Shark holiday: Day 6

Thursday was our second trip scheduled with Chris and Monique in Simon’s Town. It was an even calmer and bluer day than the previous day, and another early start. I love lying in in the morning, but it was more than worth it to get up early to see the sharks.

We were hoping to see a shark breach but the calm was not broken by a jumping shark! However, we saw lots of sharks round the boat and close up. One shark had half it’s pectoral fin missing, we think from an accident from a boat. The propellors of the boat may have chopped it off if the driver was unaware that the shark was there or wasn’t careful enough.

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One of the things that became increasingly apparent during our holiday was how vulnerable great white sharks are. They are not able to reproduce until they reach maturity at around 15 years old and have between 4-9 pups in a litter. They think they produce a litter once every two years. So very few sharks reach an age where they can reproduce so shark numbers seem to be dwindling.

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Also a lot of the sharks we saw had a lot of bite scars and scratches where the seals have fought back. This is why sharks only feed on seals in the winter months, when there isn’t much else to eat. They would really rather eat fish as they are not so able to take the sharks on.

One of the other guests on the boat dived in the cage on Thursday. We could have done so too although as it happened I don’t think we would have had time. For me it was more enjoyable seeing the sharks from the boat as I got cold quickly in the cage as the water is quite cold. You get a different view from inside the cage but an excellent view from the boat too.

It was really noticeable that when the cage was in the water the sharks were a lot more wary. We definitely saw fewer sharks on Thursday, when the cage was in the water, and they certainly kept more of a distance. That might be because it was such a strange thing to find in their environment, or possibly because the metal cage gives off electromagnetic waves that the sharks are sensitive to.

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We were originally scheduled to spend two days with Chris and Monique and two days cage diving and so were going to go back to Gansbaai for another cage dive. However, we’d enjoyed the days with Chris and Monique so much that we decided that if we got the chance we would really prefer to go with them for another day. Luckily we heard Monique say they had a cancellation for Saturday so we took the opportunity and asked if we could come along. It would mean a transfer back from Cape Town as we travelling there on Thursday afternoon but they were able to sort that out for us.

When we got back from our trip my luggage turned up.

On Thursday afternoon we transferred to Cape Town which was different again from where we had been. It’s a very quiet time of the season at the moment but compared to Simon’s Town and Gansbaai it still seemed quite bustling.

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End of Day 6

Back to Day 5 part 2
On to Day 7

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