Diving “Cathedral”

Diving at Cathedral

We have named the site Cathedral, deriving from the greek word kathedra (καθέδρα), meaning seat, bench, base.

Beqa Lagoon’s base for shark diving 🙂

The dive is currently available Monday/Wednesday/Friday plus special requests. The two tank dive starts 8:00 AM and ends shortly before lunch at a cost of F$295.00. The use of NITROX is recommended.

Minimum requirement for all certified divers is 30 logged dives. Private DMs and dive instructors are available for a fee of USD 30.00 for divers with less experience than required.

Video cameras are available at our dive shop for rent.

Tiger Sharks @Cathedral

Dive Briefing

It takes about 15 minute boat ride to the site where we’ll moor at one of the buoys we’ve prepared.

Our dive crew will remind you of safety rules you have learned about during the shark and site briefing the evening before and off you go either freely descending along the reef contour, or along one of our ascend/descend lines – directly down to our “stone wall”. Your dive guide will show you where to settle down.

To make your shark experience as safe as possible you will find guards on either side of the stone wall and behind yourself – our guards carry long sticks with rounded ends, almost like a spoon, as in case of we have to direct sharks away we won’t hurt them.

Cathedral

Now comes the part where we put some fish loins and bones in the water to attract those sharks which you haven’t seen yet, but are there, to come a little closer. We then fill a big box with fish and lock it. The box is nicely rounded to make sure sharks do not hurt themselves when rubbing on the box.

Now the sharks can see and more importantly smell the food – small fish that fits through the bars of the box will feed and attract the sharks.

Finally the sharks will try to get their snacks from the box – and they can be quite creative 🙂

All this while you will be sitting in a safe distance, about 5-6 meters from our feeding bin behind our guarded stone wall.

Tiger Shark @Cathedral

From time to time one of our feeders will take a fish head (big tuna heads) and lay them out in the space between feeding bin and stone wall – sharks are our friends – we do not want to frustrate them why we make sure they find some “candy” from time to time.

By the end of our bottom time we slowly make it back to the reef and ascend – the reef top, close to the mooring is about 5 meters/15 feet deep and ideal for a safety stop – one with lots of small fish, sometimes turtles swimming by and napoleons cruising through blue water.

The dive is 65 feet/20 meters deep and the average dive time due to depth and being a double tank dive is around 30 minutes – why we recommend NITROX for safety.

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You will have the chance to see on this dive – Tiger Sharks (that was easy to guess :-)) – Bull Sharks – Lemon Sharks – Nurse Sharks – Grey Reef Sharks – White Tip Reef Sharks – Black Tip Reef Sharks – plus a couple of thousand (no exaggeration) small to mid sized fishes – rainbow runners, napoleon wrasses, remoras, triggers, red snappers to just name a few.

As we are dealing with nature – species and amount of fish you may see, will vary.

 

February 12, 2016