Monday, March 30, 2015

Sharks!!!


Last weekend, Paul, Nikki, Kent and I, did a dive like none other that we have done before! A SHARK dive! The sole point of this dive was to be with sharks, as many as possible. There was no cage, it was just us and the sharks. It was FANTASTIC!

Aliwal Shoal, south of Durban, is one of the leading places to dive in South Africa and is well known for it's sharks. Paul and I did a wreck and two reef dives the day before and heard about the shark dive from some other divers. We asked if it was possible to do it the following day with such short notice, but the dive center said yes and really delivered!

 Getting ready to head to the boat

The dive was approximately 7km off shore. For over an hour we sat on the very rough surface baiting the sharks. The dive center used a washing machine drum full of fish parts and sardine/anchovy oil to attract the sharks through their sense of smell, there was no feeding of the sharks involved. Once it was determined that some sharks were present (or that all the divers were going to start getting sea sick), the dive was on. We kitted up and went over board.

Nikki and I and our underwater selfie

Immediately upon entry I looked down and saw at least six Oceanic Blacktip sharks swimming around below us and near to the bait can. I was immediately in my happy place!

 The first shark that came to greet me

Can you tell how extremely happy I am?!

The dive boat lowered a bar to about 8m, level with the bait can, so we could just hold on and enjoy the show without having to worry about our buoyancy or being separated from the group. We hung out here for quite a while and just enjoyed the amazing experience.  Over time more sharks arrived to the party. There were so many and they were everywhere it was hard to count them. I estimate somewhere between 30-40 Oceanic Blacktip sharks were swimming around during that dive.



After about 30 minutes the dive master pointed at me and told me to follow him. I left the bar and swam right into the middle of the swarm of sharks near the bait can. Sharks were everywhere! They was so many of them one even bumped into my head. I was literally about to burst with excitement! 



Looking at Kent, Nikki and Paul on the bar

This was my view for a large portion of the time I was near the bait can



It's a sharknado!

I gave my camera to Paul so he could get a picture of me with my new best friends

Happy Happy Happy Divers (even though I look stunned)!

I've done over 120 dives, many of them very interesting/challenging, but I can honestly say this dive is the best one I have ever done. I will be thinking about this dive for a long time. 


6 comments:

Marie said...

Very cool but very terrifying! Were those little baby sharks in some of the photos? NICE pictures by the way!

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