About 30 miles past the Golden Gate Bridge, a world away from downtown San Francisco’s theaters, trendy restaurants, and laid-back Californian culture rest the Farallon Islands - America’s version of the Galapagos. The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is home to a research center and the largest seabird colony in the U.S. (on the Southern Island), as well as gray, blue, and humpback whales and several species of seals and sea lions.Gulf of the Farallones, San Francisco — Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/JeffGunn
During the short season of mid-September to Mid-November, great white sharks leave the “White Shark Café,” an area between Baja California and Hawaii, to visit feeding grounds such as the Farallon Islands, to feed on the large population of northern elephant seals. Adventurous travelers and shark enthusiasts take advantage of the opportunity to cage dive and witness these monsters of the deep (some measuring 15 to 20 feet in length) feeding on the Northern Elephant Seals. It is the only area in the United States where divers can do so, and is sometimes referred to as the Mount Everest of shark dives.
Incredible Adventures offers one-day weekend dive trips that depart from Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. A 55-foot catamaran will transport divers to the marine sanctuary where they will be lowered into the cage just below the surface. No diving experience is required so anyone can experience this thrilling activity. Great White Shark — Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/hermanusbackpackers