## must be open water certified ##
So, should you do it? Well, heck yeah. Is it a ripoff? Yes. Should you get the video? Probably.
It's a $100 dive, and $40-50 for the video. This is one of those "once in a lifetime" stories. You'll never look back at the end of your life and say "man, I wish I hadn't spent $150 on that shark dive - I could have eaten at Chili's 4 times with that money!".
If you can, just spend the money. Do the dive, get the memories, and write mean reviews in hope they change their approach or another operator starts offering shark dives as well :)
If you want to know the full process of the dive, skip beyond the --- below. That said, be aware and ready.
1. It's not really a dive.
Come on. You hold to a rope, you go down 25 feet, and sit or stand at the bottom. You watch the sharks, for 10 minutes, he pops up the bait, and you swim for 10 minutes in a tiny area, and you go up. I was expecting an actual dive, but no. I felt like I was at a wet version of the Baltimore acquarium.
2. boat broke down, stranded for 90 minutes.
We came on a boat with no top. Fine, it's a short ride. However, the motor wouldn't start back up. Their backup didn't work. They said 10 minutes. They played with it for 40 minutes before calling another boat, arguing they'd just get it to work. 10 minutes, they said. No water, nothing. Took another 30 minutes for a boat to come in. We had to switch all our equipment from one boat to the other, jump over, and go back. We were all heavily sunburned. Blister type burns.
3. No freakin- apology.
We were sunburned, and upset. We had 2 people on the boat get sick, one getting close. When we made it back, they showed us the video on the TV and quickly ran away. No apologies, nothing. After the video, they told us it's $50 unless 3 out of the 9 people buy it - at which case it drops to 40. We tried to negotiate, arguing that the least they could do would be to offer us a better price after they messed up so badly, but no. He started yelling at us telling us the price was what it was.
How it works:
1. The pre-boat process
It's in a podonc dive shop on the south shore. You walk to the back of a hotel, and there's a TV with a white board. You get setup, they show you a short video, off you go. Pretty simple.
2. On the boat
The boat ride is about 15-20min to the reef. Huge waves on the south side, which is why nobody normally dives there. You put on your gear, and do a backward dive.
3. Getting to the bottom
You then hold to a rope and pull yourself to the mooring line. It takes quite a bit of effort, given the current, and was definitely the hardest part of the dive. it's a very shallow dive, and the line takes you all the way to the bottom. Two rows are formed, first ones there stand, second ones kneel.
4. The sharks
The sharks arrive quickly, if they are not already there. The guide brings in a full bucket of bait, which the sharks have been conditioned to push around in hopes that it opens. The cameraman dives through the sharks, but you can't. After about 10-15min at the bottom, he pops up the top (slightly), and the sharks dive on the food. That's super entertaining.
5. The sharks leave.
Pretty simple. They leave, and you're allowed to dive around aimlessly for 5-10min. Quite pointless, other than a few folks who looked for shark teeth.
6. The way up
You go up the booth, following the mooring line and holding onto that same rope. The waves are strong, so again it does require a bit of effort. Nothing too crazy.
7. Normally, you just head back to port.
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