I knew this was going to be one of those once in a lifetime crews when I said ‘Guys who wants to go shark diving?’ And seven sets of hands went up, up, up!
We decided to send Capt. John Miller a video from the crew bus:
When we arrived we all collapsed into our beds because we had a 4am wake up call to loo forward too.
After that we split into two groups and piled into these awesome taxis –>
I think I got the chatty taxi because we never stopped talking! It’s what happens when you put the Southern girls from Tennessee and Kentucky and the Brits together. About forty-five minutes later we pulled up to the launch site and piled out.
Christina and I have previously done the cage dive with Shark Cage Diving KZn before and decided that it was time to step it up and go free diving (please note that you *have* to go cage diving first and then on your second trip back you can do the free diving). Our nerves were acting up until Christina caught site of the name of our boat:
I would like to point out that once again John stepped in and saved the day. He overheard Christina and I talking about our nerves and told us we had to let that go because once we were in the water the sharks could sense fear and rapid heartbeats. Much like riding horse you had to let these animals know you weren’t scared and you weren’t going to be a nice meal for them *gulp*.
After this we changed into our wetsuits and hurried to launch the boat into a flat perfect ocean. I always find it exciting to watch my colleagues faces when they are going on an adventure I’ve previously been on. The anticipation, anxiousness, and fear of the unknown were on their faces. Once the initial launch was over and we were all onboard we set off. The tension in their faces gradually began to relax. As the sun rose a calm descended over the entire boat. John, James, and Bran started to grin when everyone started to smile and laugh and let out whoops into the air as we raced towards our dive site.
It was about 5:30am and I do have a cabin crew mind but from what I can remember there were two cage dive groups and Christina and I were paired off with our safety diver James.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a crippling fear of open water. I can swim as well as any fish but the knowledge that there is nothing under my feet and no shore nearby to swim too always sets me on edge. But I put on my big girl britches, these are wild animals and I am 100% sure that I would not be a nice appetizer for any shark.
But in all seriousness I would never do a free dive with anyone other John’s team. As crew I have to put my faith in people by making split judgments and I trust his team with my life because I know they are trained for this and that I am safe with them. It’s why I could let go of the boat and go into open water with no land and nowhere to go but under.
And underneath me lay all the beauty the ocean had to offer. I will be the first to admit that I held James’ hand like a little girl. In every photo I have his hand in mine and my hand either over my chest or at my throat. This was because John asked us to make sure we kept our hands to ourselves and to keep our arms crossed over our chests.
The first time I nearly broke his poor fingers was when a remora decided that I was a shark and tried to sucker onto my cheek. When that failed he suckered onto my sleeve. He kept swimming near my face and was a general menace before giving up and attaching himself rather promptly to a nice spinner shark who literally appeared out of nowhere.
The second time was when a shark decided it was a good idea to swim underneath me. His dorsal fin (!!!!!) skimmed my stomach and my chin.
*cue finger breaking moment*
All in all it was an incredible adventure and one that unfortunately had to come to an end!
For more information please visit John’s website: www.sharkcagedivingkzn.com or www.sharkcagedivingdurban.com
Or you contact John personally: Johnmiller@sharkcagedivingkzn.com
Keep up to date with their Instagram and Twitter under the username cagedive