South Africa

Lucid Illusion > Photography > SAS Fall 2005 > South Africa > Shark Diving Done Properly

Shark Diving Done Properly

When most people go shark diving they locate a dive outfit that will take them out on the ocean, provide a metal cage and then sit inside while the water is chummed. In my mind this is backwards. Shark diving should be done as follows. Locate a glass box with the sharks inside it then dive inside with them the day before weekly feeding.

Shark Tank
Mary with her new found friends.

On one of the earlier days in port Rachel and I had opted for a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium and just happened to hear a guide who was lecturing on the predator tank mention that one could go diving in the tank. The aquarium also had a Kelp forest tank that people with advanced dive certifications could dive in. My dive buddy, Mary, had just completed her basic certification so to the predator tank it was. And it really does make for a better story anyway.

Shark Attack Medical Kit
Unused according to aquarium staff.

Diving in an aquarium is an odd experience. While it bears a great semblance to a pool the sharks make some fundamental change to the landscape. Getting into the pool turned out to be an added bonus as we got to see some of the behind the scenes equipment for the aquarium. To get into either the predator tank or the kelp tank you have to go up to the roof of the aquarium. The tanks are open to the sky and there are a number of small pools and care facilities right in the area of the tanks.

The predator tank a (mostly) round 2 million liter tank with a column of fake rock protruding up through the center — giving the water space a torus shape. To enter the tank one walks across a small bridge (in full scuba gear) to a small dive platform attached to the rock pillar. Once in the water we dropped down along the side of the rock and then made slow circles around the inner ring of the tank staying low. The dive master was carrying a short "shark stick" to whack the Chondrichthyes should one become overly curious. The total dive time was about 40 minutes, souvenirs included one freshly shed shark tooth.

Page updated Dec 08, 2007.

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