Many people ask me why I return to Tiger beach. The answer is quite clear: I return because I love to dive with sharks, and in Tiger Beach there’s a variety of species, especially the tiger shark for which I feel a great attraction. I do not know whether because of his huge size or his behavior towards us divers, but from the first time I dove with it I had to come back to this destination again and again.
To get to Tiger Beach, we had to fly from any destination to Miami, where we were picked up and transported by road to Palm Beach.
We embarked there and, after a night on board, at dawn we reached the Bahaon sharks and safety measures and, by noon, we were ready for our first dive.
From that moment, every day we effected our dives together with sharks of different species. Sharks are attracted with bait and, as soon as we enter into the water, nurse sharks and lemon sharks are waiting for us.
Rarely, in the first dive, there is contact with the tiger shark, as it is done at a dive site where the priority is to check our equipment and buoyancy.
It is from this point that the dives will gain up action and adrenaline. It is required respect for safety standards and much attention to the tiger sharks for the trip to run smoothly and with the goal achieved for divers and photographers.
This destination is highly recommended for fans of photography and underwater video, but not recommended for those seeking a relaxing and peaceful diving.
I recommend carrying only wide-angle lenses. In my case, I brought a Sigma 15 mm, a Canon 8/15 mm, and a Canon 2.8 16/35 mm.
Macro and very closed lenses are absolutely unnecessary for this destination, and you may forget to carry them.
The average depth of our dives was between 6 m up to 25 m (rarely). Many people ask me how much the tiger sharks come close to divers. The answer is easy: sometimes you have to move them away with your hand, depending on how playful they feel that day. I cannot recommend either of the two main companies operating in this area, as they are very different from each other. I’ve been with these two:
scuba-adventures.com by Jim Abernethy, a point of reference about sharks and a true passionate, who will transmit you his passion every minute you’ll spend with him. Boat small and uncomfortable, but diving with Jim is an experience of a lifetime.
dolphindreamteam.com led by Captain Scott Smith, and it’s just the opposite of Jim Abernethy as to the diving: old but comfortable boat and smoother diving.
A different option if you want to dive in Bahamas with tigers but look also for some relaxation in diving.
My visits have always been between February and the end of April, when
visibility is usually quite nice, the water temperature is very good and a 3 mm wetsuit is more than enough.
Remember that your hood, gloves as well as your wetsuits, fins and jacket should be possibly dark, without many colors, not to attract the attention and the extreme curiosity of the tiger sharks.
If you like sharks, this is your destination.
WORDS and PICTURES by Joaquin Gutierrez