A day in the life of a bookings coordinator Ever wonder what happens behinds the scenes of your shark trip? Every booking and phone call made and question asked…yes, even those random requests for restaurant recommendations are responded to and coordinated by the bookings team here at African Shark Eco-Charters. Our job is to make sure you actually experience the shark cage dive and tour. Here is what an ordinary day looks like for us… 08:45AM- Open the shop for the day Right on the harbour at the Simons Town Waterfront Centre is where we’re based. Having undergone a revamped recently, the shop is looking shiny and new and the new merchandise is already flying off the new shelves! 09:00AM- Call Rob As soon as the store is setup and ready to receive shoppers and guests, we get in touch with Rob to find out how the morning shark tour [...]
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Let’s talk about Orcas’… When I say “Orca”, what is the picture your mind conjures? If you are a little older, I am sure the movie “Free Willy” immediately jumps to mind! Big beautiful black and white whales…well actually the Orca, more commonly known as the “Killer Whale” is not a whale at all! The Orca is actually the largest member of the dolphin family, which you can kind of see it when you take a look and listen to them. As with dolphins, Orcas’ are very social creatures and swim the oceans of the world in pods of up to 30 strong. They hunt together, using ever evolving methods and team strategies to feed, and sometimes may even hook up with another pod to increase their numbers! As with dolphins, Orcas’ are highly intelligent, they continually learn better and new ways to feed, hunt and live! Their main food [...]
My Shark Cage Dive Adventure…Part two We were joined on the top look out deck by a young lady and her aunt, whom we later found out, was the “fun” aunt the one that went along on all the 16 year olds adrenaline fuelled adventures! My hubby was telling anyone who would listen that he was “the king of the world” while holding onto the safety rails with a firm grip. The trip to Seal Island took us about 30 uneventful minutes, which when in the middle of the ocean, is the way you want it, uneventful. If given time to think about things logically, one would eventually come to the truth, that since this is a rock of approximately 5 acres in size, and home to between 65 and 75 thousand Cape Fur Seals there is going to be a rather rank smell that will emanate from said rock! [...]
Our Seas Are Alive with Sharks! The past few days the Great White Shark activity around Seal Island, False Bay has been steadily increasing as we approach our high-season (April-September). We have had up to 6 different Great White Sharks around our boat in one single morning, hanging around long enough to give our guests the best viewing opportunity possible! Our experienced skipper, Rob Laurence decided to tow our Shark Decoy on our way back to Simonstown Harbour, after an excellent day of Shark Sightings and to all of our surprise we had a Great White Shark Surface Breach right behind our boat! So early in the season and already such good activity around Seal Island - Could this be a result of current El Nino cycle we experiencing!? Now lets not forget about the massive pods of Common Dolphins which have been around almost every trip, which by the [...]
Common Dolphins and Great White Sharks on our False Bay, Seal Island trips. The past few trips to Seal Island have been nothing but spectacular! On our way to the Island this morning we were lucky enough to come across a pod of Common Dolphins, which appeared to be in a feeding frenzy not too far from the island itself. We just knew from then that it was going to be a day to remember! After the guests had finished taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of these incredible animals in their natural environment, we proceeded towards the north side of the island for some real action! Not long after dropping our anchor, we were greeted by a 2.5 meter Great White shark , the first one of the day but definitely not the last! With a blink of an eye, the first four enthusiastic guests were down in the [...]
Shark Poem by African Shark Eco-Charters 12th April Crazy shark day!! And a poem dedicated to all the ‘Mark the Sharks’ we have around Seal Island at the moment (for those who haven’t picked up on it yet, we seem to name many of the sharks around the boat Mark. We have Mark 1, Mark 2 and even Mark 3. Who knows where this will go..... and it all started from one little (Well actually quite big, about 3.5metres) white shark who turned up at the boat with a – yep youve guessed it – big scratch (or mark!) on his side. But first, this whole week has been a great build up of shark activity. Dare I say it, every trip has been near on perfect. We have had a brilliant mixture of great guests, and memorable shark activity. Since the few bad weather days in False Bay last [...]
5th April Very unpredictable ‘sharkyness’ has been going on all week! We have gone from one extreme of great white shark behaviour, to another. Towards the end of last week the visibility around Seal Island, False Bay was incredible. At one point we were anchored in 12 metres of water, watching seals swim around the boat in crystal clear water – almost unheard of! We could clearly see the rocky substrate on the bottom, and therefore any activity beneath the surface. Unfortunately for us, this clear water meant the sharks were very chilled and slow, to the point where we waited for over 2 hours for a viewing. For our afternoon trip that day we explained the situation to the guests, and told them to expect longer than usual waiting time – especially as it was a fully booked boat with everyone wanting to go into the cage. However, the [...]
Today I thought I would keep to the topic of sharks of course, but taking it from a different angle, that of the operators who offer dives out of Simon’s Town, Western Cape. There are a couple of things to remember when embarking on the exciting shark cage dive, but the most important being that these are wild animals, not trained to perform and appear at our behest, but rather they grace us with their presence and we are blessed to be able to see them in their natural environment. 20+Years ago, Rob Lawrence affectionately known as the Shark Legend, with a partner noticed the feeding habits of the Great White Shark off of seal island, and how these majestic creatures would break from the depths into the air in pursuit of their prey. They decided that they would offer shark trips out to seal island to other interested folk, [...]
August 8th 2015 It’s been a beautiful, hot and sunny time in False Bay for the last week, with flat calm seas ensuring our African Shark Eco Charters trips’ have been very enjoyable! It’s also been fantastic that we have had one of our favourite sharks from last season ‘Propguard’ being very active around the boat. This is a shark we got to know very well last season, and it created huge excitement when she returned early last month – and looking very fat! Where-ever she has been for the last year, it’s been good for her, and since her return she’s spent many trips around our boat, Blue Pointer II, giving the guests a thrilling time with her almost 4.5m bulk appearing out of the gloom (and sometimes very speedily!!)! Now none of us can pretend that this season has been in any way similar to last year. This [...]
“A fantastic experience!” Reviewed 29 April 2015 We had a great time with the Eco-Charters team. We were fortunate enough to have a good shark day at the beginning of April. We the the last of the charter boats to arrive at Seal Island - the others were already anchored and had some shark activity so our captain decided to try and get a breaching attack - not usual for this time of year - and we were successful - not a full "airjaws" experience, but a great visual of the shark breaking the water to attack the decoy! The cage dive was fantastic - lots of action - and the regulator makes it really easy and in no way whatsoever caused the sharks to stay away. I would recommened this experience to anyone visiting Cape Town Visited April 2015