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Old 04-07-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Carolina
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Talking Shark Diving in California

Hi all!I recently returned home from the most amazing trip of my life, and I wanted to share it with my fellow travelers. I am an accountant for a large corporation in Petersburg, North Carolina and I just received my open water certification in SCUBA diving. Naturally, I wanted to try out my newfound passion so I embarked on an arduous task to find the perfect vacationing spot. My husband is not into the whole underwater deal, so he prefers to snorkel. The difficult part was finding something in my budget that we could both enjoy. I thought of Hawaii, but decided against it since EVERYONE wants to go there. I wanted something a bit less crowded. After much researching and quarrelling with my husband we came across a company based out of California called Great White Adventures. Now, this obviously caught our immediate attention for it was a dive boat operation run by a company with a name that entailed Great Whites! We visited there website and found that it was a shark diving company that operated out of both California and Mexico. GWA (Great White Adventures) had this to offer: A one day trip out of the San Francisco bay to a group of islands just off the California coast called the Farralones. Once at the islands we would attempt to attract the ferocious animal known as the Great White shark! We would have the chance to dive in a cage that floated on the surface of the water and attached to the back of the boat. The cage fit four people comfortably, and was designed with our safety in mind. The greatest part of all this was that you did NOT have to be SCUBA certified! So my husband would be able to join. He however decided to opt out because he has a tremendous fear of our shark friends. GWA was still able to accommodate us by offering a topside observer spot for my husband. (What a scaredy cat! =P) All this sounded like an amazing deal so we booked our trip and plane tickets right away! We decided to make this a week long trip so we could sight see and do Some shopping as well, but our main excitement came from the idea of seeing such a majestic creature up close and personal! We arrived in SFO on October 6th, 2007 to a beautiful day in California. We caught a cab to our hotel, which was the Double Tree hotel in Berkeley, suggested by GWA. It was the perfect location with access to all of the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the dock where we would be meeting the boat. Early the next morning we met at the dock and departed on the Superfish headed for the FarraloneIslands! The trip out was a bit rocky, but once we reached the islands things soothed out. The crew had briefed us on their procedures as we made or way out so there was nothing else left to do but to prepare for the greatest encounter of my life! I slipped my suit on and stood by while the crew put weights on me and prepped the cage. I was one of the first to jump into the icy water and I found it hard to catch my breath at first. We were given regulators that were hooked to a surface supplied air source, and then it was to the bottom of the cage! Now, I am used to my wonderfully warm East coast water, but here in the Pacific I had to adjust to the chilly and dark waters. Myself and three others stood at the bottom of the cage for what seemed like hours, but was in fact a mere 15 minutes before we saw something in the darkness. We could hear some commotion coming from the topside, and what sounded like SHARK! The next thing I know I am face to face with what I later found out was a 16ft White Shark! At the time it seemed to be 30 ft long and as wide as a truck! The feelings you experience when face to face with the ultimate predator can only be described as unparalleled; phenomenal! We rotated out of the cage with the other divers, and our day continued to be as rewarding as our first citing. In all I believe we saw 3 different sharks for a span of about 4 hours. My husband was as in much awe as I just from looking topside. We finished the day with some wine and beer as we headed back to San Francisco. I can now say I have completed one of my “things to do before I die” items. We completed our trip to California by visiting Fort Point and Alcatraz. Did a little shopping in the city of San Francisco, and even made it across the Golden GateBridge! The best trip of my life! I think next I want to travel down the Amazon! Well, thanks for letting me share! If you are interested in sharing this experience, I will be enclosing the website where I found it all! I absolutely encourage you trying new and exciting things, and this was sure one way of doing that!Best wishes,Trish M.Here are the websites for Great White Adventures:Great White Shark Cage Diving :: Great White Adventures :: Shark Diving in the US & MexicoI hope you all find it as helpful and fun as I did! =)
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Carolina
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I'm not sure why the link turned out like that... it is just supposed to say greatwhiteadventures .com but it leads to the same place I suppose! =P hope you guys get a chance to experience this! It really was fantastic!

-Trishy
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