Because sharks are most active at dawn, I was expected at the harbour at 06:30 in the morning.
I don’t do a very good early bird impersonation, so I booked a room at the nearby Simon’s Town Backpackers hostel, giving me plenty of time to have my transformational morning cup of coffee.
Accompanied by two other competitor boats, we sailed out into the open ocean.
Once we got close to Seal Island, hosting an enormous colony of 75.000 Cape fur seals, we immediately started watching for herds of seals coming back from the open ocean.
yes, they sound like sheep...
Basically you’re looking for a separated nervous seal, or keeping an eye in the sky for a flock of birds looking to scavenge off a predation.
Once a predation has taken place, it leaves a clear oily mark in the ocean. It can be over in seconds, but it can also take several continuous breaches before the predation is finished.
In the following video you can really feel the suspense and the excitement when spotting a predation.
I apologize for the video quality. A GoPro isn’t ideal for these kinds of shots.
After a while the captain will drag a fake seal as bait in an attempt to stage an attack, but this wasn’t successful during my expedition.
Finally the anchor is weighed and we tried to attract some sharks closer to the boat. If a shark is spotted, the cage is lowered and the first team jumps in the water.
Much like a safari, there’s no guarantee to see any sharks near the boat. Sadly this was the case for me. It was only when I decided to take a toilet break that a shark decided to pass by the boat. Considering the toilet is at the bottom left side of the boat, he must have passed right next to me, but it wasn’t really what I was hoping for.
Some people jumped in the cage after this and waited for a good 30 minutes for another shark to approach, but to no avail.
Around 11:00 we called it a day and headed back to the harbour.