Against all initial advice I decided to go cage diving with the GREAT WHITES in a small town not too far from Cape Town. What an experience it was!
The small fishing village of Gansbaai (where we would dive from) is only a shortdrive from my wife’s parents home in South Africa. Dyer and Geyser Islands, just off the coast, are home to a large colony of over fifty thousand seals and are a favorite feeding ground for the Great White shark. The deep channel between these two islands is known as Shark Alley and is acknowledged as one of the best places in the world to view the Great White. If you have ever watched any sort of shark program you have probably heard of shark alley. It was one of those moments that I have mentioned before, the kind of instance that really reminds you of where you are. I’m sitting on a boat right now, about to get into the same water as those crazy guys that I have seen so many times on Shark Week (on Discovery Channel). We were all very excited, to say the least!
It worked just like you’d imagine: we parked ourselves in shark alley between the two seal islands and started chumming….about fifteen minutes later a HUGE (about 15 ft) GREAT WHITE SHARK just appeared out of nowhere and it was going for our bait (a Tuna Fish).
Everyone went crazy and rushed to the side of the boat…it was really pretty darn exciting. This went on and on for about 6 hours. We had maybe 10 different large great whites come to our boat, each just as exciting as the next. We’d be sitting around just kind of scanning the water for sharks or chit-chatting … maybe 20 or 30 minutes would go by without any action, then the captain would give a blood curdling yell…”SHARK!!!!!” just like in JAWS. We all jumped up and down to check things out. We had a large diving cage that was attached to the side of the boat and everyone would take turns in this cage (7 at a time), a typical turn lasting for about 30 or 45 minutes – plenty of time to see plenty of action. When the sharks would get close you would just go under water (the cage was only 3/4 submerged) and check out the shark. Often it would come right up to the cage and bump into it. Scary but exciting. This is something that I would recommend to anyone and would most likely do it again.
PS Anyone else upset that Megalodon on Discovery Channel turned out to be a Mockumentary?
***Shark jumping photo in the header at top of page is from apexpredators.com. Other photos are from Blogger Son #1