August 8th 2015
It’s been a beautiful, hot and sunny time in False Bay for the last week, with flat calm seas ensuring our African Shark Eco Charters trips’ have been very enjoyable! It’s also been fantastic that we have had one of our favourite sharks from last season ‘Propguard’ being very active around the boat. This is a shark we got to know very well last season, and it created huge excitement when she returned early last month – and looking very fat! Where-ever she has been for the last year, it’s been good for her, and since her return she’s spent many trips around our boat, Blue Pointer II, giving the guests a thrilling time with her almost 4.5m bulk appearing out of the gloom (and sometimes very speedily!!)!
Now none of us can pretend that this season has been in any way similar to last year. This being my second year on the boat, it is probably been the biggest contrast for me. None of the sharks behaviour, timings, hunting, numbers etc have been the same. Whatever we expect to happen doesn’t, and visa versa! As usual many theories have been batted around, but the honest truth is we will never know. The concerning thing is that amongst the many people who come on our trips from overseas, some work on or around the sea and they have said the same thing about their fish/cetacean behaviour. It seems it is not only False Bay where bizarre things have been occurring! But as we remind ourselves daily, it is nature we are dealing with and certainly not animals in a zoo. Therefore everyday is a brand new experience, and we never have any idea what is going to be happening ahead!
This last week has been a great week, not only because of the weather but the mixture of shark behaviour we have seen. After a few days grace, we finally got a high flying breach this morning (lazy lunges have been the norm recently!), and then a great morning of cage diving to follow. We had at least 5 different individuals making several turns around the cage, and with reasonably good visibility it meant that all 12 of our cage divers got great close up viewing of some white sharks! The afternoon trip was a little slower, but our guests’ patience paid off with a sudden surprise visit from one of the most enthusiastic sharks in the area who seemed to have great fun lunging at our bait and giving very close passes to all the Go Pros!
For the last few months the turnover of sharks in the bay has been huge – meaning that we haven’t ‘got to know’ any of the sharks. Most days we have been seeing new faces, so no real naming of individuals has occurred. But this week several sharks have been seen at our boat trip after trip, so I imagine soon some of them will have some very inventive names (this is me thinking back to Mark the shark, who was named after having a mark on his side…..)! The size of the sharks visiting Blue Pointer has also been massively varied! One afternoon on anchor the smallest shark I’ve seen at the island – definitely smaller than 2m (and they are thought to be born at around 1.5m), came to have a grab at our bait, which was immediately followed by a distinctly scarred 4.5m white shark! Having this size range in your vision within seconds of each other was astounding, needless to say we started taking the mickey out of the small one by calling him a salmon, and shouts of ‘are you even a shark??!!’ being thrown in his direction. Poor thing! As always our boat is a very playful and fun place to be!!
Fingers crossed this beautiful weather will continue far into the future, and our wonderful great white sharks at Seal Island will continue to amaze us. Being the middle of August we only have a couple of months at best left of our 2015 season, so if you are thinking about coming to visit, now would be the time to take that leap! Hope to see you soon!
Kimberley x x