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Adrenaline junkies are always looking for their next fix. Jumping out of planes. Scaling mountains. Shotgunning four-packs of Red Bull just to feel alive.
Next to Megan Fox championing a wet t-shirt contest, we’d argue nothing rockets those adrenal glands into outer space and satisfies a craving faster than a face-to-teeth meet-and-greet with 5,000 pounds of raw Great White Shark. Matt Hooper, eat your heart out.
Cage diving with the eating machines has become an extreme-and rather commercialized, organized-experience of choice with thrill-seeking freaks. Dozens of shark diving outfitters across the globe will help you squeeze your nuts into a wetsuit, hop into a steel-mesh cage dangling off the side of the boat, and then make sure you don’t flatline when the great white school buses start wheeling into town.
If Money is No Object…
If you’re going big-and let’s face it, go big or go home-you gotta hit up Gansbaai on South Africa’s Western Cape. A two-hour drive from Cape Town, Gansbaai is dubbed the best place in the world to look great whites in the pearly whites. Carcharodon carcharias gets its dorsal on in “Shark Alley”, a channel of water six nautical miles off Gansbaai, between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock. Here, tens of thousands of Cape Fur Seals live, breed, and become a la carte lunch for blubber-happy sharks.
Before you take a seat in this underwater cafeteria, better make sure you pick a tour operator who won’t let you become the day’s featured special. We’d go with London-based travel outfit Black Tomato. For $4,000 per person, Black Tomato boasts a number of industry awards and has put together a pretty swank five-day cage diving meets cultural experience that includes accommodation at the five-star luxury 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, airfare from Heathrow International Airport, and a good mix of testing the shark-filled waters and exploring the crannies of the South African coastline. Check out the British Airways website to find direct flights from the United States to Heathrow. Or sit at home and watch TiVoed episodes of Lost while Black Tomato coordinates the flight for you. Either way, plan to add at least an extra G to the trip’s price tag. Hey, flying to the land of cricket ain’t cheap. The best time to take a stroll down Shark Alley is from April to November, when great whites are in peak feeding season. For more information, contact Black Tomato via e-mail at [email protected].
For the Frugal Adventure Seeker…
To support shark tourism and give your adrenaline an underwater orgasm at a lower price, opt for the states-based Cage Diver San Francisco. For $875 per person, you can pack in one single day of diving with great whites in a cage that Cage Diver San Francisco proudly boasts is the largest in the world-15 other divers coop-de-dooping with you.
Leaving the Tiburon Marina dock at 6am, Cage Diver will take you and your village of fellow divers 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco to the Farallon Islands in a luxury boat. By luxury, we mean there are two bars on-board to liquor up before your pee your wetsuit. Great whites feed on the generous supply of elephant seals in the area and with 8-10 hours spent at the dive location, Cage Diver says you’re almost assured to have an up close and personal meeting with the predator. High season here is September through November. Email Cage Diver San Francisco for more information.
Visit Expedia.com for reasonable rates on airfare to San Francisco and accommodation once there. You’ll want to fly to the San Francisco or Oakland airport and then arrange for a shuttle to drive you to Tiburon, CA-an hour’s worth of travel time from both Frisco and Oakland. For your night’s slumber, we give a thumbs up to the 3-star Water’s Edge Hotel, where you can comfortably stay for $199 a night and be within walking distance to the Tiburon Marina for your next day’s shark party.
This article was first published on DebonairMag.com on January 09, 2008 and was reproduced with permission.
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