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Guadalupe Island is world-renowned for its excellent great white shark sightings. That reputation is gathering even more momentum as a consequence of one outfit’s decision to offer their dives ‘the natural way’. Many years ago when the crew of the Nautilus Explorer first started running shark operations at Guadalupe Island, they followed the conventional wisdom of using blood and chum and throw-lines to lure white sharks up to the surface cages. “Surface cages and baited frenetic shark behaviour was just not our thing.” said captain Mike Lever. “We are all about natural interaction with giant mantas, dolphins in the open ocean, humpback whales and so on. There is no question in our mind that divers get far better encounters when they interact on the animal’s own terms. At the same time, we noted that we could usually see sharks circling down at about 12m immediately below the Nautilus and our surface cages. This started us thinking that maybe we could get much better shark behaviour by interacting with the great whites down at 12m where they clearly prefer to hang out. We soon built double-decker submersible cages and started descending down to the sharks.” Using a single piece of tuna in each cage as scent, Lever and his team were astonished at the results and were soon seeing between two and four great white sharks at one time, which certainly kept the in-water Divemasters busy! Needless to say Lever and his crew are now very strong advocates of natural interaction and diving to depth in submersible cages to view the great white sharks of Guadalupe Island.
Sport Dive editor Mark Evans said: “I have only ever been in the water with great whites off the coast of South Africa, where the vis is often only five to six metres at best, and the sharks are attracted to the boats with copious amounts of chum and towable pieces of bait. I can only imagine what it is like to be in warm waters with visibility in excess of 30-40 metres, seeing great whites sharks at depth and in a far-more relaxed and natural cycle of behaviour. This is certanly going on my list of must-dive encounters.”
For more information on diving wiht great white sharks off Guadalupe,
visit www.nautilusexplorer.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
-From Sport Diver magazine | June 2013 issue
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