Swim with the Sharks and Sealions

 

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Pete: Now I’ve done some pretty amazing things on this program over the years but one iconic south Australian adventure that I’ve never ticked off is going down in a great white shark cage. Well today my friends that all changes. Adventure Bay Charters in Port Lincoln take day trips to the Neptune Islands. It’s an early start from the marina so we get to see dawn break across the bay as we head out.

Over a toastie and cuppa we’re free to wander the boat. I noticed that the Skipper had a helper and that’s how I met Bastian from Denmark ..7 years of age and on the hunt for adventure!

Bastian: Well I came from Denmark and I’m out here because I thought it would be really fun to come out and see the sharks. We’re going to get in the cage and see what’s there… I think there will be some great white sharks and other fish and things.

Pete: It’s a full day tour to see a great white because it takes more than two hours to actually reach South Neptune. On arrival we bag pole position…right on top of an underwater mound that’s apparently shark central.

Ben: Gonna be a ripper… I reckon.. looks pretty good… lot of splashing.. we’ll get some sharks around hopefully A briefing from the skipper……

Inside the cage you’ll find some lead weights hanging on string.. if he swims off whack it on the cage. Don’t forget to look down
Now don’t get ideas about chummed up water full of blood and guts … as Stacey says, this tour is completely different.

Stacey: We do the environmentally side of shark cage diving.. we don’t burley we don’t bait, we use sonic vibration and acoustic attraction which is different to anywhere else in the world.. No one else does it. We find that there’s a big market of people who don’t like the idea of burleying so we’re tapping into that side of things.

Pete: Yes folks.. these are Party Sharks… here for the music! And as soon as the speakers hit the water… in comes our first guest ! Aerosmith was playing at the time but they don’t mind a bit of OZ rock either.

Stacey: We’ve found that AC DC works well .. it’s the distorted bass of the guitar they like, and because the frequencies fluctuate it keeps them interested and things change and they think “oh I will go back for another look”.

My little mate was one of the first into the cage.. Keen as mustard!
And no one was coming out disappointed! “Lots of sharks.. I think 8 or 10 and the first one was the biggest .. 4-5 metres Massive sharks.. one had a massive hook in its mouth.. about 4metres long. It looked really mean and really big” .. very impressed.

Pete: Well it’s now or never.. .. mask on .. tighten up.. ready to go alright let’s do it!

I joined Jamie my cameraman and THIS was what he had to say…. I think it translates as .. big sharks down here with biiiiig teeth! The colour of the water was a blue unlike anything I’d ever seen before.. the sharks would appear out of nowhere then silently disappear again..
Pete: Oh that is amazing.. there is one came straight past the cage as big as a Volkswagen.. and what they say about the black eye looking at you is all true .. that’s amazing.. the coolest thing Ive ever done in my life.

“ I saw three sharks two were big and one was two metres “ and it was really exciting” Yes Folks.. this was not scary at all.. everyone agreed.. it really was a serene and awe inspiring experience!

Chad: It’s just so calm and peaceful and they are just swimming around and not affected by anything we are doing it’s really good.

Stacey: This is my life I can’t see myself doing anything else.. just seeing the (people) looks on people’s faces when they get out of the water after seeing these amazing creatures blows me away every time .. it’s incredible”

Pete: There was plenty of time for everyone to get their fair share of sharks.. and then, , we had time for another adventure – a quick stop off at an Island to swim with sealions!

What a brilliant way to finish off the adventure of a lifetime! Everyone was in the water splashing, swimming and playing with the locals.
To access these sheltered beaches simply join the Half Day Sea Lion tour from Port Lincoln… Stacey and her team guarantee you’ll see these guys around Blyth and Hopkins Island.

I reckon they’re a bit like dogs of the ocean… friendly and fun and full of mischief…but I can’t help but wonder though whether they laugh at our lack of agility !

Pete : It just goes to show.. we’re pretty lucky here in South Australia to be able to swim with wild animals in their native environment.. unreal!