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Sean's Blog

When the shark bites...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today we finally got to see the sharks that everyone has been waiting for. Yesterday we did the scuba training just incase we wouldn't have been able to go out on the boat to see the sharks. However, we did get to go, and it was a lot of fun.
It took about two hours to drive from Cape Town to Gansbaai, where the shark diving company is located. The drive was very scenic, with mountains, vineyards, and ocean! When we got there, they served us breakfast, and then we went up the street to hear a presentation on the great white shark from a local marine biologist. Then we got on the boat for an approx. 15 minute ride out to the dive spot. Where we dived is called shark alley, and is with two islands, Dyer island and Seal island(I think it has another name). Penguins live on Dyer, and on seal island, there are about 60,000 cape fur seals. These two animals are good fod for the sharks, making it probably yhe best place to view great whites in the world! What happened was that you got into a wetsuit and then they put soapy goggles on your face and you got in the cage. Whenever a shark would come by, a crew member, or all, would yell in their South African/ Afrikaaner accents, "get down, down, down! Shark on the left on the left, down down!" Then you were to take a breath and pull yourself down to the viewing window. I went in the cage twice. The first time was uneventful for a long time, but then it picked up and was pretty good. The second time I went was even better, with two or three sharks hanging around in the area. There was one shark that was enormous! When I was changing out of my suit, I heard a bunch of commotion and later saw on video that one of the sharks went for the bait heading right at the cage. It took the bait and turned to the side, but it then hit the cage with its side. When it started swimming away it was near the surface and splashed the divers with its tail fin. It was a reallt cool experience, and probably something that I won't ever get the chance to do again. I can't wait to see how all the pictures turn out, and see the video that DSA took, above and below the water. It should be pretty good. We're taking a break from group blogging and photos today, so keep checking, and they'll be there eventually. Tomorrow's plan is to see the african penguins at SANCCOB and possibly go to table mountain, then cape of good hope, then to the airport to fly to johannesburg.

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mark3256 said...

...with his teeth dear....

The pictures posted were pretty good. Did Stephanie get any underwater shots?

Peggy said...

what a great experience that must have been!! Wow! It sounds like you are haveing a great time and learning a lot! The pictures are really good, looks like everyone is haveing fun!

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 12 days
When June 2nd - 13th, 2009
Focus Wildlife Research/Conservation
Political History