With over 300 saw-edged teeth, a torpedo-shaped body and averaging close to 15 feet in length, great white sharks are the largest predatory fish on earth. While many agree that majestic Great Whites are a sight to behold, some are not satisfied with admiration from afar.
Every year thousands of people voluntarily spend time face to face, or shall we say, cage to face, with the Great White Shark. Great white cage diving has increased in popularity, and each year more and more people dive to experience the thrill of being within an arm’s reach of this terrifyingly beautiful creature. Excursion companies that offer diving trips know the best places, times and methods to attract scores of Great White Sharks for maximum viewing pleasure. Divers armed with adrenalin head down into the ocean for the thrill of a lifetime.
The Great White Personality
Great White Sharks are naturally curious, rather slow moving and prefer seals to humans for lunch. In fact, only one death per year can be attributed to a great white attack. Dogs, on the other hand, kill well over 500 humans each year.
Who Can Dive?
Divers must be in good physical shape and have some knowledge of diving. It is not necessary to be a certified diver; however, it is useful to have had snorkeling or underwater experience. Most excursion companies allow anyone over eight years old to dive.
What to Expect
Although cages vary slightly between outfitters, most operate in a similar fashion. Cages are made of solid steel and provide a safe and protected place for divers to view sharks in their natural habitat. Attached to a boat by sturdy nylon ropes, the cages are only lowered just slightly below the water surface. The cage stays connected to the boat at all times.
There are strict safety rules associated with great white shark cage diving, and adherence to these rules is essential. Divers are required to take part in a safety and basic instruction class and participate in a trial dive before the real thing. One of the most important rules associated with cage diving is to respect the sharks at all times. No matter how safe a diver may feel inside the cage, it is never an excuse to taunt or tease a shark in any manner. Both the safety of the diver and the sharks are taken into consideration.
Most great white cage diving excursions are sold as packages, although day trips are available, and include accommodations, meals and several dives over a number of days. Prices vary considerably depending on the type of accommodation and length of trip.
4 Best Places to Cage Dive with Great White Sharks
Great White Sharks dwell in temperate, marine waters all over the world. However, with a dwindling population they can be hard to find. There are four popular “hotspots” where the great whites tend to gather. For the best great white cage diving experience choose one of the four.
- Guadaupe- Off the coast of Baja California
- Farallon Islands – Just 30 miles off of the coat of San Francisco
- Dye Island – Southeast of Cape Town in South Africa
- Neptune Islands – South Australia