|Diving with Tiger Sharks and Diving with Great Hammerheads in the Bahamas.
Diving with Tiger Shark and Great Hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas
Liveaboard the charter vessel DOLPHIN DREAM.
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|Diving with up to six different
species, Tiger Sharks, Great Hammerhead Sharks, Lemon, Reef and Bull Sharks
Your safety is our primary concern but diving with sharks is potentially dangerous. You will be accepting all the responsibility for participating in the dive and should have emergency type insurance. Shark dives occur at depths from 20 to 60-feet, often there is a slight current running. Due to the nature of the activity, it is recommended that you are an experienced and certified at least Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent). Prior to any diving with sharks, you will get an safety briefing in regards to diving and basic shark behavior, and emergency procedures.
Mostly the Bahama Tiger Sharks seem to be very cautious and slow moving but Tiger Sharks can be dangerous and are known as one of the man-eaters. While they seem docile and timid, please don't ever forget what they are, a large predatory fish with a large mouth, sharp teeth and a small brain. They naturally feed on the surface on birds, carcasses and trash, in the shallow water they feed on turtles, rays and lobster.
Tiger sharks are readily available in the shallow waters of the Little Bahama Bank. Tiger sharks, an elusive and usually solitary species, are naturally nocturnal. They come inshore at night to feed, and retreat offshore during the day.
Tiger sharks are big sharks, 3 to 4 meters long. On average about three individuals show up on every dive but we have counted upwards of 10 on dive. Tiger sharks are interested in anything on the surface and on occasion come off the bottom swim up to the surface to investigate what's there. When diving with these sharks, unless you are close to the boat is best to limit your time on the surface. If you find yourself on the surface away from the boat it’s imperative that you always look down and around in case one of the Tigers comes up to investigate you. The Tigers will also come off the bottom and occasionally come up to investigate divers hanging on the safety stop down line. The Tiger sharks and the Great Hammerheads are the only sharks we actually feed. Most of the Tiger sharks we see are regulars and to certain extent they seem to understand the routine and recognize the bait crates.
Tiger sharks recognize where our eyes are at and they like to sneak up behind divers,. It's important for divers not let the Tiger sharks sneak up from behind out of their vision. As a diver you always need to be looking around for the Tiger sharks to come up from behind you. If they do come from behind you need to turn around and face them and make eye contact with them.
Tiger Sharks at Tiger Beach Bahamas.
Tiger Beach was discovered in the late '80's by Captain Scott Smith. The area was referred to him by salvage divers who had found at least two different wrecks. These old wrecks are both within a half mile of each other in 25 feet of water. There used to be cannons lying on the reef, but they are gone now. In certain spots you can still find cannon balls and lead shot.
This area has a shallow reef bar located a quarter mile from the deep water drop off. Lying inshore from the reef bar are more bars, some with sand that look like a beach. These bars are some of the shallowest bars around and make for a comfortable place to anchor at night. The reef bar makes for some excellent shallow snorkeling and diving. The south tip has some large ledges that Loggerhead turtles sleep under.
This half square mile area has been known for years as the Dry Bar. Recently it was renamed to Tiger Beach because it is a convenient and pretty place to dive with Tiger Sharks.
Great Hammerheads are an elusive and rare shark that is spectacular to see with their unusual heads and large dorsal fins. They appear mostly in the fall and winter, November through April when we run our exclusive shark trips to feed these large top predators. Great hammerhead sharks, recognized by their hammer-shaped head and tall, pointed dorsal fin, reach lengths of 20-feet, but most individuals encountered by divers are between 10 and 14-feet in length. Feeding primarily at dusk, great hammerheads are considered a fierce predator.
Caribbean Reef Shark
Caribbean reef sharks live on the reefs and congregate on one particular reef where we feed them. Reef sharks are generally 3 to 5 feet long and usually there are three to six around one reef. This is a thrilling dive with excellent photographic opportunities. Reef sharks are very common around the Bahamas, but our reefs have colorful sponges to use as background for pictures. The reef has deep crevices to get below the sharks for great silhouettes. This all makes for the best reef shark spot in the Bahamas.
Lemon sharks at Tiger beach average about two to two and half meters and can number 20 to 30 at a time. These Lemon sharks are bold and completely unafraid of humans. They swim in and amongst all the divers, coming in very close and are also very prevalent on the surface. Some of them have been known to turn around and snap at people if they get touched so please do not try and touch Lemon sharks. The Lemon sharks on occasion have mistaken divers hands for pieces of bait and this why we strongly recommend that everybody wear dark gloves. Keep your hands close to your body and try to avoid swimming with your hands.
There are usually one or two Nurse sharks around during our shark dives. They will come up to the bait crates and literally suck chunks of fish out of the crates.
Can't forget our pet groupers both big Black Groupers and Nassua Grouper.
It is important to remember that sharks are wild animals, and complete control of the encounters. Although The Dream Team manages a high success rate, we cannot guarantee shark encounters. Shark expeditions require patience and flexibility. Weather can change the destination of the M/V . Dolphin Dream.