We are now in Hermanus, which is on the southern coast of South Africa. It's famous for Shark Alley (so all you people watching Shark Week this week - know this is where they film!) It's also the birthing home to the Southern Right Whale - they come here in the winter to have their babies and then they go back to the waters in the Antartic.
Yesterday we drove from Franschhoek (that was interesting)straight to Gansbaai for our shark dive. We used Marine Dynamics, which was a great company, and our guide Max took us out aboard the Slash Fin. We had about 40 people on board - the seas were rolling good so at least one third, if not more, of the boat were sick - not on the ride out, but when we were sitting out there for a few hours.
So cage "diving", at least the one we did, isn't really diving or snorkeling. You get into a cage on the side of the boat and you hold on to the bars in the cage. You have a wetsuit (cause the water is freezing - especially for us South Floridians), a mask, and a weight belt. The guides put chum and a fake seal in the water to attract the sharks. Once they spot a shark, they yell divers down and either left, right or ahead. You then hold your breathe and take yourself under - you can hook your feet along the bottom rail so you can stay down.
We saw 2 different sharks about 8-10 times in our time down there, which was about 20 minutes. The best was at the end of our turn in the cage one of them came straight at the side Sufia, Bill and I were on (Pete opted out - he was just busy trying not to be sick). So we saw him face on, jaws open trying to chomp on the chum bag - that was amazing!!!! They weren't huge, mostly the juveniles come (I think the grown ups know better lol) - but they were still bigger than us, about 7 feet. It was quite an incredible experience.
We are staying at The Marine Hermanus - another beautiful place. Right on the bay and they are known for the best place to watch whales from the land. There's a 3K cliff walk the goes right past our hotel that you can just wander on and watch for whales. This morning (Friday) we saw 2 different groups out playing.
The rest of the day has been relaxing- the boys went and played another round of golf at Arabella and Sufia and I went to the spa. Keeping with the inexpensive theme of the trip the spa didn't disappoint. A 90 minute massage was $70! Crazy! So now we just are having some finger sandwiches and bubbles from JC LaRoux before we go to dinner.