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“Dysfunction at its worst.” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Great White Adventures

Great White Adventures
Ranked #21 of 33 things to do in Alameda
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Attraction details
Owner description: Shark-diving experiences off the coasts of northern California and Mexico.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Dysfunction at its worst.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2011

Paid for the trip , filled out release forms and never heard back. All phone calls and emails were ignored for months until 2 days before departure when someone actually answered the phone and confirmed. Travelled to Bay area to discover via second-hand info the trip was cancelled due to inclement weather. After enquiring if the trip was really cancelled, they affirmed ten hours before departure but an employee tried to convince me they had no obligation to refund because they "had expenses too".Now it's up to DAN to see if insurance will cover any part of the expense. There is no evidence this operation at the Farallones will result in an underwater cage sighting if they even get you there. The worst customer service you can envision. Stay away.

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10 Thank Kelpster1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Go with your eyes wide open”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2011

We didn't see a definitive, Hollywood-style shark sighting either. But that doesn't mean the trip was a rip off. Having read the other reviews, I encourage people to have a bit of common sense (he says having just got out of a cage with Great Whites).

Location: It's fall, the Pacific Ocean, and two+ hours West past the Golden Gate Bridge. We had a gorgeous day and the water was still pretty rough. Large swells and a little boat. If you get seasick easily, this probably isn't the trip for you. 12 hours in total on the boat, and no way to stop the rockin'... take a Dramamine the night before and the morning of and you're golden.

But it is gorgeous out there. And the trip under the Golden Gate was superb.

Temps: The water was stupid cold (well, 54 F anyway). So rent a decent 7mm wetsuit. Prepare for the conditions, and be prepared be cold out of water too. Bring a hat and gloves.

Wildlife: It ain't Sea World. The big fish aren't fenced in, and you can't chum. This isn't a play station game where you can be instantly gratified, this is the open ocean and the greatest predator the world has even seen. So be prepared to see nothing, and bring a large dose of patience.

I didn't see a shark, and saw nothing worthy of taking a picture. But they did see a predation of a seal while we were in the cage (but at 50 yards off, to those of us in the cage it might as well as been 50 miles). I did see a hazy shadow off to my right that was larger than a seal and faster than a whale; but to be honest, it could have been Nessie for all I could see in the murk.

The last, most patient diver on the boat laid solo and flat on the bottom of the cage- he was rewarded with another shadow, but more conclusively a Great White.

All told, having seen the thousands seals and taking in all available info (shadows, previous sightings, known behavior, etc), I'd say there was a 75%+ chance of Great White Sharks being in the vicinity of our boat (within a hundred yards anyway) when we were in the water. No breaches, fins, teeth etc, but enough circumstantial evidence to know you likely weren't alone. It was freaky down there...

In a surreal turn of events, I attended a business conference the following day with a guy who recently went diving in Atlanta's aquarium. Sounded way cool. Whale sharks, hammerheads, amazing 'vis'. If you want to see wildlife, definitely the way to go.

My little swim in the Pacific was different in every way, and done for different reasons. It was done to scare the living day lights out of me, by doing something not many people can or will do, involving going somewhere few people can or will do, and tolerating conditions that few can or will tolerate. If that's what you're after, for whatever personal reason, this trip should fit the bill.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
10 Thank Rahsaanification
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Amazing even though I went alone”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2011

I went with GWA for the 5 day trip to Guadloupe Island. Amazing! I went solo as my husband doesn't dive. I was totally worried being a single female and worried about bunking with a stranger. I was totally at ease when they told me that I'd only be bunked with another female if there was one

The trip was fantasic, this was a childhood dream and it met every expectation!

The crew was amazing, the food was above my expectation and I met tons of great people!

The sharks...non stop! The crew bent over backwards to help. I was usually in the water for 2.5 hours! They saved me lunch

The 45foot underwater cage was the best...so thrilling

They had DVD's and we even made up a Jaws movie drinking game, I'm sure we were a little loud but nobody complained

I'm going back in 2012 so that might tell you its totally worth spending the money to do this trip vs. the day trips

LOVE IT thanks GWA

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank the_ridge_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Such a great trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2011

My husband and I took this trip yesterday. I just read the reviews and am totally confused. The crew was very professional, knowledgeable and fun! The food was pretty good especially the homemade chicken soup. We only paid to be top side observers, not cage divers. The crew have a good relationship with the island researchers and got a phone call from the lighthouse directing us to a shark attack. The crew released the anchor, instead of pulling it in because it was faster and headed over to the shark site. We watched the great white's head come up out of the water as it attacked and are the elephant seal. Another shark, about 17', made two passes by the boat. It was very exciting and my husband got some great pictures. Before these sightings we were still pretty pleased with the trip. When it seemed as though we wouldn't see a shark, the crew took us around the entire island. We saw a lot wildlife including a California grey whale. At the end they told us return guests get a $200 discount off the next trip! We will definitely be going back for only $175.
Thanks James, Mick and Tony!

Helpful?
5 Thank DebbeeT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Lies, Lies and Lies”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2010

Our family met Lawrence Groth at DEMA in 2009. He showed us a video of his Farallones experience featuring white sharks in blue water. The video was fake as are the claims of an "86% success rate" at this dive site. The video was taken at his other shark site in Mexico and used to dupe divers like us. A fact we came to uncover only later.

The trip was miserable. Bad weather, no sharks. What Lawrence will not tell you is the 160' rule. The new sanctuary law does not allow anyone within 160' feet of a shark for any reason!

Additionally we "discovered" a video on you tube of a white shark ripping his cages apart with two divers in them in Mexico. He also claims a "100% safety record" and is the" #1 Shark Diving Company in America".

We did not get a refund but they did offer us a trip to his Mexico site at a small discount, the site with the shark tearing up his cage. Beware and be warned. If you go to Shark Diving Internationals website or Great White Adventures DO NOT buy into the hype. We are out a lot of money for a trip that was falsely advertised.

Helpful?
15 Thank diversmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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