This is one unforgettable, intimate and exhilarating experience! I believe implicitly that anyone interested in the natural order of things should see the Great White Shark in the wild. It is the only way to truly appreciate the magnificence, raw power and grace of this rare and misunderstood shark. Just seeing one of these behemoths is a privilege and an emotional one at that for anybody who knows anything about these mysterious, misunderstood monsters of the deep. And with ASEC, we were fortunate enough to see four in one afternoon!
That afternoon 9 guests were welcomed aboard the 36 foot Blue Pointer 2; a vessel sporting two 300hp engines and capable of accommodating 12 passengers excluding the friendly and very experienced four crew members. Rob, the captain and one of the pioneers of shark cage diving in South Africa, is well aquainted with the waters around Seal Island (renowned for it's Great White Sharks) and alone contributes over 20 years of experience in the industry. Before setting off we were all offered snacks and refreshments while Leigh, the crews' marine biologist, took us through an introduction and briefing that was detailed and informative.
The culmination of spectacular scenery and birdlife during the 20 minute boat ride to and from Seal Island alone made the afternoon well worth the effort. Once anchored, the crew went to work, attracting these silent behemoths and prepping each of us with full body wetsuits and goggles. Then we waited for nature to do her part. The suspense and excitement on the boat was almost tangible. Once the first shark appeared the rest of the afternoon passed rather quickly and everyone on board seemed to be thoroughly revelling in the experience. In total we had enthusiastic enquiries from four different sharks, including one from a large 4.5m female, so everybody got ample "cage time". When you're not in the cage you also get a great view from the top of the boat.
I would recommend this experience to everyone and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
1) The limit of 12 guests allows for more time in the water with the sharks (more "cage time").
2) Access to a regulator means you don't have to hold your breath.
3) The crew are very friendly and knowledgable. Chat to them.
4) The scenery is breathtaking.
1) If you're in any way prone to seasickness take the pills. It is the ocean.
2) If you have never used a regulator, practice breathing before submerging.
3) "Come in hope rather than expectation". It is nature after all.
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