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Sharks: Wonderful Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Every Week is Shark Week at Regaldive. We are glad that it is currently Shark Week, as sharks are a firm favourite at the Regaldive office and they deserve to be better protected. Every week we are sending our guests to numerous worldwide locations that are ideal for diving with sharks. The last couple of years have been great for shark encounters and hopefully this trend will continue. If you are a shark fan, Regaldive have a great range of holiday options. Here is a taster of our top locations worldwide for Diving with Sharks…

GUADALUPE ISLAND

Dive to 30 feet and go face to face with great white sharks! Guadalupe Island is a volcanic island 150 miles off the west coast of Baja California and it outperforms every other great white shark destination with shark-seeing consistency and beautiful diving conditions.

Great white shark encounters at Guadalupe Island are nothing short of spectacular. It’s the best destination in the world for calm, clear water and a consistently high probability of multiple shark encounters. The bay itself is home to over 200 recognised individuals, ranging from 12 to 19 feet long. At times, guests have seen as many as nine sharks on one dive!

SOCORRO ISLANDS

The wild, remote and exhilarating Socorro Islands, Mexico are famous for their big animal encounters. Divers will see many species of shark, including Hammerheads, Whitetips, Silvertips, Silkies, Tiger & Galapagos Sharks. Whale sharks can be found between November – December and late April – May.

The area is also famous for close encounters with the Giant Pacific Manta Ray, which can grow to 22 feet across. The Mantas seek out divers to interact with and play in their exhaled bubbles. There’s little doubt that this is the best location for the closest Manta interactions.

Photo: John Butland

SOUTH AFRICA

If you want some great shark action, what could be better than the shark hotspots of South Africa and Mozambique? Although there’s always plenty to see, including Hammerheads, Tigers, Blacktips and Bulls, May is the time that the Ragged Tooth Sharks take up residence on Aliwal Shoals. A shark to impress your non-diving friends, as with their mouth full of big teeth, they look far scarier than they actually are. ‘Raggies’ usually stay until at least the end of November, so now’s the time to plan your visit.

Photo: Malcolm Nobbs

THE MALDIVES

The Maldives is a popular location for seeing a few varieties of shark, most commonly Whitetips and Grey Reef Sharks. Although the Whitetips are usually very calm and lethargic during the day, they certainly get a bit more active at night. Often seen darting around the reef, trying to beat each other to the next unsuspecting fish to snack on.

Our guests returning from Maldives Liveaboards are giving enthusiastic reports from of a very interesting night dive they took part in. Many of them have greatly enjoyed doing a night dive with Nurse Sharks. Although one of the most docile of sharks, it turns into a very exhilarating experience when you get 40 to 50 Nurse Sharks swarming all around you! Just hang onto your gear and prepare for the odd nudge.

THE BAHAMAS

The Bahamas are justifiably famous for their shark diving. Some sharks can be seen very close and personal, mainly Caribbean Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks and Lemon Sharks, but others such as Bull Sharks, Hammerheads and even Oceanic Whitetips can all be found, with the waters of Nassau and the Exuma Cays being the most easily accessible areas.

A famous location that is worth a visit in June, July and August is Tiger beach. So called because of the numbers of Tiger sharks that turn up in the warm shallow waters at that time. Known for coming in nice and close, some of the individual sharks, such as Emma, are famous the world over. With years of experience the operators that visit the area will provide you with an experience that you will have difficulty finding anywhere else.

Photo: Malcolm Nobbs

SUDAN

Many of Sudan’s varied dive sites hold an almost mythical status with divers from around the world. Sudan’s coastal waters are also recognised as one of the best places in the world for Shark enthusiasts to encounter schools of scalloped hammerheads, alongside many other species of shark.

Our colleague Nigel gave us a taste of the shark action from his recent trip to Sudan and told us: “we were joined by a huge school of hammerhead sharks: above us, below us, in the distance, right next to us: they were everywhere. We were all trying to look in every direction at once. When we got back on board my partner said it had been ‘raining hammerhead sharks’. We all knew what she meant.”

THE GALAPAGOS

The seas surrounding the Galapagos support a large concentration of the marine life that makes these islands such a superb dive destination. Certainly no dive itinerary to the Galapagos is complete without a visit to the remote outposts of Wolf & Darwin to the north. Schools of hammerheads, as well as dolphins and rays make these islands a real highlight for divers. The whale shark aggregation occurs in the warmer water surrounding these islands. Many other shark species also make regular appearances, including species that you are unlikely to see elsewhere, including the Galapagos Shark. Although Hammerheads are seen year round, the biggest aggregations are usually in the Autumn.

Photo: Malcolm Nobbs

THE RED SEA

The Red Sea has always been good for sharks, but the last couple of years have been exceptional, especially on the ‘Simply the Best’ itinerary. Maybe it’s because there are less divers about. We are hearing feedback such as “saw hammerheads on every dive at Daedalus” and “great to get so close to so many Oceanic Whitetips” from those on our Red Sea Liveaboard trips. The best times for these encounters now seems to be starting a bit earlier too, around June, and running right through to November.

Photo: Malcolm Nobbs

COCOS ISLAND

A few years ago Cocos Island was christened ‘The Island of the Sharks’ by documentary makers, and with very good reason. This lush, green, uninhabited island, 340 miles from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, boasts numerous species of shark, including Whitetips (on every dive!), Tigers, Whale Sharks, Silkies and Galapagos Sharks.

But the biggest draw here is the Hammerheads that come into the numerous cleaning stations, allowing easy, close up viewing. Also they can often be seen schooling in their tens or even hundreds, so keep your fingers crossed for that amazing experience.

The UNESCO designated World Heritage Site certainly holds its place at the pinnacle of the world’s best shark diving locations.

To find out more about our shark diving locations, call the friendly Regaldive team on 01353 659999.

 

John, Sales Manager for UK-based tour operator Diverse Travel, learnt to dive in 2002 and was instantly hooked. Most of his travel now revolves around diving having travelled abroad to dive over 40 times since learning including 18 times to the Red Sea. John says that although every dive trip has its special moments, sharks do feature quite highly on his wish list and is lucky enough to have had close encounters with nearly thirty shark species. Diverse Travel has been organising diving holidays for over five years and the team has over 40 years’ combined experience. Diverse Travel offers liveaboards and resort-based holidays in over 20 worldwide destinations. Find out more at www.diversetravel.co.uk.

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Ultimate Diving Maldives Offer

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7 nights at the Bandos Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives – From £2555 per person

Bandos Island Resort & Spa has already welcomed its first guests to the Maldives since March, with more divers heading off this December trying to escape the chilly UK weather. The Maldives is a dream destination, it offers a range of blue lagoons, deserted islands, a true sense of romance and tranquillity but above all amazing diving.

This destination should be on every diver’s bucket list, especially those with a non-diving partner because there is enough going on to ensure everyone will have a great time. The Maldives are the ultimate island paradise with each one offering dazzling white sandy beaches topped with coconut palm trees and turquoise blue lagoons.

Bandos Island is fully encircled by pearly white beaches, turquoise waters and a never-ending blue sky blessed with abundant sunshine. The house reef at Bandos is considered one of the best in North Male Atoll and the convenient location of Bandos allows divers to choose from over 40 impressive dive sites.

Book 7 nights from £2555. Price includes flights from London, speedboat transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and 10 shore dives per person. Single supplement applies.

To enquire or book, visit www.ultimatediving.co.uk or give the team a call on 0208 655 6458  and they can give you the lowdown on the destination and diving.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Fit filters in washing machines and slow the tide of ocean plastic

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The Marine Conservation Society’s Stop Ocean Threads campaign, which is calling for all new washing machines to be fitted with microfibre filters, by law, by 2024, aims to stop plastic pollution at source by filtering microscopic plastics from washing machine waste water.

To date the charity’s petition has been signed by over 12,000 people. The petition calls on government to introduce legislation which requires all new washing machines to be fitted with microfibre filters by law. Now, the charity is taking direct action and encouraging supporters to tweet washing machine manufacturers, putting pressure on them to fit filters on all new washing machines and slow the tide of microfibres entering the ocean.

Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Marine Conservation Society revealed that most (81%) adults surveyed supported legislative change and a quarter (26%) of those said that they would be willing to pay an additional £50 or more for a washing machine fitted with a microfibre filter. Not only is there is clear public support for legislation to Stop Ocean Threads, but consumers are willing to pay extra for their washing machines to have ocean-friendly credentials.

It’s increasingly important to put this issue top of the agenda for washing machine manufacturers who can take action now helping to address the microplastic issue, rather than waiting for legislation to be put in place.

Dr Laura Foster, Marine Conservation Society’s Head of Clean Seas says: “Our research has found that the public is largely supportive of our call for legislation, and consumers are willing to pay a little more to reduce the flow of microplastics into the ocean.

“It’s fantastic to see the support our petition has received so far, but now we need the public to show their support and join our action to engage with manufacturers directly. If we can show manufacturers that the public wants these filters fitted as soon as possible, we hope to speed up the legislative process and get filters fitted in the near future.”

Members of the public are encouraged by the Marine Conservation Society to go direct to washing machine manufacturers, and get involved in the charity’s tweet action.

“Hey @Miele_GB @BekoUK @Hoover_UK @BoschUK @SamsungUK @WhirlpoolCorp  We want washing machine manufacturers to commit to fitting microfibre filters before 2024. Will you do this and help us #StopOceanThreads? Please retweet and share far and wide”

To sign the charity’s Stop Ocean Threads petition, visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website. Find out more on how to get involved in the direct action here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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