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written by Kat Hodgson

A group of Cape Fur seals leaving Seal Island to go and hunt.

Posted on Sunday, 19 May 2013

The conditions at Seal Island this morning were stunning; milky seas with a gentle swell and a clear sky overhead. We observed a pod of over 100 common dolphin and a number of seal groups leaving the island as the sun rose over the mountains surrounding False Bay. What a start and we hadn’t even seen a shark at this point! 

 

We were fortunate enough to witness a number of natural predation events at the northern end of the island after sunrise and one occurred directly in-front of our vessel when we were on anchor. We were able to observe the interaction between the shark and seal and their unique behaviours. We also had a great breach on our decoy seal and the guests hollered and shouted in their excitement as they saw their first Great White Shark! I treasure that moment every single day. 

 

No sooner had we anchored and put our bait into the water than a shark visited us and stayed long enough for our first three guests to go cage diving. The visibility was good, the sun was shining overhead and our guests were ecstatic to have such wonderful views of the magnificent shark. Everyone that wanted to dive was able to do so throughout the morning and we had a small 2m shark with us for these dives. This little shark was playful and a delight to watch as it snapped gently at the bait being pulled away from its snout. It reminded me of an inquisitive puppy chasing a ball and never quite reaching it. Shortly after this we were visited by a 3.8m female with distinctive scuff marks on her flank. In comparison to the little shark, she seemed enormous and had a very different personality. She lazily inspected the bait, banked towards the decoy seal, disappeared into the depths and then returned again and again. She was very laid back in her approach and had beautiful speckled markings around her gills.

Shortly after this we were visited by a 3.8m female with distinctive scuff marks on her flank.

But it isn’t just the wildlife we saw today that made it so special; it was our guests. Every day we meet people from all walks of life and from different parts of the world, each with a story to tell. For a few hours we have the privilege of being a part of our guests’ lives and witnessing their dreams come true. In this last week alone I have met people that have travelled from Alaska, Australia, India, England, Africa, Canada, Spain, Italy and America to see these sharks. Many have dreamed of their moment with the sharks for a lifetime. We have had two honeymoon couples onboard, fathers and daughters, a mother and son reuniting after a year apart and a family of six today preparing their daughter for her wedding. She had always wanted to dive with sharks and this was her family gift to her before she gets married. For me I particularly enjoy sharing my time with the guests onboard and hearing about their lives, their stories and discovering the sharks together. Little do they realise that those moments are as magical for us as seeing the sharks themselves.

 

 

Tags:

Marine Life, Great White Shark Cage Diving, Seal Island - False Bay, Cape Fur Seal

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