It has been a fascinating start to my second season with Apex, particularly as I arrived in early February and I have not been to South Africa at this time of year. I was curious to see what summer looked and felt like here and it certainly lived up to expectations. I was greeted by an abundance of late summer flowers in gardens, amid cracks in the roadside tarmac and on the hillsides surrounding my home. I was delighted to witness late blooms of proteas and watched lizards basking in the sunshine as we experienced an unusually warm February. It was a fantastic contrast to the cold UK winter and also a welcome relief from the dry and oppressive heat of Egypt, which is where I had been hunkered down after my previous season here. I have discovered that the landscape of the cape is lush and vibrant at this time of year and, whilst it is undeniably stunning in autumn and winter, the summer is simply wonderful. During my first walk along Fish Hoek beach I couldn’t help but admire how calm the water was and how it slowly drifted in and out in hues of turquoise that I didn’t know existed. I couldn’t wait to get out to Seal Island and begin my season with the sharks.
After an amazing 10 days with the Great White sharks at Stewart Island Chris & I decided to stay on for another 7 days in New Zealand and explore South Island and the many nature highlights and experiences it has to offer.
Our first stop was The Caitlin Coast where we were hoping to see 2 species of penguins, The Blue Penguin and the Yellow-Eyed penguin.
We have had incredible common dolphin sightings since I arrived back in False Bay for my second season with Apex Shark Expeditions and I can’t stop smiling at the moments both crew and guests alike have shared during these times. I can honestly say I have never seen anything quite so spectacular and magical as the pods of dolphins that have joined us over the past two months at sea. In my previous trips to Seal Island I have been fortunate enough to meet these beautiful creatures on a number of occasions but it is fair to say that this year they have utterly won my heart, which says a lot for a self-confessed sharkaholic.
Visiting New Zealand in search of Great White sharks has been on our radar since the first cage diving operation started here about 7 years ago. So, we were thrilled and excited when the opportunity of being involved in a new documentary for Discovery Channel's Shark Week presented its self.
Although there are a number of areas in New Zealand that provide fairly good chances of finding Great White sharks our location was perhaps the most well-known, Stewart Island, which is located south of South Island.
It all began on a wintery day back in August 1996 when Chris witnessed his first ever breaching Great White Shark at Seal Island.
Nearly 18 years ago he would not have guessed at the wildlife history that would take place around this tiny 400 meter long Island located in the middle of False Bay and a mere 5 kilometres from the closest beach. Seal Island was to become one of the most famous places on earth for Great White sharks, their spectacular breaching behaviour and the most intense spot in the world for Great White shark predatory behaviour.