Shark Cage Diving- a “Wonderful Experience!”
This trip was truly an epic experience. From the time I booked the trip to stepping off the boat at the end, everything was handled very professionally and efficiently by the staff of this family-owned business. Booking the trip by email went smoothly and I was given options on payment which was very nice. They explained that even though I had to put a credit card on file, I could pay cash at the end to save the 3% added to non-cash transactions. So I was able to plan that part ahead of time. I chose to book the optional round trip transportation from my hotel and our driver was on time, very nice, and the drive to Simon’s Town was pretty quick (about 45 minutes). Once we arrived, we all boarded and headed out immediately in our small group of twelve. We arrived at Seal Island as dawn was breaking and had the most breath-taking sunrise.
I highly reccommend choosing the early trip as shark are more active in the morning. The whole time we were out there the crew focused on locating GW sharks. They used a combination of dragging a dummy seal and chum. Within 30 minutes, we had shark breechings as they went after the dummy seal. We cruised the area around Seal Island for at least an hour also watching sharks breech while going after real seals in the distance. Then, we anchored and paired off to do the cage dive. We received instructions on how best to position ourselves in the cage and we loved that only 2 people were in the cage at one time. We chose this trip because of the limited size both on the boat and in the cage itself. When we lowered ourselves into the cage, we quickly realized that the water was warmer than the air so I had no trouble adjusting to the water temperature. My mom did get a little cold after about 10 minutes, though. WOW, the sharks got close! We could see sharks circling below us a little far away, then suddenly they were just a couple feet away from us. Incredible and huge! I did not have a digital underwater camera but only a waterproof disposable but it took great pictures. The sharks were quick so I only got a couple pictures.
We spent about 15-20 minutes in the cage and that was plenty of time. Others spent more time as the sharks did come and go and not everyone saw the sharks as up close as we did. Also, it was really great that we used a SCUBA regulator to breathe so that we did not have to come up for air, nor did we have to deal with a snorkel. They had sandwiches, chips, cookies and drinks on board for us and around noon we headed back to port. They also had a small gift shop and we bought a hat and jacket. The only thing missing that would have made this a 5-star trip was if they provided an underwater photographer. It was hard to get pictures and we would have gladly paid a substantial premium for professional pictures of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Otherwise, a fantastic experience!