Published: January 30th 2012January 7th 2012
Sorry about the long leave of absence...I haven't forgotten about you I have just had very little computer access!!!
South Africa....What a contrast to South America! The main things I had to adjust to was not needing to thank people in Spanish and actually being able to put loo paper in the toilet! Its crazy how things become habit so quickly!
So for my first couple of days in cape town I explored the city. The waterfront is a very developed shopping and restaurant area and has a great vibe to just wander around or sit down and have a drink in the sun by the docks. all the time you can look back in awe at the back drop of table mountain. I also discovered the city centre with the green market craft market, the botanical gardens, long street and popped into the South Africa museum and planetarium. Over the next two days I took to opportunity to take in some sun on the beaches! First Clifton and then Camps Bay. It was very hot down here on the sand but in contrast the water was freezing! Dipping your feet for just a few seconds was enough to
make them numb! Goodness knows how the surfers made it all the way in!
Anyway come Monday I was up early to go to the airport to greet Philippa who was arriving from London that morning. It was great to see her and we had so much to catch up on and plan for the next few days…..in particular to go shark cage diving the following day! But before then I gave Philippa a whistle stop tour of the city finishing with a short walk up the lions head (a hill next to table mountain) to watch the sunset. It was so beautiful and the first time since I had been there that there was cloud over the top of Table Mountain. But it was early to bed after that to prepare for our 5am collection to go shark cage diving!
Gansbaai is about a 2hr drive away from Cape Town and is where all the companies operate from to go the ‘shark alley’ to cage dive with great white sharks. Due to geographical features of the area sharks are frequently spotted around this area however they don’t actually live there, just pass through. I would lie if
I said that I wasn’t a little apprehensive of what I had signed up to do, and so was thinking that I could just watch from the side of the boat and not actually go in the cage, which I thought sounded like a good compromise! Anyway, once out in Shark Alley Philippa got me up and we were the first ones to get our wetsuits on (at this point I was still thinking that I probably wouldn’t get in the cage!) but within 30minutes our first great white shark had come to visit the boat and with only 3 other people ready in wetsuits we were the first ones summoned to the cage…..so in I went! It felt very surreal…..hanging off the side of a boat in a metal cage with a bate chum line about 2m away from you waiting for a great white shark…..hmmmmm. But it was fantastic. Every time the shark came back around the guide would shout to go down so you take a massive breath and sink down lower in the cage to be able to see it swim past you. It was fascinating and they really were not aggressive towards us or the
bate on the chum line! Who said that sharks were dangerous?! Luckily for us the others on the boat took aaaages to get their wetsuits on so we were able to stage in the cage for ages. Eventually we got out and the others got in but unfortunately that shark had by then had enough and left! We were out on the boat for about 4hrs and got to see about 3 different sharks. Some days you can see more but some days they can see none, so we did pretty well and when there was one around it stayed with us for quite some time. A couple on the boat had an underwater digital camera so we are hoping to be sent some copies of their snaps and videos. All in all a brilliant day which we both can not believe that we did. It was then back to Cape Town for some well deserved rest and then some nice food!
Following that day of drama me and Philippa had a chilled day on the beach before I then went and met my parents at the airport the next day!
P.S Pictures will come when
I get to a computer that hasn't had the USB port removed...helpful ey?!
There are more photos below