Thursday, October 2, 2008

My trip to Isla Guadalupe-Rolie Tippett

Editors Note: This was Rolie's first time meeting a great white shark. As we have been blogging about, the perception of sharks are always changed by sustainable shark tourism. What is often billed as an Adventure Tour becomes so much more at the end of safe encounters like these:

Rolies Shark Dive

The sea has always fascinated me, and I suppose like many others before me I wanted to see its many inhabitants in their natural state. I decided to experience what I hoped would be the ultimate adventure and signed up to dive with the great white sharks. I wasn't sure what to expect but I had a hunch it would be one of the biggest thrills of my life – I wasn't disappointed!

I called Shark Diver and joined the Horizon on a trip to Isla Guadalupe for one of the best adventures I've ever experienced. The captain and his crew were fantastic – they took care of everything for us. All we had to do was show up and enjoy it! I think they were as excited to watch all of us experience their world as we were to do it. I didn't set my expectations too high – I know we have no control over the sea and its inhabitants - but we weren't disappointed. We were in the cages for three days, and we saw sharks on every dive.

You can't imagine the thrill of seeing your first great white as it comes gliding by you. It looked so graceful and at the same time so powerful. When they came straight at you they almost looked like cartoon characters (with a nasty set of teeth!) but you couldn't help but respect their strength. Then they'd glide by the cage and watch you. There is nothing more eerie or more humbling than watching a great white look at you from top to bottom. The most amazing thing for me was to learn how very different each shark was; they all have unique personalities. I couldn't wait to get into the cage each time to see what was going to happen next. I have no illusions about their ability to crush me if they chose to do so, but these "scary beasts" were so amazing in their natural environment I couldn't help but fall in love with them.

I think all of us walked away from this trip with a huge respect for the great whites and their environment, and gratitude to the crew of the Horizon for making the trip what it was. I know this is only the first of many more shark experiences for me!

Hat Tip: Image Olivier Benamou

2 comments:

Sarah and Stephan said...

Hi Guys,

Rolie's trip sounds just like ours two years ago. We're trying to budget out another trip in 2009 with you, do you offer return diver discounts?

Shark Diver said...

Heeeeey,

Long time no hear from you two. of course we offer discounts, waddya, new?

Check in with us this week and let's get you back out there.