Is it my imagination or is this year just accelerating at a manic pace? It feels as if I’ve only just recovered from the Reindeers and singing Santas, only to have my New Year’s resolutions accosted by defiant chocolate bunnies around every corner! But the chocolate bunnies are also an indication that winter is on its way and that means Shark Season! Blessed as we are here in Gansbaai to have Great White Sharks in our waters all year round, winter remains the best time of year to view Great Whites and here’s why: The water, believe it or not, is actually a few degrees warmer than it is in summer, which makes the sharks a little friskier and the water visibility is much better too – double bonus!
Tom Tom: We are delighted to inform you that White Shark Projects now have two Toms on board. Both are biologists and both are complete shark FINatics! Tom Slough is the man on board who will answer all those high tech shark questions you have (that Shark Week just does not answer). He could swim before he could walk and has realized his childhood dream of working with sharks. He lives by the Confucius quote: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Tom loves talking to clients and sharing his passion and knowledge with them. Tom Violon, a.k.a T-Bone, has temporarily made Shark Team his research vessel as he collects data for his Masters. He is focusing his Masters on Great White Shark scars, exploring the possibility that there might be a pattern and seasonality to these scars. Tom loves being on board Shark Team, getting his daily fix of shark sightings, which fulfills his lifetime fascination with sharks. Tom is enjoying the differences between France and South Africa and really loves to braai. So over the next few months, clients will have the added advantage of having Tom2 on board. And ladies, if you would like to see some eye- candy, uhm sorry, I mean sharks, I suggest that you schedule your shark dive experience today!
I am happy and grateful to report that the sharks have been amazing over the last couple of weeks: just this past Saturday our vessel was surrounded by 12 majestic Great Whites, all showing off and vying for the focus of the GoPros bobbing in the cage. Except for this big fella who came past on Sunday morning, he was completely laid back, cruising up to the cage and slowly opening his mouth (gaping) as if to show off his pearly whites to the squealing divers in the cage. I’m sure if you had shark hearing you would have picked up the reggae vibes he was clearly listening to. Stingrays are clocking up their frequent flyer miles too, much to the delight of our on-board clients.
Walker Bay seems to be teeming with life and whenever you cast your eyes over the ocean, it seems to be boiling with activity. Bait fish don’t stand a chance as Bryde’s whales, common dolphins and seals jostle for position to grab a mouthful. Gannets and cormorants bombard the fish from above at supersonic speed, while gulls bob on the surface happy to clean up the scraps. This is marine life at its best and we have the front row seats!