Shark Feeding Dive & Shark Interactive Dive
Our Shark Feeding ("simulate carcass feeding") and Interactive Dive is conducted at the Christmas Tree (Xmas Tree) dive site in about 50' of water. This is a 2 tank dive with the first dive consisting of feeding the sharks with a "chumsicle" which is a frozen ball of chum that last for 20-25 minutes (in the winter months it can last up to 40 minutes). The second dive is an interactive dive, where the sharks will observe and swim around the divers. Most of the sharks you will observe are Caribbean Reed sharks or Black Tip sharks. This dive is offered to only experienced divers and requires a 45 minute lecture including photos and videos about shark behavior & shark interaction, before leaving the dock so that the divers will have seen what they will encounter while diving with the sharks and to ensure the divers are familiar with how to act in the presence of sharks . We require a minimum of 5 divers, with a max of ten (10) divers, to conduct the dive. The cost of the dive is $220/diver + 7.5% VAT for the 2 tank dive.
Procedure for Shark Feeding Dives
1. General Situation
The sharks are generally curious and will approach the divers once on or near the bottom in anticipation of a chumsicle feeding. Divers are lined up about 15-20’ from and up current from where the chumsicle will be located, and once everyone is in position the chumsicle is lowered to the bottom.
2. The Dive
Prior to the dive, during the discussion on shark behavior you will learn what position to maintain during the feeding, how far to stay from the chumsicle, what to do if you feel uncomfortable during the feeding, what to expect from the sharks during and after the feeding, what specific actions of the sharks indicate and what to do if a shark comes close. Once the divers are in position on the bottom the chumsicle anchor is lowered to the bottom in about 50’ of water with the chumsicle floating off the bottom. The chumsicle will last for 20-25 minutes, after the chumsicle is gone the sharks usually come closer to the divers and swim amongst the divers, which presents some great photo opportunities.
3. Do's and Don'ts
As is written in the PADI dive manual, do not touch or tease marine creatures as you may harm them or they may harm you. DO NOT attempt to touch or pet the sharks as this can trigger aggressive behavior. During the feeding maintain the feeding position with your arms crossed over your chest, once the feeding is over, using good buoyancy control swim with your arms across your chest and move slowly, especially when the sharks are nearby. Never waive your arms or swim at a rapid pace or exhibit panic type behavior, this will trigger aggressive behavior by the sharks.
For dive 2, we will be diving the Xmas Tree Pinnacle, the sharks will come and enjoy the dive with us, same rules apply as on dive one except you will be swimming or floating most of the time. Good buoyancy control is critical for these dives, slower you go the closer the sharks will come to the divers.