Pulling into the dock of Capetown in South Africa, the first thing I see is the large and famous Table Mountain. A factor of distinction for South Africa where it just so happened that organically the top of the mountain is a flat plate. When you are up there you could walk around for miles and the views are supposed to be spectacular. Well, I never went up there. I decided it made more sense to test the skills the Great White sharks by going shark diving.
There are 4,000 Great White sharks across the globe. They are heavily protected and are found far off the coasts of California, Australia, New Zealand and are found right in a bay 20 minutes from the shore of South Africa. That bay is two hours from Capetown, and that is where I spent my first day.
We signed some paperwork stating essentially that if any loss of limbs or death occurs, it’s not at fault of the tour operator, but our own self. I felt safe. Out in the water, putting on my 7mm thick wetsuit that hooded my head and strapped across my chin, the only thing that was left uncovered was my mouth and hands. The water was choppy, and my group of 5 were the first ones to jump into a cage on the side of the boat. The water was freezing as South Africa is approaching their winter and the waves would often go over our cage keeping us attentive and trying to catch our breath at every opportunity.
We sat there for twenty minutes with no action. Getting slightly restless as chills began to creep up our spine one of the guides yelled: “SHARK RIGHT!” gasping for air, we all jumped under water and saw this Great White shark, approximately 12 feet long swim right past us. Coming up for air, and screaming about how crazy it was, our guide yelled quickly again “SHARK LEFT!” and down we went again. The next hour was a bobbing came watching the Shark’s swim by, left, right, and forward.
Things got quite again, and we were starting to get out. Amy was the first one out, and I was shortly behind her. The cage was open, and I had started to make my way up the ladder when this Great White shark jumped right up against our cage trying to eat some fish. I just saw him coming at me, and jumped right back into the water to get a better look.
The guides stated yelling trying to close our cage quick enough so that we would be safe. My adrenaline started pumping as the sharks body pressed up against our cage and everyone started screaming.