Shark Cage diving had always been on my bucket list. Being in South Africa where most of the Great White shark documentaries are shot, I just had to go for it. After completion of my volunteer program at Kayamandi, I and some volunteers signed up for Shark cage diving at Gansbaai.
Since the excursion was going to start at around 8:00 am, we had to be ready to be picked up from Cape Town at around 5:30 am. Once we reached at the diving site, we got our safety tutorial and do’s and don’ts of cage diving. The biggest warning was not to clutch the front bars of the outer cage while being submerged. Our instructor repeatedly told us to hold the bar provided above our heads while observing the sharks. It turns out that if your fingers are exposed at the cage’s outer surface there is a chance that a shark might bite off your fingers with its razor sharp teeth. And just in case a shark hits the cage while swimming at full speed, a good hit can easily crush human finger bones.
After scaring us enough to get our full attention, he finally assured us that no such incidents had happened in the past since all the divers carefully listened to the instructions. A 45 minute boat ride later, we arrived to our diving spot. Our instructor threw a piece of tuna in the water as bait. And in just a few minutes, the first Great White came out of nowhere. They can smell their food from miles away.
I was really excited to see the shark circling around the boat from the deck. However, once they lowered the cage in the water and told us to jump in when I could literally see the deadly predator no more than a few inches from the cage, it did give me butterflies. Jumping in was the scariest moment, but once I was underwater, things got better. I loved the fact that I could look right into the eyes of this deadly creature form no more than 2-3 inches away. Looking at sharks swimming from far away towards the cage at a very high speed, gives you an idea of how powerful these creatures really are. Nature at its best!