An unknown wonder shark made our entire shark cage diving trip an incredible success! The African Shark Eco Charters trip started early as everyone arrived before the allotted time, which meant we left the harbour while it was still encased in a huge layer of mist. Still dark, with flat calm seas, and the heavy mist meant it was an incredibly evocative atmosphere (and yes certain links to a well known great white shark film….!). All of the surrounding mountain ranges completely disappeared from view, but thankfully the light rain we had had while boarding the boat completely vanished once out to sea. Seeing as it was St George’s Day I thought we would honor the English patron saint by all speaking in English accents the whole morning. I even offered tutorials as not one person aboard, except me, was English!
Roly 2.0 our breaching decoy seal (a solid foam seal shape that is dragged slowly behind the boat, in an attempt to encourage the great white sharks to jump out of the water in a natural predation method after it), was deployed behind the boat, but sadly no takers today. We are still on tenterhooks every morning hoping that we will get to see another breach soon! It’s still very early on in the season, we can but hope! We did a nice loop around Seal Island, giving everyone a good look at the seals and birds who call it home, as well as a few common dolphins that turned up to greet us, before settling down and mooring up at the South end of the island. One shark immediately arrived as we were mooring but was soon gone. Too early in the morning for her! But soon after, I caught sight of another shark right on the surface only a couple of meters away from Seal Island. Very, very close to the island, strange behavior! Very shallow water there, so the sharks ‘shouldn’t’ hunt in this area.
Almost straight away after this sighting we got the pleasure of meeting this shark, what a fun dude! He stayed around our boat for a good couple of hours, only disappearing for short periods of time before returning. But what a show he gave us all! Jumping out for the bait, pouncing on the decoy, swimming deep under the cage, and then immediately re-appearing shallow from the opposite side. Everything to create an amazing atmosphere on the boat as we all wondered what he would do next. Fantastic shark! At one point I had the decoy sitting several meters from the boat, I just about saw him appearing from the left – that brilliant flash of a white tummy, and suddenly he was on it. He had picked up speed and launched himself at our seal decoy! Just in time I managed to yank it away from his beautiful big smiley mouth, but his whole head came out of the water with much of his body showing.
Slightly later on, by positioning himself swimming out of the glare of the sun, he managed to sneak up and grab it from one of our very experienced crew members! Wellington at the back of the boat – our ‘bait master’, was on great form as well, ensuring the guys in the cage got incredible close ups of this playful great white shark! What an amazing morning! Fingers crossed this shark stays in the area for a while as it was such fun to play with this shark, for crew and guests! He definitely gave everyone on the African Shark Eco-charters trip exactly what they had hoped for! Once again such high energy, and big smiles from the guests getting off the boat. No better way to spend St George’s Day, I’m sure even the great white sharks would be flying their English flag if they could J . Its taken me this long to realize that maybe our new, excitable great white visitor should be called George…..?