My Best Shark Cage Diving Experience Ever!
Posted on Monday, 20 February 2012
Many tourists and wildlife fanatics visit Cape Town with their number 1 priority to go shark cage diving with one of the ocean’s most formidable predators, The Great White Shark. In fact tourism stats show that over 40,000 people participate in cage diving in Cape Town each year, and that figure is growing constantly.
Our False Bay shark diving expeditions from Simons Town take place at Seal Island , only 45 minutes from Cape Town. Each winter Apex Shark Expeditions seeks out nature and shark fanatics and we aim to provide an educational but still highly exciting shark breaching and cage diving tour.
As such Chris, myself and our crew spend a huge amount of time out on the water and spending this time out at Seal Island gives us an amazing opportunity to experience great white sharks and other marine wildlife. False Bay is more famous for great white shark breaching behaviour but it is also excellent for shark cage diving. When a good opportunity comes along, we make sure we make the most of it!
On this particular day in May a few years ago we were doing one of our last trips on our much smaller and much loved vessel, White Pointer. It was a very humid day and shortly into the trip we were experiencing Thunder bolts and lightning, highly unusual for the False Bay and Simons Town area! This also created a rather unique feeling whilst watching great white sharks swim around our boat.
Half way into the trip we had a beautiful 4.3 meter female great white shark arrive at the boat. She was absolutely magnificent as she slowly and lazily circled our boat and shark cage. Not only is it rare to see a large shark, it’s also unusual for a great white shark of this size to stay around for a long period of time. The lucky guest that happened to be in the cage was having an amazing shark cage diving experience. Our good luck continued and we managed to get all our guest on board to dive with this lovely female. As the last guest got into the shark cage Chris said I should quickly put on a wetsuit so that I could try dive with such a large shark. I donned a wetsuit in record time but the moment I entered the cage, she disappeared...! I was pretty disappointed but was still happy just to have seen this large shark from the boat.
As I was already submerged in freezing cold water I decided to stay in the shark cage and see who else decided to visit...I certainly did not believe that I was about to have my best shark cage diving experience ever! Shortly a 3.4 meter female arrived. Her approach was unusual as she did not go to our bait as other sharks would. Instead she came right up to the shark cage and ever so gently gave it a tiny nudge.