Cape Town Travel Diary: Sharks!

This is a little out of order, but as I contemplated what else I could share from Cape Town, I thought the sharks might be the most interesting.

It's not something that I might have thought to do myself, but when my travel buddy suggested it, and I considered it, it seemed like I couldn't say no. What an adventure! What a thrill!

Great white sharks cluster around South Africa's coast. Shark diving ventures motor out to an ocean alley between two islands in Dyer Bay, drop a cage into the water - although still safely affixed to the side of the boat, along with a big fat tuna head as bait to lure in the sharks. Six divers drop into the water, all of us in wet suits and scuba masks. The dive instructor tells you to make sure to put your suit on right-side-out, with the black on the outside, "because you want to look like a seal!" he jokes. The bait guy tosses out the fish head and drags it past the cage, allowing a long view of the shark swimming by. You take a deep breath, dunk down and watch the show.Was I scared? Probably only with the anticipation of waiting in the cage, since it took a little while for the first sharks to show. The dive instructor shouted down to us, "Divers, is the bottom of the cage still there??" I looked down, even though it was just a joke. When the first shark arrived, the trepidation disappeared as I was awed by what I was seeing. I don't think many other half hours of my life have gone by quite as quickly. The sharks were probably at least four feet away at all times from my side of the cage, although there were a few bumps of the cage, closer to other divers.

After a few passes from different (or maybe the same) sharks we popped out of the cage to allow others a turn. Even standing on the top deck gave spectacular views of the sharks, where I took my photos.

And I checked to make sure that all my fingers, toes, and limbs were in place, and took a deep satisfying breath. We made it!



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