Sunday, May 19, 2013

Best Shark Dive in the world?

Valerie Taylor called Beqa Adventure Divers'  "Shark Dive",  "The best shark dive in the world!". That is high praise from one of the most respected shark divers in the industry and given the fact that we at Shark Diver pride ourselves in offering our divers the best shark diving experience possible, I just had to go and check it out for myself.

After a 10.5 hr. flight on Air Pacific, I arrived in Nadi, Fiji at 5am, where a Taxi that the dive shop arranged, was waiting to take me to Pacific Harbour, a 2.5 hr. drive away. So right away I was impressed with their service and couldn't wait to find out, how their dives would stack up to my high expectations.

The pearl resort
But before I would get to dive, I had to check into the Pearl South Pacific Resort, to get some much needed rest. After a good night sleep and a nice breakfast from an awesome breakfast buffet at the resort, I was ready to go dive.

Bull shark stopping in front of me
The free shuttle from the dive shop picked me up at the front desk and drove me over to Beqa Adventure Divers, where I boarded the "MV Predator", a modern, very comfortable and fast hydrofoil dive boat, that took us out to the dive site in about 15 minutes. The water conditions were a little rough and I was worried that some passengers would get seasick, but the boat handled the choppy seas amazingly well and we barely felt the motion of the ocean and nobody got sick.

After a detailed and informative briefing, we suited up to do our first shark dive. Even though I've been diving with anything from Great White-, Hammerhead-, Tiger- to Leopard-sharks for the last 15 years, I felt like a kid in a candy store and was all excited to finally meet the Bull sharks of Beqa.

Bull Shark coming close.
We descended to 100ft. where the Bull sharks were waiting for us. Did I say Bull sharks? ..... I meant to say a ton of Bull sharks. There were way too many sharks to count. My best guess would be that we saw at least 70 sharks. I took a picture that shows 34 sharks in one frame, and it is not showing all the sharks that were beside and behind me. I was grinning from ear to ear. When a big, 10-12 ft female came right up to me and pretty much stopped right in front of my lens, I was thinking that Valerie Taylor may not have been exaggerating. This dive was awesome!

The best safety stop in the world!
We ascended to a shallower depth, where the divemaster was feeding the reef sharks, before we ascended to about 15 ft for our safety stop. Now for all of you who think a safety stop is boring, you haven't been doing the "Shark Dive" with Beqa Adventure Divers. This safety stop featured a divemaster feeding the White- and Black-Tip reef sharks, with Grey reef sharks circling behind us. We had dozens of sharks swimming around us, trying to get to the tasty morsels being handed out by the divemaster. This is easily the "Best safety stop in the world!"

I surfaced and just couldn't wipe that smile off my face. This was unbelievable! It wasn't over yet, there was still the second dive. After a nice surface interval, where "Papa" the divemaster told us a bit about Fijian history, we descended to 60 feet for our second dive.

Divemaster feeding Bull shark
This dive featured the divemaster hand feeding the Bull sharks right in front of the divers. The set-up is awesome. The divers lay on their stomachs, behind a ridge in the reef and the divemaster is right in front of them, just a little below, feeding the sharks. The sharks come up to the DM, get a tuna head and then swim up and right in front of the divers, making for great pictures and an incredible, safe and close encounter with those magnificent Bull sharks. After the hand feeding, the DM drops tuna heads down to the sharks and they show off their feeding behavior to the lucky divers, watching them.

What an experience! I have to say that I'm definitely partial to "my" Great White Sharks at Isla Guadalupe and get more excited every year to go back and visit them, but this dive is definitely not to be missed. Shark Diver is proud to announce that we will start offering trips to Beqa next year.

I hope you all will come and join us!

Cheers,

Martin Graf
CEO
Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at sharkcrew@gmail.com.

No comments: