Shark Week 2018 is just around the corner (starting July 22) and is likely to include more than 19 hours of shark-filled shows. The social media hype is already underway and Shark Week fans are being asked if they’re on Team Shark or Team Orca as they prepare for Air Jaws vs. Orca (working title).
This show follows the news that five great white sharks washed up dead on South African beaches in 2017 and were confirmed as eaten alive. Shark Week fans can watch shark biologist Alison Towner and conservationist Chris Fallows as they investigate if two well-known orcas Port and Starboard have been hunting great white sharks.
For those who want to take Shark Week one step further, why not get in the water with great white sharks and orcas to experience the world of these two iconic apex predators first hand.
Where Can I Cage Dive with Great White Sharks?
The premier great white shark diving destination is Guadalupe Island and it is visited regularly by Shark Week film crews. This volcanic island is a biosphere reserve and there is minimal chumming allowed, ensuring the natural behaviors and environment of the sharks are preserved.
There are two great reasons that Guadalupe liveaboard diving is so sought after; the water is warmer and also clearer than at other great white shark diving destinations. The water temperature during shark season is 19 to 22 °C (66 to 71 °F) and the visibility ranges from 42 to 50 meters (137 to 164 feet). Such great conditions make it easy to spend plenty of time in the water without getting cold and offer the best chance to see the sharks clearly from afar.
This destination is perfect for underwater shark photography and divers can spend hours in the water; at depth or at the surface depending on their experience level and preference.
Who Can Cage Dive with Great White Sharks?
One of the advantages of cage diving is that it is suitable for divers and non-divers alike. It offers the opportunity to experience shark diving without needing to be a strong swimmer or qualified diver, making it a great experience for all.
When Can I Cage Dive with Great White Sharks?
The best time to visit Guadalupe Island depends on which sharks you want to dive with. There are thought to be over 240 great white sharks at the island and different sharks visit at different times of year. The energetic male sharks visit during July and August each year, whereas the huge females that Guadalupe is famous for arrive in October and November.
There are a variety of liveaboards that offer cage diving safaris to Guadalupe from July to November each year. There are options for all budgets and the safaris typically last 5 nights, departing from San Diego.
Where Can I Dive with Orcas?
Orcas are found throughout the year off the coast of northern Norway and peak in numbers when Norwegian spring spawning herring over-winter in the coastal waters. Orcas gather to feed on the herring and use specialized feeding techniques to herd the herring into tight bait balls at the surface before immobilizing them with underwater tail slaps.
People who want to get in the water with orcas and watch their fascinating behaviors can join an orca freediving safari at Tromsø, Norway. The M/S Sula liveaboard offers Arctic liveaboard safaris to swim with orcas and is a former fishing vessel turned liveaboard expedition ship. The safaris offer the chance to freedive with up to 60 orcas a day, plus the opportunity to watch the colorful northern lights at night.
Whilst the safaris are focused on swimming with orcas, there is also the possibility of freediving with a number of other species; including humpback, sei, minke, fin and pilot whales. There are also local scuba diving opportunities available for experienced dry suit and cold water divers.
Who Can Dive with Orcas?
Divers and non-divers alike can spend time in the water with orcas and prior freediving experience is not required. Those wishing to get in the water need to be strong swimmers, plus comfortable with cold water temperatures hovering just a few degrees above 0 °C (32 °F). Dry suits are provided to prevent guests from getting overly cold in the water.
When Can I Dive with Orcas?
Freediving with orcas is possible during October to January in Norway each year. Both 3 and 6-night orca liveaboard safaris are available.
This article was written by divers and writers at LiveAboard.com.