Up Close and Almost Too Personal with the Great White Sharks of False Bay with African Shark Eco Charters By Paul Danckwerts How do you write about a great white shark, it’s immense never ending silvery flanks catching the light as it scythes through the bubbly gloom six inches in front of your face? With difficulty. Just to see one of these behemoths is a privilege and an emotional one at that for anybody who knows anything about these misunderstood monsters of the deep. The Blue Pointer 2, a 36-foot vessel that sports two 300hp engines on the aft, sits comfortably at its berth in Simonstown on Africa’s Cape Peninsula. It’s a custom vessel built for shark cage diving. With an upper deck for the non-divers, an on-board toilet and a cabin there’s plenty of room to move around in. It is captained by Rob Lawrence, one of the [...]
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Let’s Talk About It…The dwindling number of Great White Sharks I have taken the liberty of using Scott Dunlop’s notes to bring this incredibly sad and shocking truth to you all today, and hope you will please read it and stand together with us in improving these frightful numbers. Thank you to Scott Dunlop for this information and for bringing it to our attention, it is now our duty to take it to the world! South Africa’s great white sharks heading for extinction Only 353 to 522 great white sharks left in South African waters The magnificent great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias L.) is one of the oldest shark lineages with an evolutionary origin dating back about 14 million years. New research from Stellenbosch University (SU) shows that the South African white shark population is in double jeopardy. Not only do these sharks have the lowest genetic diversity [...]
Let’s Talk About It…Their Return The return of the great white sharks to False Bay In False Bay, it’s been a very long and painful stretch; an 8 week and 6 day stretch to be exact. But now, and I say this with cautious optimism; “they are back!” Our sharks seem to have returned to our Island, bringing with them, a couple juveniles, 2 meter juveniles, that jump and hunt with inexperienced skill, and as yet a little on the cautious side, not too sure of our boats. But then there is the lovely lady; a 3.5 meter girl, with a girth well worth the mention, and she just loved our boat and cage! Not even our experienced bait man, Wellington could get our decoy away from her in time. She “played” and let us all see why these creatures are some of our favourites! She swam a figure of [...]
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 [...]
Breaching Great White Breaching is a once in a lifetime, must see experience. It is just simply amazing to see a creature, King of the waters, if you will, leaping out of the ocean and gliding through the sky as it catches its prey. The energy and power needed to be able to launch out the water is just incredible. Breaching is the natural hunting method the Great White uses to catch prey. Breaching season in the False bay area starts in May and we are very lucky to be able to offer our AirJaws trip. The AirJaws trip not only allows surface viewing of the sharks and Breaching but also cage diving if you wish. Our AirJaws trip is an early morning trip as Breaching takes place mainly just before sunrise. We look forward to having you join us on this amazing experience
Breaching Great White Sharks of False Bay, South Africa The Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is the shark of all sharks. It is beautifully streamlined to slip through the water with minimum effort. Its enormous size, powerful jaws that can extend almost like an outreaching hand, rows of large triangular teeth, and jet-black eyes make it one of the most feared creatures on the planet. It is the ultimate super predator. Great White Sharks seem to be strongly visual predators and are the only fish known to spy-hop; lifting their heads out of the water, apparently to look around for prey. They will hunt deep diving Cape Fur Seals, but most of their attacks take place on the surface without warning, from below and behind. They can even breach right out of the water in pursuit of prey. Their teeth hit first and they protect their eyes from [...]
Seal Island in False Bay, South Africa is the best place to see the breaching Great White Shark The Great White Shark is one of the most widely distributed of all sharks and has been sighted in almost every region of the globe from cold seas to the tropics, and from coastal to oceanic seas. They are mainly found between the latitudes of 60° North and 60° South, in waters ranging in temperature between 14° C and 24° C. Research has shown that Great White Sharks do not remain long in any particular place, and instead will only stay in a certain region for a few weeks on end. Great White Sharks are also capable of extensive open ocean voyages, covering vast distances around the globe. Generally the Great White Shark is considered rare in most places it occurs, but there are a handful of places around the [...]
Great Whites will often target lone Cape Fur Seals during predatory events. From direct observation and data collected, hunting White Sharks apparently: stalk surface-swimming Cape Fur Seals from near the bottom, probably relying on camouflage afforded by the murky water and the dark, rocky bottom against which their dark dorsal surfaces render the predators all but or wholly invisible. Direct observation indicated that Great White Sharks at Seal Island were very difficult or impossible to detect visually below a depth of about 2.5 metres, and that all recorded attacks took place in water at least 6 metres deep. target young seals, which are presumably less experienced at predator avoidance and smaller than are older seals. This probably makes them easier to catch, overpower, and consume. target lone or small groups (2-6) of seals which may be more vulnerable due to limited vigilance capabilities of such a small group. [...]
Why do Great White Sharks move inshore? The Great White Sharks’ inshore movement starts to be seen as spring time arrives in Cape Town. As the sea temperatures begin to warm up False Bay, and the wind patterns start to change from a North Westerly to a South Easterly wind , the bay's see's an abundant of sea life coming in. Waters are churned up by the SE wind, and with the increase of the water temperature it often results in brown blooms of microscopic algae (Annaulus algae) turning the water brown very murky. The brown colour of the water can be seen from Muizenberg for several kilometres to the east along the False Bay Coastline This is a natural phenomenon that occurs at certain times of the year and under certain seasonal and climatic condition. These conditions are perfect for little fish such as maasbankers, anchovies, mullet and sardines to [...]
Tuesday mornings trip gave us an unforgettable moment for a full boat load of guests (and me!). The great white sharks had been very chilled out all morning, we thought due to the calm water, and we had seen no breaches. The last part of the trip was doing a slow drive past Seal Island to get a close view of the seal breeding colony. So at the far end of the island Rob kciks the engines to full steam to get us back to Simonstown harbour. At this exact second, a very young (Around 2 metres) great white shark leaps out of the water only 1 metre from the boat, does a spin in the air and then splashes down on the water! Thank goodness everyone saw it, or they would never have believed me!! Two possible explanations – either the engines scared the shark as it may have [...]