Today I experienced something that not many people on this earth can say they have done… I was in the water with Great White Sharks!
Our journey today started with a 2 hour drive from Cape Town to Gansbaai where we boarded our expedition ship to the waters between the mainland and seal island. I won’t lie, I don’t really have sea legs so I was out of commission for most of the one hour trip out to these shark infested waters. Once I heard the screams of excitement and something enormous splashing around in the water, I was back on my feet in a hurry.
You can watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel until you are blue in the face, but you cannot really understand their scale until you see one tear through an 18 inch tuna head like a warm dinner roll. We had numerous sharks come in for a bite of the bait while brushing up against the cage. Being in the water was exhilarating, but the best views were from the top deck of the ship where you could see the sheer size of these beasts. They get up to 6 metres in length and we had a 4 meter monster testing the strength of the cage.
A short trek over to seal island showed us why the Great Whites dominate these waters. Thousands of seals lined the beaches and rocks of the island. It was like a buffet of sorts! Apparently this is low season for the Great Whites. We didn’t get to see them feeding in peak season which falls between June and July. In peak season there are sporadic pools of seal blood and sharks breaching (exploding out of the water) while they play with their food, as if to taunt the seals before feasting on them.
All in all it was a fantastic experience, even though I was that guy who was laying out sick for a lot of the time…