This Baja Shark-Diving Adventure Offers Endless (Safe) Thrills
Go nose-to-nose with a great white off Baja’s Guadalupe Island, where shark sightings are all but guaranteed
– June 18, 2013
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Every week is shark week
Guadalupe sees more than 120 sharks a season (June through November).
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Peering at predators
Anyone (with nerve) can go shark diving.
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Sink your teeth into the literature
A little great white reading: The 20-hour voyage from San Diego gives you a chance to bone up on sharks.
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Setting the stage
Cages for certified divers are lowered 30 feet into the water.
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Ready to dive
Just off Guadalupe Island, crew and clients pose aboard Islander Charters' MV Islander.
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Getting ready to descend into the shark cage: Guadalupe Island water temperatures range from 65 to 75, so wetsuits help you stay underwater longer.
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The waiting game
Safe in his cage, breathing oxygen pumped to him from the boat above, a shark watcher waits for the great whites to arrive.
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A shark watcher grabs a quick video of passing great white.
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"They're smart," says Lawrence Groth, who as proprietor of Great White Adventures is making his 180th trip to the area. "They know we pull the line in to the boat when we see them coming, so they come in from under the boat to take the bait. They're problem solvers. Four hundred million years. They survived the last five extinction periods."
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What to eat?
Great white decision time--go for the tuna being dangled by the dive boat, or the sea lion swimming nearby?
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Each shark cage holds four people.
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Playing to the audience
A great white cruises past an excited viewer.
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No small fries
Great white sharks can reach 20 feet in length, and weigh up to 5000 pounds.
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A great white's mouth can hold 300 serrated teeth.
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A great white gracefully cruises past a cage full of admirers.
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Safe viewing zone
You don't need to be a scuba diver to watch great whites; "hookahs" supply oxygen pumped from the dive boat.
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A ragged line separates a great white shark's gray upper body from its white underside.
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A shark tattoo shows this pro's devotion to the Pacific's apex predator.
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More wildlife to discover
Sharks aren't the only inhabitants of Guadalupe's waters--they're also home to dolphins.