Got up at the crack of dawn today I dont know much more of getting up at 8:30am I can take. Had a nice breakfeast with Dave and Caron then grabbed my gear and headed over to go cage diving with the great whites. Arrived early at Shark Diving Unlimited in Kleinsbaai it was only a 5 minute ride over there so all good. Parked my bike out of harms way or Mike and had a walk around the harbour. A few others started to turn up for the 10 oclock meeting time so had a chat to a few of them. Got talking to a couple of kiwi guys (i think it was Jake and Mike, sorry if i got it wrong guys), they were travelling from europe to the Zambezi River with their girls, sounded pretty awesome adventure actually.
We got talking about the Rugby its just so massive over here Jan reminded us how many times South Africa are on the Webb Ellis Cup, that's the world cup for you guys not in the know, I just said yeah yeah you just keep bringing up the past cause there so bad at the moment. Should be a great month in South Africa while thats on I might even extend my visa yet for it plus one of the guys I met the other day Basil wants me to join them on a breat cancer charity ride.
We headed down to the boat ramp a short 100 metres stroll and waited for a Spanish crew to get off and we jumped on the boat and headed out. Was actually pretty good conditions, a bit of swell but really quite good considering the wind that has been around, its actually quite a windy place down this part of the coast and understandably so from where it is in the world. We boarded the boat ad headed out to the reef, It took about 15 minutes to get out to the cage that they had left out there which is good there's, none of the mucking around waiting for the cage to be dropped overboard, its basically suit up and straight into it.
As soon as the boat slowed they had the chum going into the water tuna, oil and all manner of stuff to attract the sharks, apparently they leave crap on the`cage so the sharks keep interested in it so basically we hadnt been there for 1 minute and this monster great white cruises up past the boat. They start handing the wetsuits out and everyone starts wacking them on. The deal is the cage holds 6 people and it rotates after awhile so everyone gets a few goes in the cage. I was discussing with the guys whether it would be better in the first group or second group as we got changed but that lasted a few seconds and I was the first person overboard and into the cage.
The boys had explained you hang there and when they shout down right you duck down underwater into the cage and that where the sharks is coming from. It is a little awkward at first trying to work it out on the kneeling bar holding the camera and then dropping down but you soon get the hang of it. They loaded everyone else in and the sharks where coming and circling the boat there was obviously a few around. I was in the water for about 30 or 40 minutes and saw so many sharks right next to the cage, you could actually hear the people on the boat screaming Wow and just so exciting, one of the girls in the cage came up and was screaming her head off was quite funny, I was trying to be all cool like yeah ok but I must admit they really are amazing creatures, and simply huge and I was more than a little excited myself.
Got out and dried off and grabbed my camera to get some above water shots and was just amazing watching them from the boat as well. they had a bit of a lull which sort of sucked for them but still was a few around, we just seemed to be going down coming up and getting the call to go down again constantly. One chick had a panic attack and wanted to just get out of there so they hauled her out, im not actually sure what she was scared about but I guess maybe it had something to do with the 4 metre white pointer banging into the cage.
The next group went in for awhile then it was our turn again. I sussed out that first in gets the right side of the cage then the third gets the left side of the cage so I let this girl from Amsterdam go in second and happy days I had the left side of the cage this time. Now im not sure if it makes any differece but it certainly allows you to watch the sharks more as they swim off then being in the middle. So here we are back in the cage and straight away its down down down, we go under and to our right the shark came banging along the cage underwater you wouldnt of wanted your foot poking out fair dinkum absolute classic, it certainly was bashing into the cage. Got alot better video this time so worked out the supporting yourself deal and started the cam before I actually went underwater so it was running by the time I got down there and pointed it at the shark.
We were having a great time then the call came to hop on out for the next group and fortunatly 3 or 4 of them had had enough so me and the kiwis guys didn't move and stayed in for another stint. It was getting a bit quiet on the shark front so they called it a day and we climbed back on board, I was the last out, how doesn't that surprise me first in last out sounds like im at the pub again, what an amazing experience though. They loaded the cage on board and headed off to show us around Seal Island, we threw a seal decoy out to see if we could catch a great white breaching and attacking the decoy. I asked on of the boy's what's the chance's, he said pretty slim during the day but I kept my camera focussed intently on the decoy.
Cruised for about 15 or 20 minutes then bang out comes this whopping big shark, flying through the air, seriously f%^k me, amazing. I had the camera set to capture multiple frames and wow what amazing pictures I got. I didnt take time to check them cause I was watching the crew with the camera and as soon as they chucked the decoy out he said dont take your eye off it you blink you'll miss it so I just kept my camera on it hoping for another chance. I was so keen to see if I had captured it but fought that urge off and im glad I did cause, BANG another one flying through the air, absolutely amazing and then another WOW just incredible. This last one was huge and ripped the decoy straight off the 100 kilo line, they had it attached to so that was it they turned the boat around grabbed the seal decoy and called it a day.
Was the first time I had got a chance to see the pictures and wow fantastic I didnt miss it thats for sure everyone was going, oh I gave up and as soon as I put my camera down they breached. You hear all the stories of that great shot that someone gets and its just so much patience. The boys on the boat said you could try for weeks and months to get photos like I did and still miss them, it all happens so quickly, I was very fortunate indeed and it took me like 45 minutes, ahh to easy.
Got back into the harbour Jan was there and grabbed my camera off me and took a photo of me in front of the Barracuda so that was nice of him and its a good way to remember the boat that I had such an amazing time on. We all headed back up the road to the shop and there was a great feed there waiting for us, we all made ourselves at home and hooked in. Quite a few people wanted to get a copy of my photos and I was more than happy to oblige so gave my website and said id post them on in Facebook for everyone to steal, so everyone was happy.
Everyone was knicking off back to where ever they were staying, a bus load of them were heading back into Cape Town so I was there by myself still buzzing from the experience, bought Logan a crew T-shirt and a shark tooth necklace he wanted one when I went to Thailand, this one is the real deal certified fossilised shark tooth, ha ha in Africa that probably means Joe Blow down the road says its is so wack on another hundred rand.
Said my goodbyes to the kiwi boys, seemed like really nice guys, their girls didn't join them today, what a mistake, I guess its not for everyone, how I don't know. I jumped on the bike and rode the few k's back home. Got back to the Saxon Lodge its really very nice here Dave and Ro are such nice, I just keep meeting great people here in South Africa the angels are shining down on me thats for sure. Hung around I was really exhausted actually and I knew from when I was in the cage I was going to be sore, it was pretty hard on my neck and back and I actually at one stage thought I might have to get out on the third go but I thought harden up princess worry about that tomorrow.
We were just having a beer at the bar and Jan from the crew lobbed up so we had a drink and a chat about the day, Hes actually into computers and photography so got some good tips on just touching up the pics I took today the white balance was a touch out, so ill try those tips later.
Dave cooked a big BBQ they love their meat over here rump steak sausage and some other chop they had, salad. We all sat down for dinner and what a dinner I actually could'nt finish of my rump steak now thatll tell you how much food there was im the pig of all pigs when it comes to growling down tucker but even ol chunky buddy couldnt squeeze it all in. Went out to the garden to have a smoke and beer then Jan had to go as it was about 9pm. I said my goodbyes to him just in case I dont catch him again and good night to Dave and Caron and hit the sack.
Diving with white pointers wasnt on any bucket list I have as i've never had bucket list but if its on yours do it, it certainly was an amazing experience, anyway beddy byes im exhausted, what a day. actually im totally f*(ked lol
Some of the amazing beasts I was in the water with
When we got there the guy said ok whose going in first, so of course I was up and in there before anyone else had a chance to react, as soon as i got in this beast came up and as he shouted down down down to go look at it under water it came along and hammered the cage with a whopping big bite right ablove my head, this photo I took as it came up to the cage just before, friggin absolutely buzzing after that was incredible experience, bring on the big sharks baby lol
There a rideforsmiles fan if ive ever seen one, nice big cheesy grin on his face ha ha
Finished a great day off with a nice bbq