From the Operator
Epic Diving offers dedicated shark diving expeditions with a number of key shark species. From the ubiquitous reef shark, the larger-than-life tiger shark, to the ultra rare oceanic whitetip shark and great hammerhead shark, these trips offer nonstop excitement and great photographic and filming opportunities. Our dive boat, M/V Thresher, moves between islands for the best shark diving encounters with the different species during the appropriate seasons.
Shark Diving Experiences
The year starts off in Bimini where guests have the opportunity to dive with the Great Hammerhead shark, a rare and generally shy species. In addition to shark diving with the great hammerheads, divers will often encounter bull sharks and nurse sharks. In March, Thresher moves to Cat Island, now world renowned for it’s incredible Oceanic Whitetip Shark diving. While diving with this pelagic shark species, guests will often see silky sharks and dusky sharks, with possible blue marlin encounters. Drifting in the deep blue water always offers surprises, such as blue sharks, mobula rays, tiger sharks and great hammerheads. Epic Diving spends the remainder of the year on the West End of Grand Bahama Island at the world famous Tiger Beach. Diving with tiger sharks, reef sharks, and lemon sharks are the norm, with chances to see great hammerhead sharks and bull sharks.
All of our shark diving is done in clear, warm water, with depths ranging from 20 feet up to 50 – 60 feet on some of the deeper reefs. We generally expect good visibility on our shark diving expeditions and the water temperatures range from 76 degrees F to 82 degrees F.
Each island we visit also offers some incredible dives and animal encounters, in addition to the regularly scheduled shark dives. In Bimini, there are great locations to swim amongst countless southern stingrays. During the summer months, we return to Bimini for our Wild Dolphin Expeditions where guests will encounter Atlantic Spotted and Bottlenose Dolphin. Cat Island has some of the most beautiful and untouched reefs, walls, and drop offs found in the Bahamas. On Grand Bahama, there are also opportunities to swim with sting rays, dolphin, as well as experience some great reef dives.
Shark Research & Conservation
Epic Diving has participated in numerous research and conservation projects on each of the islands we operate. For the past 5 years, we have worked closely with the ongoing research on Cat Island investigating the spatiotemporal movement patterns of oceanic whitetip sharks. This joint effort between the Cape Eleuthera Institute, Stony Brook University, and Microwave Telemetry now has a database of over 80 individual oceanic whitetip sharks, mostly female, that return to the waters off Cat Island each spring. We continue to have open communication and reporting of the individual animals seen on our dives, including important data such as the date first seen, approximate size, new scars or distinguishing marks, apparent pregnancy, and condition of the tags and tag remnants.
In Bimini, we provide similar data to the Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation (Sharklab). Each year, Epic Diving contributes photographs as well as a detailed database of individual great hammerhead sightings off the coast of South Bimini. Each year, we have donated a portion of proceeds from the local shark diving hotspot to assist Sharklab with their research, including purchase of acoustic shark tags.
Aside from direct cooperation with shark research groups, Epic Diving also focuses on community outreach and raising public awareness. During 2011, we campaigned alongside the Bahamas National Trust making the local communities aware of the important role sharks play in the ocean ecosystem. We hosted town meetings and delivered presentations showing the value of sharks for the ocean, as well as the direct value live sharks have had to the local economies through ecotourism revenue. These efforts paid off when the public stood behind passing legislation that effectively turned the territorial waters of the Bahamas into a shark sanctuary. We visit with grammar schools and high schools and have established a scholarship program on Cat Island which allows two students to attend degree or certificate programs at BTVI, tuition free.
Beyond our goal of providing guests with a safe and awe-inspiring adventure, we work hard to ensure that the sharks we love remain protected, respected, and understood.
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