotating basis as well! You must be certified for SCUBA for the submersible cage, but not for the surface supplied main cages.

The Great Whites are anywhere from 8 feet to18 feet, with most of them in the 12-14 foot range. Unless you've been in the water with something this big before, we can reassure you that BIG is the right word to use. And CLOSE is the next word!

Water Temp is 65-70 degrees, F, so bring some neoprene.

You don't have to be a certified diver to participate in the main cage activities, and it's available for ages 13 and up just in case the kids want the thrill of a lifetime.

A Great White Adventure is truly one of the apex "big animal" encounters, and we're delighted to work with the team at GWA to continue to bring you "the best big animal diving" on Earth. The Solmar V did the same dates last year in Guadalupe, and the reaction of our guests was extraordinary, with many booked back again this year.

Photos © Bonnie Pelnar

This article is from the Solmar V eNEWS Article Archive

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