Shark cage diving with Great White sharks is one thing, but experiencing an open water dive with two of the most beautiful shark species is special all on its own. There is something thrilling about being in the open water and being able to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. If you’re having trouble deciding on whether to do this or not on your next visit to Cape Town, then here are a few reasons why you should definitely take the plunge. Before that though, here’s a little bit more about the two stars of the show.
Striking in appearance, the blue shark is said to be a more lethargic species compared to that of the Great White. It is characterised by its countershading (white underside, indigo-blue top and bright blue sides) and it’s no wonder that it is considered to be one of the most stunning shark species in the ocean. Blue sharks generally have long, slender bodies and survive on mainly a variety of fish and squid. They tend to display a curiosity around divers but can be known to nip and bite when they get excitable.
Other names: Great Blue shark, Blue Whaler
Essentially a large mackerel shark, the mako shark is often mistaken for the Great White. It usually has a metallic blue top with large eyes, long gill slits, needle-like teeth, a conical snout and sickle-shaped tail. The sleek, torpedo shape of the Mako shark enables it to swim very quickly (up to 35km/h) and leap out of the water by up to 20ft, making it arguably the fastest fish in the ocean. It makes its meals from fish, turtles, birds and other sharks.
Other names: Blue Pointer
So why go blue and mako shark diving?
Nothing Beats being in the open water
Because this is not a shark cage dive, divers get to be out in the deep blue sea. There is definitely a sense of freedom and a different level of excitement that comes with open water diving. Blue and Mako sharks tend to live in deep waters far from the shore, but the bait drum used during the dive will ensure that they come to you in droves.
Visibility is top-notch
During this dive it’s best to dive at depths between 5 and 10 metres as not only will your air last longer, but the light will be good too. The water in which Mako and blue sharks are found are generally clear, making it easy to spot these beautiful sharks. Their bright colours also appear even more brilliant with such excellent visibility. Lastly, the clear water means that the filming and photographic opportunities available are second to none, so be sure to bring your underwater camera with you.
See other marine life
Yes, whilst you’ve come to see mainly the Blue and Mako sharks, it wouldn’t hurt if you got to see some other amazing marine creatures. The potential to see dolphins, whales, turtles and Orcas is great, and your experience will only be richer if you end up seeing more than you bargained for.
Safety is top priority
The thought of swimming with sharks in open water can be rather scary, but you can relax and enjoy this adventure, knowing that an experienced and professional dive master and crew will be with you every step of the way. Blue sharks are generally calm and relaxed, yet they can also be rather daring by getting very close to you, and their curiosity may even lead to a test bite. The sharks are generally small enough to push away at the nose but just to be sure, the divers who form the crew are constantly keeping an eye on the movements and behaviour of the sharks, and they will intercept if need be. Blue sharks in particular are drawn to bright colours, so it’s advisable that you wear as much black underwater gear as possible. Wearing a hoodie, booties and gloves are also a must since underwater, your skin will look luminous and possibly attract the sharks to you. Covering your skin and avoiding brightly coloured flippers are a must.
Diving with Blue and Mako sharks will be an experience unlike any other and one that shouldn’t be passed up by any diver. Book your Blue and Mako Shark Diving Trip with Shark Bookings today for an underwater adventure of a lifetime. You won’t regret it for a second.
Image credit: All images courtesy of Dave Caravias – www.sharkbookings.com