Published: July 23rd 2010July 5th 2010
The day had finally come. Daddy had talked about this part of the trip for a long time. He had wished he had done this when he was in South Africa the other 2 times, but did not. There was no way that we were not going to do it on this trip.......the Great White Sharks.
At first it seemed pretty scary, especially since he told me that most people on the boat go into a cage and the sharks come right up to it. When daddy called to see if I could go on the boat, not only did they say that I can go on the boat, but I could also go into the cage if I wanted to. NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO WAAAAAAYYYYYYY was I going to do that, and daddy never asked me again, and promised that he would not even go in the cage but would stay with me on the boat the whole time. He showed me some pictures and convinced me that we would be safe on the boat, so I became very excited. It sounded really cool. We had seen lots of animals on this trip in their natural homes, such as lions, hyenas, elephants,
My favorite Shark Picture
Biting the entire "Seal Cookie"
zebra, giraffes and many more,and this sounded just as exciting if not more. Daddy told me that this was the only place in the world where there is a very high chance of seeing them and that they even jump out of the water. I knew dolphins and whales could do that, but I did not think that sharks do. We were also going during July, which was one of the best months to see them. We decided to go with sharkcagediving.net which is run by Brian McFarlane who has been featured on national geographic and discovery.
So daddy rented a car and made the 2 hour drive from Stellenbosch to Gansbaii. On the way, he stopped by the post office in Hermanus to mail a large package home. It included one of my giant zakumis and lots of cold weather clothes, as we were leaving the following day back to Greece and back to summer weather. Plus daddy had to make room for all the wine he was bringing back. We made it to Gansbaai by 930am for a great breakfast and briefing. One group came back about 1100 and we were told they saw a lot of
sharks, and that nobody got sick.
So we boarded the boat with about 30 others and we headed for the top deck as this was better for viewing and we were not going to go into the cage anyway. The ride was a little bumpy at first and I held on to daddy tightly, but then was smooth and I enjoyed it. We stopped at a place that was near a little island and they threw the anchor. The put 3 small fish on one line and then a floating flat thing that was supposed to look like a seal from below the water. I called it the "seal cookie". We waited no more than 15-20 minutes when the first of many sharks came by. It was incredible!!! Daddy and I loved it! Sometimes they would just swim buy, many being around 15+ feet, other times they would take a bit of the "seal cookie" or fish bait. The best would be when the came out of the water, once or twice even jumped out of the water. It was incredible. While daddy didnt see it, Brian told daddy that each time a shark would come to the bait
The only place in the world where they jump out of the water
or "cookie" I would bite down really hard like a shark. I had so much fun checking out these huge animals.
Most of the others went into the cage and saw the sharks from just under the water by holding their breath. There was no SCUBAa equipment or snorkel. Besides being very could they loved it. At one time, I even decided that I wanted to go in and try it with daddy. Daddy asked me if I was sure, and I said, very hesitantly, that I wanted to do it. Brian asked to see what the smallest wet suit was and it was for a 7-8 year old. I then changed my mind, which daddy was glad. (not sure if he would have let me go even if I wanted to, but was glad I made my own decision). I continued to have so much fun watching them from the boat....and after all they still were only 10 feet from me.
After a couple hours of viewing the great whites, we slowly went by the island and saw all the seals, also known as shark food. I thought they were really cool also and loved the sounds
Me at Hermanus
The best place in the world to see whales from land
they were making. It was then a 30 minute trip back to land.
Both daddy and I loved the trip. It was even better than we thought it would be. On the way back home, we stopped off in Hermanus to see if we could see any whales. It is known as the best place in the world to see whales from the land. While I was not able to see any, daddy said he saw some and they were blowing water into the air. While I could not see it, I believed him.
Another 2 hours and we were back at our lodge. It was our last night in South Africa. Between the World Cup Soccer games, Safari in Kruger, touching a lion, wine festival, seeing the great white sharks, and meeting tons of cool people, South Africa was AWESOME. I was sad to leave. We still had 4 nights in Greece before returning home, but for now it was off to the "airpork" again and saying my final goodbye to Zakumi.
There are more photos below