On December 30th, I went out on a boat to see Great White Sharks. That night, I posted my original story, Swimming With the (Big) Fishes . I’ve finally got all my hard-copy pictures developed and scanned, so I can share a few with you.
As I said then, it wasn’t a great afternoon for sharks. We only had one shark come in and stay for any real amount of time, although there were many others around. All day, they chum the water to attract the sharks, and when one gets close to the boat, they attract it in with more bait on a rope. As the shark lunges for the bait, they pull the bait toward the cage so you can see the shark as it moves off to circle around again.
This shark was 15 or 16 feet in length and tan in color. The dive master brought her in so close to the boat that she actually rammed the back of the boat… which scared her off and she never came back. It was really cool to be this close, though!
Unfortunately, that day, we were never in the cage when the sharks came, and the sharks never came while we were in the cage. The water was cold – 68-70 degrees F, and visibility was very poor – only about 6 feet. All we could see from underwater was the school of mullet trailing the boat and enjoying the bait, and we couldn’t stay in for more than 30-45 minutes at a time.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Next time, I’d like to go out with someone who’s researching the sharks, however, because these old salty fishermen were a bit dull and didn’t have much to say about these beautiful animals.
For more information about our trip, see South Africa .