cristina zenato

Exploration, Education, Conservation

Diving with Sharks

Cristina has been diving with sharks for the last twenty-two years. Her day to day work is with the Caribbean Reef Sharks in the Bahamas, but she has traveled the world, worked with and experienced twelve different species of sharks. Her field knowledge about sharks has been utilized by scientists, filmmakers and people interested in learning about sharks, the world they live in and how to protect them.

Signature Dive, Caribbean Reef Sharks

Witness first hand Cristina interacting with Caribbean Reef sharks in the Bahamas’ crystal clear water.  Watch her as she induces a relaxed state and on occasion removes hooks and parasites. Experience how a shark’s skin feels when Cristina brings the shark over to you to gently pet while the school swims all around you.

Complete your experience with a swim around the reef among the same school of sharks and observe natural behavior after your interaction with them. Minimum Open Water Diver certification required. Depth 40-50ft/14-15m.  Available year round. Water temperature: Winter average 72F/22C. Summer average 85F/27C.

The Shark Specialty Course

Cristina has created the PADI distinctive specialty Caribbean Reef Shark course. It is a one-day, two dives specialty course that will introduce you to the world of Caribbean Reef sharks: their environment, their role in the ecosystem, and conservation issues. Dive under the direct supervision of Cristina among these beautiful creatures to complete your certification. Credit is valid toward Master Scuba Diver. No handling, feeding or touching during this course. Minimum Open Water Diver certification required. Depth 40-60ft/12-18m. Available on request and for groups of four divers.

The Shark Handling Experience

This is the first level of shark diving Cristina offers that includes interaction with Caribbean Reef Sharks. This one-day, two dives, one on one course takes place under under her direct supervision. It is designed to offer you the opportunity to experience how it feels to wear the chainmail and dive in direct contact with Caribbean Reef sharks. A videographer will collect all the special moments and deliver a final DVD product of your experience. Minimum Open Water Diver certification required.  A high level of comfort with regulator and mask and buoyancy skills is recommended. Depth 40-60-ft/14-18m. Day starts at 8:30 and ends at 4:30pm. Reservation in advance is highly recommended. Available year round. One diver per day.

The Shark Handling Course

A pioneer in the shark-handling course, Cristina offers a three-day, one on one training course for those divers interested in experiencing how it feels to feed, pet and be surrounded by Caribbean Reef Sharks.

Cristina will start her course on the first day with a morning session about shark biology, behavior, and reaction to food; together you will discuss shark handling and procedures and learn about sharks’ conservation. Following the morning classroom, you will complete an observation dive during which you will watch Cristina interact with the sharks and apply the information discussed during the morning. This dive is open to certified friends and family as it is an observation dive. Ask Cristina how to book the additional divers. Day duration 8:30am through 4:30pm.

Day 2 and 3: You will complete two training dives per day while wearing the chainmail suit under the direct supervision of Cristina. The basics of feeding, handling and petting will be presented during the dives. A videographer will collect all the special moments and deliver a final DVD product of your experience. No observers are allowed during the training dives for safety reasons. Day duration 8:30am-2:00pm. 

NOTE: This course is shark and location specific. It is built as a personal experience and does not constitute a training course for people interested in becoming a professional shark feeder and in creating a shark dive for guests.

Professional Shark Dive Operation Consultant

Shark dives are becoming more and more popular in the scuba diving world. Many operators find the need to add this experience in their local area.

Cristina offers 22 years of shark diving experience with over 12 different species of sharks. She can help you set up a shark dive operation and create a unique shark dive experience with great emphasis on training, safety, procedures and logistical organization with satisfactory results.

Shark Safety and Photo Shoot Diver

As a professional shark diver Cristina can perform as a safety diver for talents and in water crew during video and image productions. Her knowledge of shark behavior will allow your production to obtain the best results in the sharks’ presence and reduce risk factors, delivering consistency and highly increasing your chances of success.

COMING UP: Professional Shark Feeder and Handler course for Individuals

 

Expertise & Skills

Cristina is world renowned for her capability to put sharks into a trance. This skill comes from knowledge and understanding.

  • Shark behaviorist
  • Shark handler
  • Shark dive and interaction operations manager
  • Aquarium shark behaviorist
  • Shark operation consultant
  • Shark operation safety officer

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