For the past eight years Francesc Pont Torné has been visiting Gansbaai around September time specifically to volunteer for White Shark Projects. We asked him what brings him back to our volunteer programme year after year and his response was as follows:
“My name is Francesc Pont Torné, I am 47 years old and from Spain. I have volunteered for White Shark Projects 8 times in the past 8 years and one of the questions I get asked from other volunteers is why have I come here so many times.
There are many different reasons why I come back year after year. Which reason is more important, I couldn’t say for sure. This is why the order I write the reasons doesn’t mean it is more important.
Firstly, it is about the sharks. I have always liked sharks a lot even though I live inland in a dry area. The first time I came to South Africa I was only looking to do a volunteer programme as some years ago I volunteered in Costa Rica with sea turtles. I then found the volunteer programme with White Shark Projects. This was my dream so I decided to sign up for the programme. This is the reason I repeatedly come back, every time I see a shark it is like the first time.
Secondly, the area. The landscape here is amazing with beautiful coasts and spectacular nature. As I like to run, it is a great experience to run along the coasts and enjoy the ocean views. I am also a bird watcher and here I can enjoy seeing birds that are new to me. The past two years I also took part in a mountain race and with quite good results. Not only is this area about the sharks and birds but you can also see southern right whales, cape fur seals, rock hyrax and many other amazing animals.
The third reason is the team. White Shark Projects is a team, in fact it is more like a family. All the staff are amazing and make you feel at home, always helpful, supportive and caring. In my case, as my English is not very good, I can say that they have always taken care of me…. And this is from the boss to the office people to kitchen staff and boat crew. Everyone here has been nice to me, always.
The fourth main reason I come back here are the volunteers. Each year there are new volunteers and I think it is nice to know people from all around the world. I’ve had very good experiences with volunteers. They have also helped me to improve my English.
These reasons along with a lot more are what makes me keep coming back. When I am here, I feel like I am in my second home.
Francesc Pont Torné”
Want to experience all this for yourself and make Gansbaai your second home? Get in touch! #WHITESHARKPROJECTS