MEETING UP WITH GREAT WHITE SHARKS ON M/Y CASSIOPEIA!

Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Guadalupe is a volcanic island in Mexico, about 240km west of the Baja California Peninsula. The island’s population is just over 200, and that includes fishermen, some farmers and navy personnel. One of the most prevalent animals of the island are seals. Their population counts over 10,000 individually registered animals. The island’s elephant seals attract hungry great white sharks like magnet, and in return, these predators become the main attraction for brave divers who travel here to observe these magnificent creatures in crystal clear waters.

Guadalupe is not your average diving site. You will not see colourful corals or huge schools of fish here, and you will not be able to take macro shots of the marine life either. You will not even need fins. Guadalupe is about diving with great white sharks – in cages.

Huge great white shark population

There are 242! individual great white shark specimens that had been identified in the bay where divers are lowered into the ocean from the boat in cages. This is one of the best sites in the world to encounter these fantastic predators, from the safety of cages. There are only a handful of sites on Earth where you can see great whites in such huge numbers and Guadalupe is one of them. Cage diving at this island could not be any better. The pristine waters promise visibility of up to 40m or more!

Diving in cages

This explains why divers who love sharks travel to this site, for example to photograph great whites from up close. You do not even have to be a diver to live through this unforgettable experience. Non-divers will be lowered into the water inside the cages just to below the surface, breathing through hookah diving hoses with surface air supply, while divers will descend to 12m deep and marvel at the empire of the great white shark.

Why is the great white shark so special?

It is one of the largest predators in the world. It grows to an average length of 4.6m but 6m-long specimens are not rare either. They are capable of swimming at speeds of up to 60km/h. The 300 sharp, triangular teeth grow in 7 rows in the animals’ jaws. They spend most of their time close to the water surface, and close to their prey which are lion seals, fur seals, whales, and other species of sharks. They are known to be loners and always on the move. At times they will peek out of the water with their heads above the surface to check out their surroundings, a rare behaviour that is representative of very few shark species. They are capable of leaping out of the water partially or even with their entire body as they cruise under the water at great speeds. This behaviour can be best observed when they are on the hunt for fur seals.

Your boat: M/Y Cassiopeia

Great white shark season at Guadalupe Island: August – November

Location: Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Program

(Exact timetable will be sent to passengers.)

Arrival day: arrival in hotels
Day 1: pick-up from hotels at 08:00 and 09:00, transfer to the boat, embarkation, sailing out at 13:00
Day 2: first dive at 08:00
Day 3: diving
Day 4: diving
Departure day: arrival in Ensenada at 11:00, disembarkation at 13:00

Diving

The number of dives per day is not limited but divers must take turns to give everyone equal water dive. Water temperatures may be a bit cool, around 17-22C (63-72F), and it is a good idea to take breaks between dives to warm up. All dives are performed in groups of 3-4. The vessel is equipped with 4 diving cages. The length of dives is usually about 30-40 minutes. Hookah air supply (surface-supplied air) is used for the dives. There are no night dives on this itinerary. Usually the cages are immersed in the water to a maximum diving depth at around 12m (39feet) or divers may stay in the cage at the surface. Waters are crystal clear and visibility is excellent, more than 40m (131 feet). Currents are not very prevalent but may occur. Snorkelling is not allowed on this itinerary. Passengers will be briefed by the guides before each dive.

Tour price: USD 3,300 / person

The price includes:

  • Full-board accommodations onboard in double cabins
  • All meals, snacks, drinks (beer and wine in limited quantities)
  • Transfers between boat and Holiday Inn Express in San Diego, CA and Hotel Palacio Azteca  in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Cage diving
  • Dive guide services
  • Bed linens and towel use, beach towel use

 

The price does not include:

  • Flight tickets
  • Transfers between airports and boat
  • Visa
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Single-cabin surcharge: 75% of the price
  • Non-diver discount: 30% off the price
  • Children’s rate: 70% of the price
  • Marine park and port fees: $78/person (payable on site in cash)
  • Equipment rental: $60/wet suit
  • Satellite phone use: $3.50/minute
  • Gratuities for crew and dive guides ($250/person recommended)
  • Personal expenses
  • Touristic programs
  • Diving and travel insurance
  • All other expenses not mentioned above

 

For further details, contact us at info@cassiopeiasafari.com !

 

 

The Ultimate Diving Packing List

Taking a diving liveboard trip?

What if you forget something?  No worries.  Just tick and pack, and you are done! 

  • Check the passport/visa requirements for your destination. Does your passport need to be valid 3-6 months following your departure date or have a certain number of blank pages? Do you need a visa? 
  • Check outbound/inbound airline and airport requirements. Determine how long you need to arrive before your flight. 
  • Baggage allowance, the weight and size of your diving equipment and bag are important factors to consider.
  • Make sure you have travel and dive insurance. Determine where the nearest hyperbaric chamber is.
  • Make photocopies of all your travel documents in case of emergency.
  • Read up on the location’s culture and etiquette (Do you need to tip? )  Do you need to dress conservatively (Sudan)?
  • Set automatic out-of-office-replay in your mail system.
  • Make sure you have plenty of room on your camera’s memory card.
  • Leave an extra house key with a family member or friend.
  • When you travel you shouldn’t forget anything important back home (personal medicines, special food if it is needed).
  • Use our ultimate scuba trip checklist to prepare for your next scuba trip.

 

SUDAN IS A DIVERS’ MECCA WHERE WE ARE GREETED BY THE PAST AND THE PRESENT AT ONCE

THE PAST TELLS STORIES OF OLD TIMES, EXPERIMENTS AND WARS

 

Sanganeb boasts the tallest lighthouse in the Red Sea. The 50m-tall tower was built by the British between 1958 and 1964. A mere 268 steps lead all the way up to the look-out where a 360° view awaits us onto the marvelous Red Sea, as far as the eye can see.

 

The Umbria is one of the most famous wrecks in the world. She is easy to dive and she is in an exceptionally well preserved wreck with a length of 150m. She lies in calm waters, void of currents, and protected by the Wingate Reef not far from the harbour of Port Sudan.

 

Her demise was not caused by surging seas but rather was the result of war-time conspiracy, that is, she sank at the hands of her own captain. The Umbria does not lie deep at all, since her deepest point is only at 36m, and the tops of some of its davits even peek out of the water. The parts of the wreck lying at a higher depth can even be dived without scuba equipment. Thanks to plenty of light getting through and to excellent visibility, the virtually intact hull that is overgrown by colourful corals and crustaceans, can be accessed on the inside and on the outside in her entire length.

 About 18 tons of ammunition and explosives still lie in her cargo holdings along with half a million of Maria Teresa coins. One compartment in the bow still holds aerial bombs, airplane tires, storage jars wrapped in straw, rolls of electric cables, and not-yet opened wooden boxes. The bags of cement in the third holding block have now solidified and turned into cement blocks. And right above them are the very much recognizable remnants of three Fiat 100cc Lunga motorcars.

Originally the boat was on her way to Eritrea with her cargo but she happened to set anchor in Sudan when Italy proclaimed war on the country. The Sudanese occupied the boat but then news came that she was sinking.

If you would like to dive the wreck, you can still join us this spring.

 The Precontinent II (Conshell II) is an underwater station at the Reef of Shaab Rumi. To this day it is a favourite dive spot.

Can man live underwater for an extended period of time? The filming of this attempt took place in 1964 at Shaab Rumi when the movie World without Sun was shot. The film was awarded the Oscar for best documentary.

Of the science station, built in the 1960s, only the cone shell and the scooter garage remain at the dive spot. All other elements had been removed from the sea.

 

In March of 2015, Cousteau’s grandson, Fabien and his colleagues came to Sudan to spend a week with us onboard Andromeda, and to dive the same sites that Cousteau did some 50 years earlier.

 AND THE PRESENT…

 … is a wonderful ecosystem, wrecks alive with abundant marine life, and coral reefs that today are part of the world’s most species-rich living systems. Its waters are teeming with hammerhead and reef sharks, dolphins, turtles, barracuda and jackfish, just to name a few!

 

Our weeks with availability:

19/03/2018 – 26/03/2018, North tour

30/04/2018 – 07/05/2018, Best of Sudan (Ultimate) tour

07/05/2018 – 14/05/2018, Deep South tour

 

Air temperatures: 30-35-40C

Water temperatures: 28-29-30C

Visibility: 20-40m

Travel: home – Cairo or Dubai – Port Sudan

 

For our special offers, contact us by e-mail: info@cassiopeiasafari.com !

 

Scuba Diving in the Red Sea – Sudan 2018

Sudan is a top pick amongst scuba diving travellers in 2018 – Spring season (68% reserved).
Some dates you just missed. Our last cabins sold out a few days ago.
And still some dates are very popular – we will run out of cabins soon.
Do you need help deciding which dates to book?

 

Dates Arriv-Dep Email us Special notes
19/02/2018 – 26/02 Mon – Mon Send Me Details!
26/02/2018 – 05/03 Mon – Mon Send Me Details! *OPENING SPECIALS*
05/03/2018 – 12/03 Mon – Mon Send Me Details! *OPENING SPECIALS*
12/03/2018 – 19/03 Mon – Mon Send Me Details! *OPENING SPECIALS*
19/03/2018 – 26/03 Mon – Mon Send Me Details!
26/03/2018 – 02/04 Mon-Mon SOLD OUT
02/04/2018 – 13/04 Mon – Fri SOLD OUT
13/04/2018 – 23/04 Fri – Mon Send Me Details! IN HIGH DEMAND, ONLY FEW CABINS LEFT
13/04/2018 – 27/04 Fri – Fri Send Me Details! IN HIGH DEMAND, ONLY FEW CABINS LEFT
27/04/2018 – 04/05 Fri – Fri SOLD OUT
04/05/2018 – 11/05 Fri – Fri Send Me Details!
11/05/2018 – 18/05 Fri – Fri Send Me Details!
18/05/2018 – 25/05 Fri – Fri Send Me Details!

 

What information would help you make your decision?  
Email us!

Photo: Daniel Selmeczi