Daily encounters with Caribbean Reef Sharks are scheduled at 9am, 11:30 am and 2pm at Waihuka dive center in Roatan. Sergio, Maurillio or a certified PADI Divemaster lead the dives. Briefings take place in the dive center preparing you for a safe, enjoyable experience. There is also footage of previous dives being shown allowing you to further prepare yourself and add to the anticipation.
The dive site is located on a unique part of the reef surrounding Roatan, an arm that juts perpendicularly from the southern shore surrounded by walls that drop off to depths beyond the reach of divers. The dive site is named �Cara a Cara� which in Spanish means �face to face�.
Cara a Cara is also quite different from sites found on similar shark encounters around the Caribbean. Firstly the sharks have not been �chummed� away from their natural environment, ask any local fisherman on the island of Roatan where the sharks are and they can tell you�sharks have been stealing fish from them here for years!
The sharks we dive with are all Caribbean Reef Sharks, all female, displaying a daytime schooling behavior known only to a few species of sharks. Typically about 6 to 9 feet long and several hundred pounds each, these are handsome, powerful fish � healthy hunters of the reef in natures system of checks and balances.
The dive is held among a beautiful reef of hard and soft corals between 60 � 70 feet (18 � 21 meters). Visibility is usually more than 80 feet as the site is located a ten-minute boat ride from Roatan's shore and thus not diminished by rain or other factors.
Divers descend along the mooring line (there is often current) to a small wall where divers arrange themselves kneeling or standing, back to the wall and facing the Divemaster and anywhere from 10 -20 sharks. A snack of fish (1-2 pounds) is kept in a bucket to keep the sharks interested, divers watching the sharks circling the area.
After 15 or more minutes of watching the sharks, the bucket is presented to the sharks for a few moments of action as they jostle for position and a snack. At no time are the sharks handled or fed individually. Although this species of shark is not known to pose a serious threat to divers we like to keep a healthy respect and a reasonable distance from the bait.
Following this the sharks will usually swim off so there is an opportunity to move around the site and look for shark teeth on the bottom, check out our favorite Green Moray Eel and simply enjoy the splendor of the many other fish. There are usually large Groupers and Snappers that have all become quite tame, offering additional photo/video opportunities.
After about 25 � 30 minutes bottom time and the mandatory safety stop we head back to the dive center to watch the footage from the dive and sign log books. Of course we are happy to offer custom video of your experience, t-shirts and other memorabilia.