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great white sharks great white sharksFrequently Asked Questions about shark divingFAQs about shark diving great white sharks

Do I need to be a scuba diver?

shark diving cage Photos © Kat FisherNo, you do not need to be a certified scuba diver to dive in the shark cages. In the cages at the surface you do not wear a scuba tank. The hooka system pumps air to your regulator, so you are underwater, but within a few feet of the surface. To dive in a submersible cage, you do need to be Open Water Certified.

Do I need any special training?

Once you are aboard Solmar V, our professional crew will present an orientation and safety briefing and you will have ample opportunity to ask any questions you may have. No other training is necessary.

Are there any physical restrictions on diving with the sharks?

There is a maximum waist measurement of 48” and a minimum age requirement of 13 years in order to cage dive with Solmar V at Guadalupe. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Everyone must be at least Basic Open Water SCUBA certified to enter the special submersible cage, but not the regular cages that float near the surface of the water. All guests should be able to enter and exit the shark cages on their own, and should be reasonably physically fit.

Is it possible to do the shark dive if I cannot swim?

Yes, it is possible for you to do the shark dive. There is no swimming involved during the shark dive experience. You do need to be comfortable underwater, wearing a mask and breathing through a mouthpiece.

How close will I get to the sharks?

Up close and personal. However, we do not recommend reaching outside the cage to touch the sharks.

diver in a shark cage Photos © Kat FisherIf I wanted to go into the water outside of the cage, would this be allowed?

No, all divers are required to stay inside the cages. The submersible cage does allow divers to move further away from the boat and into deeper water.

How large are the great white sharks at Guadalupe?

The adult male sharks range in size from 11' to 13'. The females are larger, measuring 16' to 20' and weighing over 4000 pounds.

What guarantee do I have that I'll see a shark?

Wild animals are unpredictable and untrained, that’s part of what makes the wilderness experience so exciting. That said, we see sharks on every trip to Guadalupe.

Does diving with sharks harm them in any way?

No, the sharks are not harmed. Guests often ask about the scrapes and scratches on the sharks body. These scratches are from scuffles with other sharks and also from rough mating.

All operators who visit Guadalupe Island are required to have permits, so only a limited number of people can visit the island. We have a tremendous amount of respect for these animals and do everything in our power to protect them.

When is the best time of year to go shark diving?

The great white sharks of Guadalupe Island begin to arrive each year sometime in July and have usually departed by late November. We suggest visiting the island during the months of August, September and October.

Photos © Bonnie Pelnar & Bruce Watkins

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