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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Swimming with the fishes.....

It is official, I have now been in the water with great white sharks! Today Joe and I went on a boat to Dyer's Island to go great white shark cage diving. Joe wasn't going to come, but I really wanted someone to share the experience with so when he dropped me off we asked if there was space on the boat and there was, so he came along. We were both very excited (no really, Joe was too!) and we saw ELEVEN sharks!

I went shark cage diving in Hawaii and saw Galapagos sharks and that was very cool. Great whites really aren't as scary in person as they look in pictures, though if I were on a surfboard I think I would change my tune....These guys were between 9-14 feet and they are much thicker girthwise than Galapagos sharks.

The cage is skinny and long and fits 7 people in their own compartments. The boat flew out to the site (we went airbourne a few times) and then they began chumming for the sharks. They use a legal fish mixture, large rotting pieces of fish, and a black seal cutout. It took about 30-45 minutes for the sharks to come, but when they did they were very interested in the seal cutout. They hang out in the kelp at Dyer's Island normally because that is where the seals like to be. We saw their mouths a couple of times, and it was pretty impressive.

I was in the cage for about 15-20 minutes and it was cool. However, the seal was not staying tight on my mask so I kept having to pop up. We stayed on the surface, but when the shark was coming the deckhands would yell "down left" or "down right" etc, and we would duck down and hold onto the handrails to get optimal viewing. The seas were fairly rough though so we got thrown around a lot.

As a result of the rough seas, I am ashamed to say that I got seasick and added my own "chum" to the sea. I had to be in an enclosed space to put the wetsuit on and I think that is what did it. I took a motion sickness pill too, but the swells were pretty big and we were 9 kilometers from the shore. Luckily I got really sick after I saw the sharks and not before!

Tomorrow we were going to go kayaking, but we are really tired and after being on the rough seas today I think I have had enough ocean for a bit. However, we are going to walk on the Cliff Path (2 minutes from the B and B) to see the whales in the morning. We saw some S. Right Whales from the shore today as well. Hermanus is the best place in the world for land based whale watching.

Marie had a lovely day by herself and saw what Hermanus had to offer shoppingwise. Joe and I had a lovely dinner tonight as well, and did manage to do a bit of shopping ourselves. :-)

Tomorrow we are off to the winelands....

Overall it was a pretty cool experience. I was nervous beforehand, but getting in the cage

1 comment:

allison said...

Sounds exciting Cat! I should be so adventurous as to be seasick while shark cage diving in the ocean off the coast Africa! While you were looking into the jaws of a great white, I was probably doing laundry - and an underwear load at that.