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Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Hermanus
May 9th 2006
Published: May 15th 2006
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Shark Lady AdventuresShark Lady AdventuresShark Lady Adventures

The boat takes to the water
After a slight delay...we are getting used to Africa time.....it was off on the Baz Bus to Stellenbosch. It is basically a hop on / hop off minibus service, which has the distinct advantage of being door to door and allowing the total avoidance of the main bus / train stations. Stellenbosch was the first port of call and was picture post card pretty, although the majority of the backpacking circuit probably failed to notice through the alcoholic haze....still if you can't beat them, join them.

We'd already sampled South African white wines, but we are now much more informed why we like like them and very importantly, why they are cheaper. Just for the record, we visited Simonsig, Delaire (both outside Stellenbosch), Dieu Donne (In Franschoek - a corner of France) and Fairview (in Paarl). Franscheok was even more picturesque than Stellenbosch.

The full on party atmosphere in the backpackers was enough after a couple of nights and we are now in the calmer surroundings of Hermanus. In season, Hermanus is the whale watching capital of the world...out of season, it's the main centre to go cage diving with the Great Whites! This is the real deal...none of this sitting in an aquarium with a couple of midgets.....it's you, the Great Whites and a cage standing in the way of the inevitable. The "diving" takes place out of Kleinsbaai in what is knwon as Shark Alley in the channel between the mainland and Dyer Island - the large seal colonies make it like a takeaway for sharks. A tuna bait, a period of time and patience and there you go......jaws on your doorstep. The water was freezing even with a wetsuit, but you soon forget that when you are nose to nose with a 12 foot Great White at 3 or 4 feet distance.....just keep concentrating holding the bar inside the cage and not the cage itself! Overall we were lucky - 10 sharks and no sea sickness. Of course, they will all be 20 feet long in the pub later!


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