Diving with Great White Sharks in South Africa


Simon Town, South Africa

 Since I’ll be leaving Africa soon, I thought I’d better get all the crazy stuff in while I still can.  So I went shark cage diving this morning.

I think I may have to reconsider ever getting on a surfboard again.  One, our captain said there are more Great White sharks in California than in South Africa (I haven’t fact checked this).  And two, the sharks didn’t show up until I got in the water.  The poor people who went before me got in and out of the freezing waters three times, and still didn’t see a shark.

As I climbed over the side of the boat and into the cage I was more worried about the freezing temperatures.  I was already shaking from being so cold.  But hypothermia would not deter me! The crew lowered the lid and handed me the regulator, so I can breath underwater.  The cage isn’t fully submerged, so I could technically come up for air if I wanted to (but then you can’t see anything so that would be silly).  As soon as I’m under water, I immediately see a Great White headed towards me.

We nicknamed him Frank.  He spent most of the morning with us, circling the cage, playing with the dead fish head we were using as a lure.  He’s so close I could touch him.  But I was told not to.  So I didn’t.  As he disappears behind me, I glance back slightly panicked that he may bump the cage and try to get me.  He circles back around and flips upside down, and his tail is so close I thought it was going to smash into the cage.  He was just playful though.  He never tried to bite the cage, which is good.  I don’t think I could have handled that.

What an experience to be that close to a Great White shark!  To see him swimming straight towards you.  His creepy beady eyes watching you.  I wish I had a cool underwater camera, but alas I’m just a poor unemployed, homeless girl so these pics will have to do.


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