Since I was very little, I have always loved sharks! I loved going to see them in the aquariums and always looked forward to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel every year. While surfing, I sometimes see sharks and always feel so lucky to be so close to such amazing animals. Though surfing allows you to see many sharks, I have never seen them at their own level. While we were in Gansbaai, South Africa, we got to do just that…. see White Sharks from a “sharks eye view”!
The night before, we go on our dive, I was so excited, I could barely sleep! Morning finally comes and we go to the White Shark Projects center, where we eat breakfast. After finishing breakfast, we are given the safety talk and then head to the boat. Climbing aboard, Zach and I make our way to the seats and look out at the beautiful ocean that these white sharks call home. It only takes 20 minutes to get to our anchor site and after securing the cage into place, the captain asks which of us would like to go first. Zach and I immediately raise our hands and we are the first to be picked to go into the water. We pull on the 7 mm wetsuit and get into the cage.
Within minutes of entering the cage, the first white shark appears. I was so completely stoked!!! It was so awesome, our first white shark, and it was even better than I imagined! Seeing them for the first time, it was not their size I was immediately impressed by, it was their beauty. White Sharks are truly beautiful animals and they swim with such grace it would leave even a person who fears the “Jaws theme” in awe. Soon, an even larger shark joins the first. They both circle the boat cautiously several times then head off. Then a third white shark appears out of nowhere, a perfect example of their coloration allowing them to blend in to the murky water. We watch as he makes several passes before exiting the cage to allow the other passengers to get a closer view.
After exiting the cage, Zach and I made our way to the top deck where we could get a great view of the sharks from above. From this height, we could see Dyer Island, where thousands of Cape Fur Seals congregate, which is also the reason the white sharks are here. We watched the sharks swim around the boat as we talked to the volunteers and crew about their experiences.
Soon, we got another chance to go back into the cage. This time it was colder than before, but as soon as another shark appeared we forgot all about the freezing water. Swimming around the cage slowly at first, he charged and lunged at the bait bringing him right up to the cage. It was the best part of the trip!
Although, we were out in the water for nearly 4 hours it seemed we had just gotten in the cage when the crew started hauling up the anchor and we headed to shore. This was an amazing experience and even though we had to be in a cage, it was one of the coolest things I have ever done! I would definitely recommend this to anyone even those who do not like sharks. I think it will definitely change your perceptions and even make you a shark lover too!