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Kimberley in SA: big sharks at last!

Snorkelling at “The Cellars”

Time flies. Another 2,5 week and then my stay here comes to an end… Fortunately, we have had many days at sea in the past 2 weeks. During the trips, we saw a lot of copper sharks and they were very active. Unfortunately, we only saw the white sharks 2 times very briefly. In spite of that, the copper sharks are incredibly funny and swim over and alongside each other like playing puppies.

We have also been snorkeling in the Cellars, this is about 20 minutes away and here you can snorkel with small sharks in the kelp forest. This was great fun! At that moment it was low tide and it was sometimes very difficult to get through the kelp – we had to climb to get into the water. During this dive I found four dark shy sharks and a puffadder shyshark.

And what I can I say… Another dream has come true! I have been horse riding on the beach. It was incredibly cool and it is so exciting to gallop along the water’s edge. I knew that horses could run fast, but this so fast, we were flying. I really enjoyed this!

A beach ride!

I also got the chance to give a presentation to the other volunteers. It was about the behavior of sharks and I though it was enormously instructive to do this. The volunteers considered it an interesting presentation and also very educational.

I enjoyed my time here so much. But I had not yet seen some real large sharks. But wow – that changed. In my last week here, three new sharks were spotted, and they were around 4,5 to 5 metres in length. So spectacular.

And we also got the opportunity to catch and mark the small sharks with another organization. We caught them with a handline (a fishing line with a hook, so without a fishing rod). While we were staring at the water and waiting for sharkies to bite, I suddenly saw a shadow (but quite small), so I shouted out loud: “Fish !!!”. But with it rapidly got bigger, so I shouted: “Bronze whaler!”.But before I could finish the word ‘whaler’, I saw that it was a white shark! So I screamed: “White shark!”. And there was a mega white shark of 5 meters long.. And the coolest thing: our boat was six meters, and the shark was almost as big as our boat! What a magical moment – this shark was not only beautiful but also the biggest shark I have ever seen.

What an adventure!

And now I almost have to go home again. One more visit to the ‘swopshop’, one last time on the boat, one last sunrise over Kleinbaai. I’m going to miss this place. I hope to come back soon.

 

Next time, I will write a story about the volunteer work here: is it fun, how did I contribute to conservation, would I recommend this project to others? What about costs? Watch this space!

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