White Shark Dives

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Apr 3rd, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #1
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White Shark Dives

Anybody have info on W/Shark Dives of the coast of S.Africa or Australia. I have my PADI and would like to see G/Whites. Thank you. Paul
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Do a search on this board for Shark Cage Diving, and thread should appear on the left.

There are many who have done Shark Cage Diving when visiting in Capetown. The drive is up to the Hermanus and/or Gansbaai area, for a good portion of the day. They pick-up and return you to CPT.
 
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 02:48 PM
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Dukie71,

With regard to shark diving in Cape Town I suggest that you put yourselves in the hands of Chris Fallows and his staff at Apex Shark Expeditions.
(http://www.ultimate-animals.com/ ) This is in my opinion is one of the best shark cage diving outfits in Cape Town. They know what they are doing and they are not reckless. Another factor that drives me to using this operation as a tour operator is the fact that they are very eco conscious (I know that Chris recently refused a big film deal purely because the producers were going to make a Jaws type movie). Besides all of the above you dont have to make the long journey to Gansbaai as you launch at Simonstaown which is 35 Km from the city.

Chris also specialises in the photography of breaching sharks and if you want to feel the blood running in your veins you have to be sitting on Chris's boat when one of these huge guys fly through the air right next door to you.

Hope the above helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Apr 3rd, 2005, 02:53 PM
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I have heard that you actually get to see more of the sharks when you are on the boat and not in the cage under water. Maybe that is just wishful thinking from someone like me who does not scuba dive. But I've heard it several times even from divers.

Thanks Selwyn for the tips.
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 04:10 PM
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Having done it at Gansbaai, I can add that it's one thing to sit on the little boat and look at the shadows in the water, but quite different being in the water inside the cage! For one, the sharks look much bigger when you are next to them!

Different operators have different requirements and methods but ours did not require any diving experience. You get in the cage with a used wet wetsuit and goggles. No snorkel, as the bubbles actually turn the sharks away!

You stand on the rails inside the cage with the water up to your neck and wait for the sign from the crew in the boat as they throw the bait tied to a rope just a few feet away from the cage.

When the shark gets near they signal and you take a big breath and dip down. You look around for a minute or so and come up for air!

It is scary as hell. The shark fin looks huge when you are at water level. And when you dip down and see the shark for the first time the cage looks very fragile indeed. I gulped from fright the first time and had to pop up just as the shark bumped against the cage, causing my foot to slip off the railing (and out of the cage) just inches away from the shadow below!

Afterwards, I recalled that it was even scarier getting in and out of the cage - knowing that a shark can easily lean over the edge and grab you as you struggle to get in or out! Waves are breaking over you and the boat is rocking sideways with the cage swinging from side to side making entry quite hard!

Done it once, but will be happier watching from the boat next time!
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 05:09 PM
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climbhighsleeplow,

For the minute or so that you are under water do you have to hold your breath or is there a long snorkel tube? Holding my breath for a minute would be awful for me.

I think I'd stay on the boat.
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 07:07 PM
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Nope, on our trip we (2 at a time) just stood up in the cage (trap door remains open on top) and when the shark is close we took big breaths and dip down! You are only a foot or so under the surface.

We had no oxygen pipes and were told not to blow bubbles - just hold your breath! The first dip was a shocker but then I got brave and could hold for a minute or so with no problems.

This was in 2003 at Gansbaai. I don't know if they do things different nowadays! But I'm with you - should I go again I will stay on the boat and use an underwater camera mounted on a long pole!
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Apr 4th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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I will second Selwyn's endorsement of Chris Fallows and Rob Lawrence's operation (African Shark Eco-Charters). I believe they are the only operator with a permit to go out to Seal Island, where numerous TV specials have been filmed (by Chris & Rob, mostly). The other operators go out to Dyer Island, which is further away from Cape Town and there are more boats permitted there. Chris & Rob sail out of Simon's Town, and when we were anchored at Seal Island, we were within sight of Table Mountain and I even had a cell phone conversation with Selwyn from the boat!
Also, Chris and Rob use SCUBA gear -- none of this "hold your breath" stuff!
One other point to mention. The next time I go cage diving in South Africa, I am definitely going to bring a dry suit. The water termperature is very cold (55 degrees or so). So if you're planning a shark dive, get ready for that!
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Apr 4th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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All good, useful advice. Thank you.
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