The first day back at sea after a number of days of foul weather always makes me at bit nervous. Will the sharks still be there?
But then, there is nothing like the anticipation and cautious optimism that builds as we meet and greet our excited guests and brief them on the “Do’s and Don’t” of the trip.
Yesterday we were back at Seal Island after a stretch of wild Cape Town weather and I was excited and anxious to see what the shark activity would be like.
The morning AIRJAWS trip started with a gorgeous red sunrise and clear skies; a welcomed sight after a week of rain. Predation activity was slow so we anchored up to prepare for the cage diving. A full boat of guests waited with expectation as we put out our baits and the decoy. After a few brief sightings we finally got a wonderful player shark around the boat. This beautiful 2.5 meter shark was light grey and had distinctive tufts of parasites on its dorsal fin. Both calm and curious, it circled our boat over and over, giving a great view to the folks diving in the cage. We were loath to leave which such a great shark around the boat but were excited to return for the afternoon trip.
In the afternoon the sharks played hard to get, making us wait about 45 minutes before coming to visit our boat. When they did, though, they came in numbers. We saw perhaps five different sharks, ranging in length from 2.5 meters to a girth 4 meters, including one of the sharks with a satellite tag fixed to its dorsal fin. At some points, more than one shark was circling the boat, not to mention others that may have been beneath us just out of sight. When there are many sharks in a small area sometimes one of the smaller sharks gets spooked by another and we have an unexpected breach near the boat. This happened this afternoon, with a high breach by a small shark meters from the bow. We finished off the trip with a low breach on the decoy by a small shark. Good to know that the waters are still sharky after the foul weather – I can’t wait to go out again!