Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Shark diving company promises shark cage diving to be the experience of a lifetime!

Horizon Charters has launched a new shark diving website in response to unprecedented interest in cage diving at famed shark site Isla Guadalupe. It is the globally recognized destination for divers seeking National Geographic style encounters with Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Horizon Charters based in San Diego, California has been an integral part of the Isla Guadalupe shark story since the beginning.

“We have been running dive charters to this spectacular dive site for the past 13 years”, says Greg Grivetto owner of Horizon Charters. “It just took us a while to launch a shark related website and we’re pretty excited about It’s a complete shark diving resource.”For the past 5 years divers from all over the planet have been boarding either of the Grivettos two shark diving vessels the MV Horizon and MV Ocean Odyssey to encounter Great Whites in the spectacular underwater environment at Isla Guadalupe.

The site quickly earned the nickname White Shark Heaven by returning divers. “Our dive crews have had the most time on the water with these magnificent animals” says Grivetto, “and that translates into some pretty exciting encounters over the past few years”.Shark ResearchHorizon Charters along with the launch of is proud to announce its continued support with the ongoing shark research effort at the island.

“We have been very involved with the entire project” Grivetto acknowledged. The study in tandem with Mexico’s CICIMAR, U.C.Davis, PIER, Shark Diver and now Nautilus Explorer is a collaborative effort to understand what this unique shark population is doing from year to year at this site.“We would like to know if chumming has an effect on these animals and what they are feeding on while they are here, this is the kind if direct science that we are always supporting. Shark diving is just one aspect of what we do.

You have to give back to the resource in a real way”. Grivetto and the crews from Horizon Charters will continue ongoing operations at this remarkable dive site this fall. To discover your own shark diving adventure go to www.sharkadventure.comAbout Greg GrivettoGreg Grivetto's love for the sea was formed in his early years as he ventured out onto the Pacific with his parents onboard their first small charter fishing boat.

Having experienced the ocean and its inhabitants at such a young age he grew to love the liquid environment and vowed one day to share his knowledge and love for the ocean with others.In his 19 years as captain with Horizon Dive Charters, he has taken divers, whale watchers, bird watchers and sightseers the entire 750 miles of the Pacific coast of Baja and has spent innumerable days exploring California’s Channel Islands and offshore seamounts.

"My reason for working on and in the ocean for as many years as I have is very simple to understand for those of us that have been fortunate enough to spend any amount of time at sea. I encourage everyone with a sense of adventure to experience the ocean and embrace the wonder of all it has to offer."

Shark diving company reveals rewards for customers

The White Sharks are coming! Poised and ready for the start of another incredible season of White Shark diving this July, Shark Diving International in association with Great White Adventures says thank-you to customers with the launch of a new Customer Rewards program.“The relationship that we have with our customers is unique.

We bring them face-to-face with sharks. It's not like selling someone a pair of shoes. They (our customers) literally put their lives in our hands. It’s time that we let them know how much we appreciate them. This program is our way of saying thank-you.” Says Lawrence Groth, CEO, of Shark Diving International and Great White Adventures.

Customer Rewards program details include saving $200 on return bookings to either Guadalupe or The Farallon Islands during the 2006-2007 season and referrals earn one hundred dollars per booking, excludes topside Farallon bookings. All referral reservations must be confirmed, with deposits, by no later than August 1, 2006. Travel must be completed by end of season 2007.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

If you want the adventure of a lifetime, dive with great white sharks!

Poised and ready for the start of another incredible season of shark diving, Shark Diving International (SDI) in association with Great White Adventures (GWA) announces $200 return customer rewards and $100 referral customer rewards effective now. Some restrictions apply.

Book a return trip to either Guadalupe or The Farallon Islands after today, for any scheduled white shark trip during the 2006-2007 season and you will receive two hundred dollars off per trip, per return customer.

Refer a friend to SDI or GWA and receive one hundred dollars per booking, excludes topside Farallon bookings – cage encounters only. All referral reservations must be confirmed, with deposits, by no later than July 1, 2006. Travel must be completed by end of season 2007.

Remember, you do not need to be a certified diver but it is recommended.

“We are fortunate to have so many great customers who come back again and again. It’s time that we let them know how much we appreciate their business and their referrals. Shark diving doesn’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime-experience.” Says Lawrence Groth, CEO, of Shark Diving International and Great White Adventures.

Customers have a choice. Reward discounts are applicable to both Guadalupe and Farallon destinations, regardless of where a customer completed their previous trip.

“This is a great incentive for people who have experienced White Sharks in the Farallons to check out these animals in Guadalupe and save some money too.”

Program rewards cannot be combined or transferred and are limited to White Shark trip reservations to either Guadalupe or The Farallon Islands booked after today for the 2006 and 2007 seasons only. Referral reward deadline is August 1, 2006.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sharks are a part of life...near beaches.

BUFFALO City’s chief lifeguard, Duncan Boyd, has warned beach-goers to be on their guard after two large sharks – one “as big as a car” – were spotted in the surf off East London this week.
This comes as winter begins and millions of sardines travel up the coast with sharks, whales and dolphins in their wake.

Increased numbers of great white sharks were also reported by the NSRI off Plettenberg Bay within the last two weeks.

The first sighting off East London was on Wednesday at Eastern Beach when an experienced surfer saw “a shark as big as a car” in the same wave that he was about to surf.

It sent him dashing for dry land after he and the only other surfer there decided not to venture into the water as a result.

The next day a helicopter pilot flying over Nahoon River mouth spotted a shark in the sea, according to Boyd.

The pilot began circling in an attempt to warn surfers below him that a particularly large predator was in their midst.

“The pilot managed to signal the surfers and they got out of the water as soon as they realised something was wrong.”

Boyd, who is responsible for the bathing public’s safety, felt the beaches should have been closed immediately after the sightings and urged members of the public to report any sharks to the authorities as soon as possible.

“Someone could get bitten or even killed if big sharks are seen and not reported,” he said.
After the last fatal shark attack off East London – at Gonubie Point – in 1998, bathers and surfers were a lot more cautious and reported sightings, he said.

“But now it looks like people have forgotten how serious this is and I hope it will not take another wake-up call for them to realise this again.”

Buffalo City Municipality amenities manager Willie Maritz acknowledged that the period between May to July was “notorious for incidents” because of the sardine run.

But he said it would not be practical to close the beaches every time a shark was seen.

“Finding sharks when you go into the sea is like finding snakes when you go into a forest. You must expect that they will be there.

“Sharks are regularly sighted off our shore, but most are harmless ragged-toothed sharks.”
He said the beaches would only be closed if the authorities were “sure the shark is either a great white or another large predator that puts our bathers at risk”.

East London NSRI station manager Geoff McGregor confirmed that small shoals of sardines had been spotted.

“By the end of May the main schools should be passing by.”

In Cape Town, after the increasing number of shark attacks in recent years, shark spotters have been employed to survey the bathing and surfing waters.

Maritz said that East London has a totally different marine environment to Cape Town, which has huge seal colonies and many more great whites living in its waters.

Fourteen people have been attacked along the East London coast since 1990, according to Natal Sharks Board records.

Two attacks were fatal, one was serious and the rest were minor. Great white sharks (C.carcharias) were believed to be responsible for six of the attacks and Zambezi or bull sharks (C.taurus) for another five attacks.

Most of these attacks took place within seven to 200 metres off the shore.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

November brings great white sharks to Mexico

May 15, 2006 - November usually brings to mind visions of Thanksgiving, voting ballots and recovering from Halloween candy. However in the world of Great White sharks, November is their Spring Break. Isla Guadalupe, 210 miles off the coast of Mexico, has become the worldwide recognized dive destination for an unprecedented number of Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and exceptional opportunities for divers seeking encounters with these misunderstood denizens of the deep.
After four years of solid operations at the Isla Guadalupe dive site, the Shark Diver team, lead by dedicated shark specialists in conjunction with
U.C Davis and CICIMAR's research teams, have noted several unique seasonal shark patterns.
"Something exciting always happens in November," notes eco-adventurer and Shark Diver CEO Patric Douglas. "For the past several years we see many
juvenile and mid-sized animals from September through late October. But when the seasonal temperature shifts, the real giants appear!"
The giants in question are massive female Great White sharks that appear in large numbers later in the shark season. In early November when water temperatures dip several degrees lower, larger breeding-aged female Great White sharks stalk the waters at Isla Guadalupe looking for something the Shark Diver research team is trying to discover.
"We have data showing these sharks actively stalking the small Guadalupe Fur Seals (pups and adults) early in the shark season," says Douglas. "By November these pups are quite big and begin to play offshore, which is the equivalent of ringing the dinner bell for females who need to consume mass quantities of food to fuel up for the winter and for breeding season."
There are few places in the world that feature consistent sightings and interactions with Great White sharks as Isla Guadalupe. Douglas speculates that divers' best chance for seeing sharks as long as 18 feet (or more) is in November. As he and his team have discovered with past Great White shark diving off the coast of California in Ano Nuevo and off the Oregon coastline, sharks of that size don't just wander around aimlessly - they are destination animals, just like any migratory species.
To see Great White Sharks in action in November, call Shark Diver at 888.405.3268 or visit to book your trip today.
About Shark Diver
Since 2002, Shark Diver has introduced divers of all ages to extraordinary world of cage diving with Great White Sharks. In the last few years, Shark Diver has expanded to offer cage diving trips with Tiger Sharks in the Bahamas, Giant Squid encounters, Whales Sharks in Honduras, as well as deep-dive submarine trips to see Giant Sharks in Roatan. CEO Patric Douglas is a natural born eco-adventurer, who started his career in the U.S. Virgin Islands in hotel tourism, spent two years as a tour guide in Vietman, Bali, Hong Kong, Australia/New Zealand and Latin America, served as an outdoor reporter for CBS in San Francisco, and founded an outdoor adventure club called "Absolute Adventures" which continues to thrive in San Francisco today. For the past several years, Douglas has dedicated his life to providing educational and interactive experiences for clients through shark diving. In addition, Shark Diver is partially funding efforts to preserve.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Shark spotters observe closely a great white shark

John Yeld

"Sjoe, but it's like a Boeing!"

That was the reaction of shark-spotter Patrick "Rasta" Davids to his first close-up sight of a Great White shark - much, much closer than his normal view from his vantage point high on Boyes Drive.
And fellow spotter Monwabisi Sikweyiya was equally impressed, if not quite as vocal.

"It's beautiful, and it's so fat!" Sikweyiya remarked after the shark, estimated at about 3.7 metres and not particularly big for this species, had slid gracefully through the water around the boat they were in just off Seal Island in False Bay.

Davids and Sikweyiya are two of the shark-spotters employed in Cape Town's innovative programme designed to enhance bather safety at popular recreational beaches and prevent, or at least significantly reduce, the chances of another shark attack.

The programme acquired particular urgency following the fatal shark attack on Tyna Webb in Fish Hoek bay in November 2004. Spotters were first employed by two community-driven programmes: at Fish Hoek, set up through the Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club, and at Muizenberg, organised by surfer-businessman Greg Bertish and his friends and volunteers.

But it has since been formalised through the multi-membership Shark Working Group, and a shark spotting co-ordinator, Yvonne Kamp, has been employed through sponsorship by WWF-SA's Sanlam Marine Programme and the Table Mountain Fund.

Now the programme is being expanded to cover five more bathing sites along the False Bay coastline - Monwabisi, Sunrise, Mnandi, Strandfontein and Blue Waters - where spotters will be operational over the Christmas-New Year period.

From their vantage points high on the mountain, the shark spotters watch for Great Whites and notify officials on the beaches when they are seen in the vicinity of bathers and surfers.

Last year, Sikweyiya and Davids recorded 135 sightings of these massive sharks from their Boyes Drive vantage point.

But, until now, their views of these top marine predators have been restricted to what are no more than small dark shadows in the sea off Bailey's Cottage.

Partly to say "thank you" for their efforts to date and partly to improve their knowledge of the sharks that they spend long days watching, the Shark Working Group arranged a trip to Seal Island for Davids and Sikweyiya this week with Alison Kock, a PhD student at the University of Cape Town who has been researching the Great Whites of False Bay for the past couple of years.

Kock tagged 17 of these sharks in 2005, another 23 last year and five so far this year.

When these sharks are within range (about a kilometre) of any of the 33 monitors deployed around False Bay, from Cape Point to Pringle Bay, a range of data about the sharks is transferred and can later be recovered and downloaded.

Kock is due to reveal some of her research findings at a symposium at the end of this month.
Although Davids has been out in boats before and Sikweyiya has been in a rubber duck off Muizenberg, neither had been out in False Bay before their trip on Monday.

When the first of the seven sharks that investigated the tuna-head bait and chum slick eventually cruised up to Kock's boat, Davids was especially entranced.

Later, Kock told Kamp: "You've lost a shark-spotter and I've gained an assistant." On the quay back at Simon's Town, Davids agreed: "I don't want to spot, I want to research - that was the experience of a lifetime."

Sikweyiya said the trip had been "perfect, wonderful".

"They've come away with a new appreciation for sharks, definitely," said Kamp.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Reward for great white shark tracker

More evidence that great whites are patrolling Hawaii waters: experts in California say a tracking device they put on one of the creatures has come off near the Big Island.

Now they're offering a big reward for the person that finds it.

The satellite device was attached to a 13-foot great white and helped scientists track the shark's 2,500 mile journey.

They're asking everyone to keep an eye out for a cigar-shaped object with antennas. It could be floating or washed up on shore.

"It was set up to come off in October and it came off early," said Nicole Nasby-Lucas with the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research. "Apparently the shark traveled from Baja to the Big Island of Hawaii."

Find the device and you could be rewarded with $500. Contact information is on the satellite tracker.

Accidentally caught by fisherman, a large great white shark will be displayed!

Mote Marine Laboratory's famed shark-research center is getting larger with the addition of a 9-foot "great white shark."

Caught of California, the female white shark died when snared by fishermen accidentally. It was given to Mote and now will join two small, young white sharks that are on display to visitors.

Said Mote: "The white shark display will be part of an expanded shark exhibit designed to highlight Mote's extensive history of shark research, which dates back to the lab's creation in 1955."
Staff began this week to expand the center's exhibit to include the new white shark.

White sharks are commonly known as "great white sharks" and were featured in Peter Benchley's novel, "Jaws," and the movie by the same name.

Dr. Robert Hueter said white sharks are occasionally spotted in the Gulf of Mexico during the winter months, but "mostly in deeper waters, thank heavens."

The expanded white-shark exhibit is planned to teach the public the differences between facts and fictions of the white sharks.