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Atlantic Ocean: Rhode Island

Pull on that thick wetsuit and jump overboard into the frigid waters off Rhode Island—Point Judith to be exact, about three hours offshore along the pelagic-rich edge of New England's continental shelf.

This might seem like an unlikely spot for a dive, but it’s here that the highly migratory blue sharks linger. The species prefers temperate waters, so the bone-chilling 55 to 64-degree temps make these depths a perfect pit stop before shifting southward to Cape Hatteras and as far away as Venezuela and Africa. These fascinating sharks hold the long-distance record—they have been known to journey nearly 4,000 miles during the migratory season.

Most shark observation is done from the cage here, but some of the more fearless opt to go cage-free. The ocean floor is about 200 feet down, but divers rarely go more than 10 feet below the surface.

Once the waters are chummed up you will find yourself surrounded by a dozen or so blue sharks, their pointed snouts and slender bodies quite distinguishable. You generally get two 30-minute turns in the cage, and you often have to swim a significant gap between the cage and the boat unprotected.


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