Great White Sharks

Through the filter of time … a repost that may still be interesting to you from two years ago.

The only place I’ve ever seen Great White Sharks in the wild (I’m not a SCUBA diver!) is in South Africa, where you can see them from cliffs, swimming back and forth looking for penguins (and seals?). I’ve heard there were some recent attacks near Cape Town (False Bay) by great whites, but I think they generally don’t eat too many people there. That is probably because most South Africans either stay out of the water entirely or go all the way … in SCUBA gear, or otherwise just keep a careful eye out. I mean, these are BIG fish and hard to miss.

Here is a post discussion the practice of volunteers hanging out on the beautiful cliffs in this region observing for sharks and warning life guards when the see them.

I’m reminded of my first time to the coast with a colleague, to whom I’ll refer as “G” (because his name has a G in it). G and I were staying with a dozen others in a place along the Garden Route, and one morning we decided to walk down to the ocean. G is local, and he knew that I would enjoy seeing this beach.

On the way down the hill, we walked through and around many back yards, on a winding path used mainly by the local kids. There was a particularly large and dangerous looking dog at one point held in by a weak fence that tried to get at us. Later, when we were down on the beach, the dog broke free of the fence and came running at us at high speed. So, I picked up a big piece of kelp-stem, waved it around, and tossed it into the huge, rolling and breaking surf, in which we could see breeding whales (and presumably the great whites roamed).

The dog immediately lost interest in us, headed for the ocean, dove into the surf to get the “stick” … and was not seen again.



Until a few minutes later when it came running out of the surf with the stick. So back into the surf went the stick, and back into the surf went the dog, and so on, until finally a herd of horses came thundering down the beach and I noticed the dog sheepishly sidle away and disappear. Perhaps he had some bad history with these horses…

Comments

  1. #1 DDeden
    June 20, 2009

    Lots of free-diving spearfishermen along the SA coast. As long as they don’t hang their fish on belt stringers, the seals and sharks usually avoid them.

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