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! Fortunately, our skipper, Shark Legend Rob Lawrence settled us down wind, so we only had to deal with it on the way in and the way out.

Some folk got suited up in the clean and dry wetsuits made available, while the crew prepared the cage and started with the ritual which brings the sharks around the boat. This includes baiting with a tune head, trailing the decoy and banging on the boat to create some noise to attract these inquisitive creatures. They scented the water with the tuna heads’ fluids and worked tirelessly to bring these magnificent creatures to our boat! It was happening, soon now we would be going into the cage and getting up close and personal with Great White Sharks!

I had it all worked out, once the first group went into the cage, then Richard and I would get changed into the wetsuits and await our turn, and so our wait began. All eyes focused with steely gaze at the ocean and any movement. We looked at the seals being rather battered on the island as they came on and off the rock. Lone cubs, were of specific interest, as these are easy prey for the Great Whites. The more we searched the seas, and the longer we hoped, the further the possibility of seeing one moved. After about an hour, sun beating down, and reflecting up from the sea, I saw movement. Could this be it, the start? The longer and harder I looked, the more obvious it became that what I was seeing was not a Great White Shark at all, but rather a pod of common dolphins. I would gladly have followed these beautiful creatures as they frolicked in the waters, but we were not here for them. The crew continued baiting, banging and scenting the water, but it seemed today was not going to be our day.

ASEC crew did not stop, they did not give up trying, Leigh came around and spoke to everyone, answering any questions we may have had, and Rob also came to discuss the “non-events” of the morning, he explained that we would wait another hour and a half before heading back to shore. They certainly gave it all they had in an attempt to make this experience a reality!

An hour and a half later, we pulled up anchor for the third time while at Seal Island, but this time with the express purpose of returning to the harbour, another 35 mins trip back.

Today was not our day, not our day for shark cage diving anyway. The trip was great, I had loads of fun on the boat, it was amazing being at Seal Island, and seeing the two pods of dolphins, though we didn’t get very close, was also lovely. Something I constantly tell our guests, is to remember that we are dealing with wild animals, so predicting whether they will be there or not is not possible, and that we are to go hoping as opposed to expecting, but even so, that hope is there and it is sad when your hopes are not materialised, with no fault to the crew. So I’ve now pinned my hopes on the next time…oh yes, there will most certainly be a next time J

Until we meet again, keep that toothy grin!

Nadine Bentley