Posted on Sunday, 21 April 2013
After a month of pretty bad weather we anxiously watched the forecast of good weather stay true for a great opportunity to head off Cape Point in search of Mako and Blue sharks. The weather did not disappoint and as we headed off Cape Point the sea was even calm for the open ocean!
Just before heading off Cape Point we came across a school of about five hundred Common dolphin at the mouth of the Bay. We spent a good thirty minutes with them accessing their behaviour. Of course we had seen a pod of Orcas just three days before so we wanted to make sure they were not around before driving further south. All seemed quiet so we continued our journey in search of warmer water; it was just 13 degrees Celsius at The Point!
It was still pretty cold until we hit a strong current line about 17 miles from Cape Point. There was also a great temperature break on the other side of the current line and we watched the water temperature climb up to just under 18 degrees Celsius, perfect for the sharks!
We set up our slick and began our wait...
We had just about finished for the day and were busy packing things up when a larger fourth Mako shark for the day arrived!
Our bait had attracted a number of White Chin petrels, Great shearwaters, and also a couple of Shy albatross around the boat. While we waited for the sharks the birds put on a great show as they fought over scraps of fish. We particularly enjoyed various chest butts and loud squawking noises!
Just under an hour later we had a small 1.2 meter Blue shark approach the bait. It has been some weeks since we were offshore so we were really happy to see this little fellow. Very soon after he arrived we had a good size Mako of about 1.7 meters also arrive and a couple minutes later a second Mako shark of a similar size also came in. Its not often that we get to see two Mako sharks together. The interactions are always great as they generally do not like each other. So, when they find themselves approaching the bait together they put on huge bursts of speed in an effort to create distance from one another. The second Mako did not stay long but shortly a third Mako shark arrived. The water visibility was on the green side but it was still a great dive to have two Mako’s together with a small Blue shark thrown in the mix!
We had just about finished for the day and were busy packing things up when a larger fourth Mako shark for the day arrived! In Mako shark terms, seeing four in one day is considered extremely lucky. This shark was particularly keen to stay around and was perfectly happy swimming on the surface. As such it was a great opportunity for Chris to use his pole-cam for some close up shots. The Mako was really interested in the camera and this gave way to some unique mouth-open, gill gazing images!
As we headed back to Cape Point and Simonstown in a beautiful following sea I quietly reflected on how amazing the open ocean environment is off Cape Point and what a privilege it is that we can access it and the various marine wildlife out there so easily.