La costa de Portofino, ubicada 40 kilómetros al sur de Chañaral, es uno de los lugares más aceptables para surfear en Chile. Una de las mejores ola derechas, se caracteriza por ser consistente, rápida y con gran fuerza. La rompiente se crea gracias a un fondo de roca el que se encuentra de metro y medio a dos metros de profundidad en algunos sectores. La pared de la ola tiene una excelente proyección lo que da la posibilidad, de buscar el momento y lugar exacto para golpear el labio y realizar una buena maniobra. Una de las particularidades de esta ola es que funciona durante todo el año. Cuando otros lugares se encuentran carentes de olas (flat) en Portofino te podrás encontrar por lo menos con una pared de un metro de altura. Esto se debe a que la marejada que entra en la bahía siempre tiene la fuerza y el fondo de roca impulsa a la marea para que se pare y quiebre en un fondo plagado por erizos, es por esto que se recomienda usar botinas ya que no es agradable irse con un recuerdo marino para la casa.

A su vez, a un kilómetros de ahí, muy cerca, se ubica Villa Alegre. Este es un pueblo pequeño que está en una punta. En su costa se genera una potente ola izquierda que está muy cerca del fondo de rocas y por lo tanto tiene mucha fuerza así que sólo es recomendable para gente con un surf sólido.

El mar es un poco frío, pero con un buen traje con un grosor 3/4 mm. tendrás la posibilidad de correr una derecha con una vista al desierto que no olvidarás.

But who can blame them? Why on earth would any rational person swim in the ocean

As for those who purposefully seek out the company of sharks they clearly have a death wish. Because shark attacks on humans around the world are exceedingly rare despite popular belief to the contrary.

Seeking The Company Of Sharks

As an adrenaline junkie, my tolerance level these days is high. Luckily Fiji delivered the goods. They have a Shark Reef Marine Reserve located off the coast of the island of Beqa, where you can go swimming with up to 8 species of shark.

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Shark Reserve is because of the money flowing in from these dive trips.

To help finance shark research and compensate local villagers for their lost fishing grounds, Beqa Adventure Divers offers scuba diving trips into the marine reserve’s shark-infested waters.

They let you get face-to-face with these underwater killers.

Because shark attacks on humans around the world are exceedingly rare despite popular belief to the contrary.

Shark Attack Odds

They have a Shark Reef Marine Reserve located off the coast of the island of Beqa.
They have a Shark Reef Marine Reserve located off the coast of the island of Beqa.

Let’s look at some examples. How likely is a shark attack in the United States? Odds are greater that one of these will happen to you first:

  • You will die from a dog attack.
  • You will die from a lightning strike.
  • You will get killed by bees or wasps.
  • You will be executed for a crime.
  • You will be bitten by a human.
  • You will die falling down in your home.
  • Dick Cheney will shoot you on a hunting trip.

As for actual death by shark attack, that’s even rarer. Like 1 in 3,748,067 to be exact. You are more likely to die while digging a sand hole on the beach.

So stop digging those stupid things. They’re dangerous!

My First Shark Dive

Knowing these statistics made it a bit easier to join the professionals at Beqa Adventure for my first ever shark dive. They’ve been doing this for over 10 years with no problems.

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Beqa Adventure Divers teamed up.

I’ve been scuba diving in caves before, but diving with large Bull and possibly Tiger sharks was a big deal. These massive animals can grow 8 to 15 feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds.

Both have a history (however rare) of attacks on humans. But, as I’ve learned over & over again on my travels, breaking out of your comfort zone is a healthy thing to do.

Now if you didn’t already know, feeding sharks like this is a bit controversial. Some say that it trains them to associate humans with food, increasing the odds of an attack.

These diving trips pour much needed money into shark conservation & research projects. Without that money, shark populations around the world will continue to rapidly decline. If dive operators don’t pay to help save the sharks, who will? You? The government?

That’s wishful thinking in my opinion. It won’t happen.

The ONLY reason marine life is protected at Fiji’s Shark Reserve is because of the money flowing in from these dive trips. Beqa Adventure Divers teamed up with local villages to ban all fishing here in 2004. The result? A once dying reef is thriving and full of life again.

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