It had been a very long day of driving from Port St Johns to East London, but as soon as we saw the waves, we were ready to get out there! That morning in Port St. Johns the waves had been small, and closeout, but a few hours south made all the difference. We parked the car, grabbed our boards, jumped into our wetsuits, and paddled out.
Once we got out, we realized it was way better than it looked from the house. It was bigger and cleaner, so Zach, Harrison, and I were able to get some pretty good waves. We had been surfing for about 45 minutes when a helicopter flew over us. At first, we thought it was just watching us surf and we waved to the pilot and whoever else was up there. Then, it circled around, making several passes before hovering over the three of us. At first, we thought it was kind of weird until finally, we saw the pilot motion us to shore. With the white shark dive we had done previously, we had a pretty good idea why a helicopter pilot was so interested in getting us out of the water.
As much as I love seeing white sharks, I would much rather it not be while I was not surfing! My brothers and I agreed to catch the next wave in. Once each of us had neared the shallows, making our way to the beach, the pilot pulled away down the rugged coastline.
During the whole surf sesh, we never saw a single fin, shadow, or any indication of a shark ourselves, possibly because of the cloudy skies and dark water. However, the helicopter pilot’s persistence made it fairly clear that we should get to shore. In reality, there are very likely sharks around you any time you enter the ocean, yet people remain unaware and unaffected by their presence. We are far more dangerous to sharks than they are to us. This is the draw of the ocean – it always holds its wildness and like every environment, we are the guests.