Tiger Sharks Bahamas Cage Free Shark Diving 2016
Bahamas Tiger sharks at Freeport, Grand Bahama are calling you in Spring of 2016.
2016 is your year, the year you get out and experience real life changing adventure. Because “living a life” is not about the office or even the daily grind. Life is about getting out and experiencing moments that change the way you look at things and nothing will change that perspective more than a face to face cage less encounter with the shark of the Bahamas. Being in the Bahamas surrounded by blue waters, pristine offshore reefs, wreck sites, sharks and wild dolphins is one way to get your bucket list knocked out of the park as well. That’s what we do here at Shark Diver each and every year with six new and returning dive friends. Mark your calendar and join us in the spring and fall of 2016 for unique shark encounters close to home when the biggest sharks appear in the Bahamas.
2012 and 2013 were a banner seasons for us entertaining multiple film crews like this Gillette commercial we shot hamming up the shark myth of “a drop of blood” and a site visit from the great folks over at the Bahamas Film Commission (we love those guys). We were also tapped to be the underwater team for this years 25th Anniversary of Shark Week and the Volkswagen Underwater Shark Cage commercial a demanding underwater epic that took over a month of prep and development with one of the best underwater commercial teams on the planet right now.
Shark Diver Pricing Difference
You may see pricing for similar Tiger expeditions that seem like they are less than what we charge, but you’ll soon see why Shark Diver cost inclusive pricing is the better way to go. Instead of offering one price and then tacking on fuel surcharges, port fees, and more, we give you a set price upfront that’s all included. We also offer more actual days at sea with sharks and take fewer divers. In the end Shark Diver offers a better value, more water time, and a base of operations in the Bahamas helping to directly support local business there.
Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), Great Hammerheads (Sphyrna mokarran), Caribbean Reef Sharks (Carcharhinus perezi), huge Lemon Sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) and Spotted Dolphin encounters all in one magical place. Plus regular live aboard scuba diving and all with just 6 divers on a 65′ dive vessel – that’s Tiger Beach Bahamas.
Ready to meet the true giants of the shark diving season?
Grand Bahamas and our shark diving vessel are just a quick flight away to Grand, Bahama Island from Miami or Ft.Lauderdale that means more time with sharks and no Gulf crossings which typically eat up two days of your vacation time. Frankly we’d rather be shark diving.
Shark Diver is going into it’s 13th shark season at this pristine and amazing site.What makes this site an absolute shark diving mecca for shark fans worldwide are the well seasoned sharks who are accustomed to divers. Most have pet names and our dive safety crews know them all.
The Adventure – Sharks
Six lucky divers will join Shark Diver for seven days out of Grand Bahama aboard the 65′ long range dive vessel M/V Kate. We have been working with the owner of the M/V Kate, Scotty Gray, for the past five years and exclusively charter his vessel for all our shark diving operations in the Bahamas. The Kate is a large live aboard for just six divers, and as comfortable as as they get. The topside deck or sunset cocktail lounge, depending on the time of day, has space for loads of gear, so bring your cameras, extra housings, and lenses. The M/V Kate also acts as our premier shadow boat for private yacht charters seeking shark encounters with professional shark diving crews in the Bahamas.
In 2008 we provided the crews, cages, and dive teams for the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week show featuring the MythBusters. Seen by 29.1 million viewers we have continued to host film crews here along with our shark divers each and every year. Our 7 day schedule is flexible, with a high emphasis on sharks and shark encounters.
In 2007 and again in 2008 a 14′ pregnant female Tiger was killed in the Bahamas and her pups left on the ground which lead to Shark Diver spearheading the creation of the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative. Shark Diver along with others in our community are fully supporting evolving and ground breaking shark conservation efforts in the region and worldwide.
Shark Diving Itinerary 2016
Welcome to The Bahamas. Once you have arrived at our docks at Old Bahama Bay Marina, a newly minted Shark-Free Marina, we’ll check you in between 5.00pm-7.00pm. Time to unpack and familiarize yourself with your floating home for the next week. Once you have settled in you are free to join your fellow divers at a local bar for some fresh Grouper Tacos, Conch Salad and a cool beer. Later tonight we’ll have an orientation on emergency procedures and shark diving information. We depart the this evening for our short cruise to “Tiger Beach.” This a great time to sit back and meet your fellow divers. The next morning will be busy with lots of diving.
While your co-workers are drudging to work you will be shark diving with Tigers and perhaps if conditions are just right a Hammerhead or two. This morning we awake on Tiger Beach and drop in for some serious shark action. The crew has been chumming since early morning. Tigers start arriving in the morning, typically we see anywhere from 1- 5 sharks when the weather conditions have not stirred up the bottom. Tigers are different from Great Whites in many ways. Here we’ll be in 15-30 feet of water with a sandy bottom. Benthic shark cages drop to the bottom and we have Tigers, Lemons and the occasional Bull shark cruising around. The shark diving operation will last all day long with regular shark rotations for our divers. If we feel like it or the action slows down divers can choose to run over to El Dorado where local populations of Caribbean Reef sharks swim close as you explore this reef. The game plan is to spend the entire day here or where ever the shark action is the hottest. Note: Unlike Tigers, Caribbean Reef sharks and Lemon Sharks are considered a “safer” shark species. The encounters here are completely natural and occur because these reefs are pristine.
This is another full dive day with 5-10 dives at Tiger Beach. Wake up to breakfast onboard to the beautiful Grand Bahama Banks. We’ll make a run over to the “Bull-Pen” it’s a 60′ dive with Caribbean Reef sharks, groupers, eagle rays if the Tigers are not playing today. From there we go to colorful Hogfish reef, then to Sugar Wreck for an afternoon and a night dive. We frequently snorkel & dive with large friendly turtles on this ancient wreck that was once a 330′ sailing vessel. Nighttime we anchor up in a calm area for overnight known locally as Dry Bar….it’s only a short distance from our Tiger shark site. Expect Tiger diving and lots of it if conditions and animals permit, this is the main reason we are here!
More sharking at Tiger Beach this morning. Divers will spend as much time as they like getting shots and encounter time with these animals. We’ll be chumming all night long to keep interest high. This afternoon for a change of pace we may be off to discover friendly Spotted Dolphins. These are wild dolphins who love to play and interact with divers as they congregate off the coast a few hours north. Dolphin encounters are not guaranteed as these are wild animals, that frequently change their routines and they are snorkeling only, in 15-20 feet of water. The prime dolphin ground is an ocean paradise named ‘White Sand Ridge’. Make sure you bring your fins along as these animals like to interact with the swimmers. We have an option to extend the dolphin encounter with lights for a night encounter or jump in on a night dive on a local reef the choice is yours by group consensus.
Breakfast around 8:00 am, with our first dive on The Mountains a beautiful 60 to 90 feet dive. We often come across huge turtles, rays, flying fish, large game fish and other open ocean wonders whilst cruising. See colorful sponges, deep water fish, schools of Jacks and tropical fish. In the afternoon we’ll make a run to a mini wall that ranges from 40-80 feet featuring big swim through crevices, sponges, and more schooling fish.
This morning we will once again explore the ocean environment, spending the first part of the morning at Tiger Beach. If we would like we can also run to another site for a good old fashioned Caribbean Reef shark dive to round out your last day with us here in the Bahamas. In the evening expect a local night dive, and a few Loggerhead turtles and a nurse shark or two.
We will be heading back to Freeport for your flights home today. Congratulations, you have just completed the “Bahamas Ultimate Shark Tour.”
Tiger Shark Diving and Safety
A quick note about diving with Tiger sharks. We have successfully run strictly non-caged Tiger shark encounters here for the past several years – safely. Tiger sharks can be curious towards humans in the water and must be considered with a great deal of respect. Our divers realize that managed risk, and respect for large predators is paramount to a successful dive and our crews hold safety and continued success with large sharks as our first priority.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even the most hard core shark fans have a few questions and our team have collected the most frequently asked from our divers. If your question about your next shark diving adventure isn’t answered below, don’t hesitate to call us at 619.887.4275 or toll free 855.987.4275 or email us, informed shark divers are better shark divers.
Is shark diving safe?
To date we have enjoyed a 100% operational record at every shark site we operate in.Shark Diver remains committed to Safe and Sane Shark Diving TM, it’s a way of doing shark dive operations right, the first time, every time. No shark system is 100%, so let’s talk shark safety.
Over the past decade Shark Diver has steadfastly stuck to a few core operations principals that are at the heart of Safe and Sane Shark Diving.
1. Respect the sharks. Shark Diver sees sharks for what they are, predators, first and foremost. We respect that fact. No one, no matter how seasoned or professional should lose sight that sharks have the potential to be dangerous if they are not treated with a healthy dose of operational respect.
2. Sharks are not “playthings”. Along with respect comes the understanding that stunt work with sharks with regular divers ultimately leads to disaster. We conduct the same dive and baiting protocol with sharks each and every time.Operations that conduct stunt work with sharks while commercial divers are in the water have little respect for the animals and the resource. We are here to observe these magnificent animals, not use them for personal gain, either with stunt based images or video or by calling stunt work “conservation.”
3. Baiting and sites. Shark Diver only operates at sites with seasoned animals. We do not change baiting practices in the middle of a dive, and we do not confuse the animals. When you change what you do with sharks in a baited situation you often have confused sharks, which leads to situations that are not good for your divers or for the sharks. Sharks do not want to attack humans as a general rule, but they have 300 million years of predatory evolution behind them, so do the same thing with sharks each time, every time. Our crews work with the animals and let their behaviour be our guide – not the other way around.
These are a few of the simple yet successful principals we have developed and stick with year in and year out. Like we said no system is 100% safe, but a decade later we have shown that respect, protocols, and understanding the animals you are fortunate enough to work with can allow for safe shark interactions – and we hope you agree.
Do I need qualifications to dive?
Other than being reasonably physically fit, you don’t have to be an expert diver to cage dive with us at our Isla Guadalupe white shark dive site. Divers joining us in the Bahamas do need to be certified divers. For non divers joining us this season at Guadalupe, you will be required to attend a one-hour onboard cage diving presentation. Comfort in the water is a must. We strongly suggest that non divers take an “intro to diving” class at your local dive shop prior to joining us at our white shark dive site.
Do you have Bio-Sphere permits?
Shark Diver operates under Mexican operations permits issued to the MV Horizon by CONANP and other agencies. We have done so since the permit system was introduced to Isla Guadalupe in 2008. There are no such things as “exclusive permits” at Isla Guadalupe. The Mexican white shark permit system is fair and even, each vessel, each operator, has to operate within the established park guidelines. If you become aware of any operator who makes claims to “exclusive permits” be wary of that claim as they are false, and the operator is hiding something from the divers.
Do the sharks ever attack the cage?
As a general rule no, they do not. We do not entice sharks into cages nor do we seek hard shark interactions. As some operations have unfortunately discovered sharks can be unforgiving if you do not adhere to strict shark diving protocols. We do, and it’s our foremost consideration when you dive with us. Expect very close passes within 12 inches at times. We run a cage free operation in the Bahamas but do have film and television cage systems for rent if needed.
How big are the white sharks and tigers?
Isla Guadalupe Great Whites are primarily transitional sub adults, 12 – 16 feet in length are are sleek, fast, and beautiful. We also encounter makos on very rare and very special occasions. Later in the season we encounter much larger sharks upwards to 18 feet. We call this “The Time of the Titans.” Late season sharks also come with a better chance of poor weather on site so you need to take that into consideration when making your shark diving choice with us. In 2016 our primary focus will be on peak season dates from August-September and early October to maximize your chances of quality interactions with these animals.
Tigers in the Bahamas run from 10-15 feet in length and are primarily female. They can be shy at times but we work with them over a period of days at Tiger Beach until they, and our divers, reach a good comfort level.
Is cage diving always possible?
At Tiger Beach Bahamas we run a cage free operation for our divers. At Isla Guadalupe on occasion adverse weather may prevent safe cage diving operations. Our experienced dive operations managers will make the decision when he or she feels that your dive safety may be at risk. We may move to a better location or even cancel the weeks trip. Safety is always our first priority. We will never “push the envelope” at any shark site when it comes to your safety or your loved ones safety. In the many years we have been at Isla Guadalupe we have canceled only one expedition due to late season storms. To protect against any unforeseen circumstances or acts of God, we highly recommend the purchase of trip insurance.
How far in advance do I have to book?
We suggest that you book your expedition with us as soon as possible to guarantee yourself a spot on any of our fleet boats for limited expeditions to our incredible and pristine shark diving sites. Worldwide attention has grown for Isla Guadalupe and Tiger Beach over the past decade, and we are experiencing record interest again this year!
Sharkdiver.com Shark Guarantee?
Yes. After almost a decade of shark diving operations we offer the industries only shark diving guarantee. Shark Diver only runs shark operations during peak seasons, we know when and at what times the sharks are on site and have the benefit of the world’s most productive and pristine shark sites to operate in. We will never offer a shark expedition to you without a full and complete guarantee that you will see sharks. Our guarantee is backed up by a return expedition with a two year window. Many shark diving operations will not offer anything to their divers if they fail to deliver sharks. We choose to back our sites up with a “no loss shark diving policy.” After all this is your vacation, and your money, we’re in the business of delivering sharks. Join us!
We highly recommend you purchase trip insurance to protect yourself against any unforeseen circumstances or acts of God, as the shark guarantee does not apply to weather or any act of God.