Search Words: Great White Shark Diving Great White Cage Diving Guadalupe Island Isle of Guadalupe Mexico Great White Adventures Expedition Company Tour Operators Prison Beach Twin Canyon Discovery Bay Farallon Islands California Great White Shark Encounters Carcharodon carcharias Shark Anatomy and Physiology
Witnessing a very large White Shark attack consuming a 200 to 300 pound
Elephant Seal is an extremely dramatic event. These predatory acts are
bloody and violent. Though you may be observing this from the safety of the
vessel, you may need to consider this aspect of your adventure and decide if
this is an encounter you wish to experience. These events are purely natural
and occur as part of the everyday life of these incredible animals. These
types of events are truly unforgettable.
Expeditions to the Farallon Islands are approximately 12 hours in duration and include an early morning continental breakfast, hearty lunch, snacks and beverages, aboard the expedition vessel, Superfish. The Superfish is a very stable and comfortable dive platform. This expedition can accommodate up to 9 divers and 6 topside observers per trip, providing a personal atmosphere of instruction and information concerning White Sharks.
Farallon Islands Encounter
In late October of 2002, Eco-Photo Explorers completed a spectacular adventure with Great White Adventures to photograph Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Our expedition vessel at the time was the M/V Patriot which transported us to one of the most secluded locations on the California coast. Great White Adventures is now using another expedition vessel called the Superfish.
Our destination was the Farallon Islands (the Spanish word “farallon” means rocky promontory rising from the ocean), 30 miles (26 nautical miles) west of the Golden Gate Bridge. We used shark cages and surface supplied air to try and observe and photograph these magnificent animals. Impressive by any standard, the Great White Shark is the world's largest predatory fish. It ranges worldwide in temperate and subtropical seas, but is considered uncommon. They grow to an average size of 15 feet; the largest recorded specimen was 21 feet.
Hollywood may have given us the impression that great whites hunt humans, their diet really consists of seals, sea lions, dolphins, and fishes including other sharks. Attacks on humans are extremely rare, and probably cases of mistaken identity -- a human floating on a surfboard looks surprisingly like a sea lion or seal from below.
- For more information, read our field notes of this expedition.
Lawrence Groth, president of Great White Adventures states that their trip to the Farallon Islands in 2001 had a success rate better than 80%, encountering White Sharks on 23 of 28 trips to South East Farallon Island (SEFI). Expeditions to the Farallon Islands are approximately 13 hours in duration. We departed from Alameda, California at 6:00 AM, returning approximately 7:00 PM. Trips run September through November (peak shark season), Tuesday through Sunday. All trips are limited to nine divers maximum. Great White Adventures will provide one two diver shark cage that is designed for maximum safety, excellent viewing and photography. All diving will be surface supplied or Hookah only.
The nutrient-rich waters surrounding the Farallon islands (in the south central part of the sanctuary) as well off Bodega Head and Point Reyes is actually part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary which was established 1981 to protect and preserve the marine birds and mammals, their habitats, and other natural resources in these waters and to insure the continued availability of the area as a research and recreational resource. The sanctuary, a 1,255 square mile area (948 square nautical miles) is larger than the state of Rhode Island and is home to thousands of seals and sea lions and has the largest concentration of breeding seabirds in the continental U.S. For more information on the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, please link to Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association.
The Farallon Islands, it's simply Shark Diving Heaven!
- Reservation Information
- Physical Requirements
- What to Bring
- Hotel Information
- Underwater Photography & Videography
- The Vessel
- Expedition Company
- Shark Related Information
- Multimedia Program & Published Articles
The Fall season (September-November) generally provides the best weather for the Gulf of the Farallones region (peak shark season). However, weather is always a factor when operating a vessel on the ocean. Safety is the number one priority and adverse weather can effect your expedition schedule. The expedition company we work with always uses experienced and professional crews and have been conducting expeditions to the Farallones since 1998.
Reservations are required to reserve your spot on all expeditions. Please contact us by using our online form to see if your requested date is available. Since available dates can change without notice, please verify your trip selection before making any special arrangements, booking airfare or hotel accommodations.
- Schedule (1 Day Trip) - Departs from Emeryville, California at 6:00 AM, returning approximately 7:00 PM
- Dive trips run from September to November (7 days a week)
- DAN Diving Insurance is highly recommended for all divers
- Referrer - Eco-Photo Explorers
- Click to view Landing Map
- All prices subject to change
All Farallon expeditions are very educational and exciting for anyone who loves to be outdoors and on the ocean. During the trip you may encounter whales, porpoise and many other varieties of marine mammals and sea birds. To spend the day at South East Farallon island is an amazing experience that we wish more people could enjoy.
Weather & Water Conditions:
Water temperature averages 52° F to 56° F
Visibility averages 20'
Required Dive Equipment: (to be provided by you)
Mask, Wet Suit (7mm optimum), Hood, Boots, Gloves, Weight Belt (if not standard size), Spares
DO NOT Bring:
Fins, BC's, Tanks, Regulators, Weights (unless you do not fit a standard size), Spear guns
Sunscreen, Towel, Warm Jacket, Sunglasses, Hat
We recommend these hotels due to its convenient location. Please call the hotel directly for reservations and be sure to mention the expedition company's name: "Great White Adventures" or "Shark Diving International" to see if guests will receive a discounted or Corporate rate.
Hilton Garden Inn San
Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
1800 Powell St. Emeryville, CA 94608
Bus: 1.510.658.9300, Fax: 1.510.547.8166
Toll Free: 1.800.423.0908
Doubletree Hotel & Executive
Meeting Center at the
200 Marina Boulevard. Berkeley, CA 94710
Bus: 1.510.548.7920, Fax: 1.510.548.7944
Toll Free: 1.800.222.TREE
Airport Shuttle Servicee:
Shuttle Service offered by Bay Porter
1.877.467.1800 (Bay Area Toll Free)
1.415.467.1800 (Outside the Bay Area)
Optional Equipment: (not necessary)
Photographers are welcome and the crew will make every effort to accommodate your needs as well as provide fresh water for your cameras.
Keep you camera as streamlined as possible. This will make it easier to operate while inside the cage. All cameras are welcome and remember to charge your batteries!
Since these sharks are large and come close to the cage, a 15mm, 20mm or
35mm lens is suggested. Many find a 20mm optimal. Since the waters around
the Farallones can be hit-or-miss, we recommend you use strobes on the first
few dives. If you are blessed with good visibility you may want to leave the
strobes in your cabin, but it's your choice to bring it or leave it.
Try using (ISO 100) for your ISO sensitivity which is good for bright sunny skies and good visibility, but you may want to bump up your ISO sensitivity a notch or two (ISO 200-400) if the skies are cloudy or the water quality isn't up to par.
The Superfish is the only Great White Shark dive boat operating in US waters and is a compilation of commercial capability and industrial strength with creature comforts. Equipped with modern electronic navigation equipment to meet the demands of operating safely and effectively in the offshore environment, the Superfish has proven to be an excellent platform for both commercial and recreational activities. Customers will really appreciate the Superfish's size (54 ft), speed and maneuverability, while they enjoy her comfort and stability.
Cage Dives: All diving will be surface supplied or "Hookah" only. The cage can accommodate up to 4 divers at a time. Divers will rotate approximately every 30 minutes, alternating throughout the day. During the expedition, decoys are utilized to attract White Sharks to the surface and the cage. This method has proven very successful and is generally accepted for use inside a Marine Sanctuary.
Great White Adventures (GWA) is one of the best expedition groups you can travel with if you're planning to visit the Farallon Islands. GWA is an organization that promotes conservation and protection of the marine environment while providing adventurers with a rewarding and educational experience. Great White Adventures as well as Eco-Photo Explorers believe that education and enjoyment of our environment is the key to its protection. We all hope you will come away from your adventure with a new found respect and appreciation of the ocean and all of its inhabitants.
We have traveled with Great White Adventures on multiple trips and highly recommend their operation. Great White Adventures runs a sister company called "Shark Diving International (SDI)" because they are now providing shark diving trips that span the world. They have an unblemished safety record which is priority number one, an extremely professional and experienced crew, as well as having the best shark cages we have ever been in to date. You will not be disappointed.
White Adventures |
Make sure you include our Referrer Name: Eco-Photo Explorers on all correspondence to Great White Adventures (GWA) or Shark Diving International (SDI).
Multimedia Programs & Published Articles
Multimedia Program -
Inside the Cage: Shark Cage Diving in North
Join Eco-Photo Explorers as they venture inside the cage right here in North America to dive with Blue Sharks in California, Rhode Island and New York. This program will conclude with heart-stopping action from Mexico’s Isla de Guadalupe, home to some of the largest Great White Sharks in the world.
- Great White Shark Information | Guadalupe Photo Gallery
- Expedition Field Notes: 2005 | 2002
2005 Guadalupe White Shark Season Synopsis (pdf)
Courtesy: Great White Adventures/Shark Diving International
- The Shark Foundation has been committed to the protection and research of sharks since 1997 and sees itself as the sharks' lobby.
- The ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research is dedicated to shark and ray conservation through its scientific research and public education programs.
DAN Diving Insurance is
Please email all questions or comments with this site to Technical Support.