Experience the thrill of a cage-less encounter in a safe, professional environment with these sleek open ocean sharks. In San Diego, Blue Shpark diving was once a common trip in the 1990’s, but shark finning depleted this beautiful animal to critical levels. Drawing from interactions with scientists, fisherman and our own sightings, we believe the blue shark may be making a comeback - and we can do our part in facilitating their comeback by drawing awareness to these awesome animals.
If you’re ready to truly do something different come out with the SDE team and join us for Blue and Mako Shark diving off San Diego.
SD Expeditions uses all means necessary to provide you with a successful encounter. We are constantly monitoring weather conditions and keeping in touch with boat captains and experts to remain informed about current shark diving conditions.
We’ll head out in the early morning and quickly arrive at our Blue and Mako shark diving destination, where chumming will commence. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours for the sharks to show up, and once the sharks show up, the fun begins.
On the way home we’ll answer any questions you have about the interactions we experienced. As you know, the ocean is full of a diversity of marine life - and we won’t limit any experience. If you’re interested, we’ll gladly stop for Common and Bottlenose dolphins, sea lions and Harbor seals, or the Mola Mola (ocean sunfish). We want you to experience the ocean in all it’s glory, and we’ll hold nothing back.
So join SD Expeditions for a unique and different encounter, and experience the thrill of blue water shark diving.
Growing anywhere from 5-10 feet in length, Blue sharks can live up to 20 years and are considered by many to be one of the most beautiful sharks. Their sleek, streamlined shape and shimmering indigo hue speak to thousands of years of successful evolution. The blues we see during our Blue Shark diving trips tend to be on the smaller end of that range - from 4-7 feet in length.
Blue sharks can be found off the California coast year round, but may occasionally travel northward in search of cooler water during exceptionally hot months. Once highly abundant all along California, long-lining and by-catch (accidentally catching of a non-target fish) have taken their toll on Blue sharks, and an estimated 10 million blue sharks are killed each year. But The future is bright, and as researchers and activists continue to find ways to reduce bycatch, Blue sharks continue pumping out litters averaging 30-50 pups (134 is the record!).
Although this a Mako and Blue shark diving trip, we are more likely to encounter Mako sharks during the summer as the water warms up. Like most sharks, Mako sharks will be wary at first, but in our experience are less intimidated by humans than Blue sharks and more likely to come in close. Don’t be surprised if you look down and have a Mako shark swimming between your legs!
Occuring off of San Diego year-round, the Shortfin Mako shark is built for speed. One of only four warm-blooded sharks, the Mako shark can reach astonishing velocities with its hydrodynamic stature. Regularly swimming at 31mph, this shark has been clocked at up to 46mph bursts and is known for it’s aerial jumping displays. We see them more during the summer - fishermen believe they follow the fish, who follow the warmer water.
Please check our calendar here for upcoming trips.
- Meet at Mission Bay at 7:45 am.
- Board the boat at 8 am.
- Listen to the captain’s Coast Guard safety briefing.
- We will head out to our Blue and Mako shark diving destination and begin chumming!
- On the way out we will discuss in detail how to safely dive with these sharks.
- We will dive all day and aim to return to the dock by 6 pm, depending on the guests and conditions we could be back at a different time.
- We will stick around and be happy to answer any and all questions you have!
The boat we will be using is a 25 foot center console, six-pac local dive boat meant for the open ocean. It is fully Coast Guard registered and certified vessel equipped with all standard safety equipment. Rated to hold 6 passengers, we carry 4-6 guests.
Food and beverages are provided to keep you energized over the duration of the trip - if you have any special requests, feel free to let us know.
At SD Expeditions we use all means necessary to provide you with the safest interaction possible. We are diligent about checking the latest weather reports and updates to remain well informed. However, we are out in the open ocean, and if weather conditions do not cooperate, we may need to head back early.
We only offer this excursion at peak times of the year for Blue and Mako shark encounters. Although highly unlikely, there is a chance you may not see a shark - we’re not in a theme park with domesticated animals, nor would we want to be. The excitement of not knowing exactly what you will see or encounter in the open ocean is what makes this excursion so amazing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to be certified?
Since this trip is a snorkeling trip only (scuba bubbles scare the sharks), you do not need to be scuba certified to go on this trip. We do require all divers to have intermediate ocean snorkeling experience, and if you would like to gain more snorkel experience with us, we do offer guided snorkel tours in La Jolla to help you feel more comfortable in the water.
Has anyone ever been bit?
There have been recorded Blue and Mako shark attacks on humans - these are wild animals, and we are entering their environment. For this reason SDE emphasizes meeting our guests before hand so that we may ensure an elite level of safety and confidence in all our guests.
Like all sharks, Blue and Makos are NOT ‘mindless killers’. These sharks are intelligent, and approach all objects (including humans!) very cautiously, slowly acclimating themselves to our presence. Over time they will become more comfortable, and more inquisitive, and we have the experience to monitor the disposition and well-being of every shark in our presence so we can provide you with the closest and safest encounter.
How close will I get to the sharks?
Blue and Mako sharks are wild animals, and we are in their ocean. They will come as close as they feel comfortable, and the calmer you are the less likely they will be frightened away.
What do I do with my belongings?
You can keep anything you need for the trip on the boat, and we recommend you lock anything you don’t need in your car.
When is the next trip?
You can view our calendar here for upcoming trip dates. We are constantly updating and adding more trips, so feel free to request a date. If none of these dates work for you, another option is to privately charter the boat for a day of your choosing. You can bring up to 4 total divers and have your own private blue/mako shark trip! For more information on private charters, please contact us.
How long is the expedition?
We will board around 8am in the morning, and return to the dock by 6pm. depending on the guests and conditions we could be back at a different time.
What do I need to bring?
- 7mm wetsuit
- Mask, snorkel, fins, gloves and booties
- Weight belt, if desired
- A warm set of clothes
- Towel, sunscreen, sunglasses or a hat
- Seasickness medicine - we strongly recommend taking seasickness medicine as a precautionary measure. Take some the night before to get it in your system, and then take a full dose well before boarding the boat. We sometimes have divers who think they don’t get sick have to sit out because they are too sick. There is nothing worse than having to get out of the water when the sharking is good because you don’t feel good.
If you are in need of any gear, let us know.
Do I need a camera?
Sure! If you have an underwater camera (or you’re a photographer), by all means bring it. And if you don’t have an underwater camera, we also rent waterproof cameras for the trip, and you can keep the memory card with all of the photos and videos you captured.
Do you offer any shark photo packages?
Kyle McBurnie, our resident underwater photographer/videographer offers shark photo packages. He has been published in multiple magazines such as National Geographic and does all of our media. He will focus on getting shots of you in the water with sharks so you can focus on diving safely with the sharks hands-free. After the trip, you will receive the high resolution photos from trip to share with your friends and family.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require full payment at the time of booking to reserve your spot. You may cancel up to 2 weeks before the trip date for a full refund. If we need to cancel the trip due to unfavorable ocean conditions, you will receive a full refund.
What does the trip cost include?
The trip is all-inclusive, so it includes gear rental, snacks, water, and lunch. The only thing the cost does not include is alcohol (feel free to bring some if you wish) and gratuity for the captain.
Offshore San Diego, CA (depart from Mission Bay)
Number of Guests:
8am - 6pm
$350 per person
To inquire about your own private trip or for a date not currently on our calendar, please contact us.