SHARK DIVING UK
SWIM WITH BLUE SHARKS IN CORNWALL
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From the end of June we will be again offering expeditions to witness Cornwall's majestic blue sharks. No barriers, no cages, full photo opportunities - these are one-to-one encounters!
"It is by far the most rewarding animal experience I've had in the UK - no question" says James Stewart of the Sunday Times.
These are specialist whole boat charter only full day trips with us venturing quite some distance from shore and involve chumming using a special concoction of ‘rubby dubby’. The blues can appear within minutes or up to a couple hours but once around the RIB they will often stay for a few hours at a time. Encounters are best photographed either using a pole-cam or snorkelling. If entering the water it is mandatory that you are totally dressed in dark colours, including HOOD, GLOVES and BOOTS and you do so entirely at your own risk.Avoid anything with white, yellow, shiny widgets & put acrylic camera housings on sticks.
BEFORE contacting us please read the FAQ below
Who can swim with them?
Anyone who has snorkelling experience but this is not a trip for the beginner! The chum is very smelly, the bobbing around of the RIB can cause seasickness if you suffer from it easily and it is not possible to return to shore unless you want to end the whole trip. Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian, please advise of anyone under 18 when booking and we suggest 14 is the minimum age.
When to swim and snorkel Blue sharks?
The best time generally is from mid July through to mid October with late August being the peak season but the over-riding factor is the weather. The sharks are here at this time of year without question, it is just you need the right conditions to find them. Ideally it should be sunny with calm winds. We will make a weather check a few days before your booking. For availability click here.
Why South West Cornwall?
South West Cornwall is by far the best place to see blue sharks as this is where they congregate in huge numbers to feed on the nutrient rich waters that are unique to the Celtic sea. Other locations boast of lucky sightings of one or two sharks whereas we often encounter so many blues around Logan to be able to accurately count them! Also the water colour and clarity is much better for photography - typically 8-30 metres.
RIB Logan is a 7.2 metres (24 feet) rigid hull inflateable boat, which is the preferred option to use for snorkelling as it is easy to get in and out of. She is licensed to carry seven passengers plus skipper up to 20 miles from a safe haven, which is more than far enough. Although we can take out seven passengers four is recommended to swim with the sharks and the norm. We carry a full itinerary of safety equipment.
Place & time?
RIB Logan is on a trailer and we use Penzance harbour for access to the south coast and blue shark trips (Penzance slip can be found by clicking here), look for the Sailing Club building and RIB Logan is a bright orange RIB on the slipway. We usually depart at 09.00 and return around 16.30 depending on tides and conditions. I will contact you a few days before departure for a weather check and to confirm timings. All day parking is available in the harbour car park and you will need about £8 in change. Note: the nearby public toilets now require a 20p coin.
Cost & how to book?
Please go to my Contact page and send me an email (FB, text, WhatsApp is OK for chit-chat but please email for bookings). Or if very short notice telephone (sorry no caller ID no answer!) but be aware that if I am out at sea I don't get good reception. For availability click here - green days are open. These trips are by whole boat charter only at £895 per day (£995 weekends). Four people recommended - I will take out a maximum of five people for the same price but please be aware it may limit interaction time in the water with the sharks and please bring the absolute minimum of gear. I do not take more than five persons on the blue shark trips. Please note that all bookings are subject to my terms and conditions and by booking all passengers are deemed to have accepted them. Should we have to cancel due to bad weather your booking fee will be refunded. I have kept my price the same as last year but am asking for a voluntary donation of £10 per person for the Shark Trust please.
JUST TO REPEAT - WHOLE BOAT CHARTER ONLY. Sorry I do NOT do single or couple person bookings unless you want to book the whole boat for yourself NO EXCEPTIONS PLEASE DO NOT ASK. If you visit my FB page (click here) and post a message about making up a boat full then perhaps others will join you.
What do I need to bring?
You will need a darkly coloured drysuit or a thick wetsuit such as a 5-7mm as the water is quite cold – 16 to 20 degrees centigrade. Hood, boots, gloves are ESSENTIAL and warm windproof jacket. Also basic snorkelling equipment i.e. mask, fins, snorkel. Try to avoid wearing anything white and/or shiny. For dry passengers, waterproof trousers and jacket, hat, gloves, sunscreen, polarising sunglasses and flat soled non-slip shoes/boots. We are out all day so you need a packed lunch, snacks and drinks. Please bring only essential gear with you as space is limited and any electronic or camera equipment needs to be in a waterproof box or bag. Please don't bring large crates, large boxes and dive bags, dive computers, dive watch, dive knife, handbags, ipads, mobile phone, designer glasses, valuables etc.
Wetsuit & equipment hire?
We do have a range of popular sized quality wetsuits for hire; including hood, boots & gloves as well as masks, fins and snorkels at £20 per person per day. Any hire equipment must be pre-booked at least 48 hours prior to departure and please coordinate via the group leader. Please provide the following measurements: height, chest, waist, weight, shoe for each person hiring a wetsuit. We do not have any gear hire facility at the launch site.
Can I use scuba?
Snorkelling is by far the best way to get close to the blues. They tend to be spooked by bubbles and we have repeatedly found them to be much more shy when using scuba. For specilaist filming projects we have had success with rebreathers but please phone to discuss this option.
It is not possiible to return to shore during the day unless you want to end the trip.
The sea is vast with an endless flushing mechanism! For the girls it is also relatively easy to pee over the side or from the ladder.
Is seeing them guaranteed?
Blue sharks like all marinelife can be sometimes tricky to locate and a few hours can be spent chumming before we find them, so sorry but sightings are not guaranteed. However, we are running at well over 95% success rate and encounter them over and over again in the same place with many hours spent in the water with them. There is also a good chance of seeing common, bottlenose and Risso's dolphin, bluefin tuna, sunfish (Mola mola), minke whale, harbour porpoise and many species of sea bird as well.
Where can I store my equipment?
For those booking for more than one day all your snorkelling gear can be left with us - there is heaps of room in the boat shed to store all your wet stuff and hang out your suits.
Can I see Basking sharks on the same trip?
Anything is possible but it is unlikely as we are offshore for the blues.
Is there a cage?
This is not a cage trip. If you enter the water you will be in the sharks natural habitat, on its terms with all the associated risks, however, the experience is indescribably awe inspiring. Interacting with sharks in the wild can be potentially dangerous if you have any doubts please discuss these with us prior to booking. Blue sharks are wild animals, they are not trained in any way or domesticated and can be unpredictable, however, attacks on humans are incredibly rare.
My insurance only covers you when you are in the boat so if you require in-water cover you will need to arrange this privately. You will be asked to sign a waiver before departure.
Film Companies that have filmed the blues:
BBC (One Show & Big Blue UK), CBBC (Really Wild Show), ITV, CH4, CH5 (A year in the Wild), Silverback Productions for Netflix (Our Planet) and many smaller independent producers.
Where to stay?
The Longboat Hotel, Penzance, TR18 2HZ, 01736 364137, Good value, lively hotel just a few minutes walk from the quay - can be a bit noisy on Friday and Saturday nights.
Where to Eat?
© Charles Hood Photography & Shark Adventures