Real Extreme Sports

I recently posted my first review on ‘A Wandering Memory’ instead of my traditional stories. So as I am in the mood for change, I have decided that I should now concentrate on a particular experience. As you know through some of my current blogs, I love a good adventure, and my taste in activities mirrors this. Yes I am very partial to an extreme sport, having dived, skied, snowboarded, skydived and even bungee jumped – so what next?

How does Great White Shark Cage diving sound?

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The opportunity had presented itself to me in 2007 whilst backpacking in Australia, but unfortunately it passed me by. Knowing this, I reviewed when and where it may present itself again, and it did so in 2009, whilst a group of us were touring South Africa.

I have never really been afraid of sharks, having dived with a fair few in my life and they have bought me nothing but excitement and wonder. But these sharks… there is something about Great White Sharks that just installed a sense of terror in me. I think it has a lot to do with the movies, the blockbuster Jaws is first to mind, but also the stories and fables told. A story/fable told to me in Australia that never left me, was that of…

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An Australian lady who swam the same route everyday of her life before work. She swam it every-day for years and years, but one particular day her husband and child sat on the beach watching her swim. That fateful day they watched as she was flung from the sea and into the air, a huge grey body accompanying her. The lady fell into the razor sharp teeth of the shark upon decent, and before the shark fell, it ripped her body into two.

Now if it’s true I cannot say, but if it is just a fable to scare children, well its one fucked up way of scaring a child!

It resonated with me especially, as I never really liked seawater. I mean I can dive with the best of them, and am a good enough swimmer but opening my eyes under water (without a mask) is something I just am unable to do. As we all know what we can’t see, we usually fear…

We booked with a specialised Eco-friendly tour, as had heard some horror stories of boats placing carcasses of meat on the cage so the sharks hit the cage itself. I am not a fan of this type of experience in any circumstance, as wild creatures will soon stop being wild if we keep feeding them. I was also slightly annoyed that tours even did this, as potentially harming the creatures is surely not good for business.

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So anyhow, we were going to be placed into a cage, in the sea, while Great White Sharks were bated by blood and chum. Of course there was no guarantee that we would even see a shark, but there they were all curious and ready to be seen. I gasped the first time one breached the ocean surface, it was like nothing I had ever witnessed before. And the beast itself was nothing like what you see in the movies, the shark not only a natural born predator but a curious creature that spends its life wandering through the ocean. I also never realised the sheer size of the creature, they are enormous.

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As if the site of the sharks wasn’t enough we all decided to get into the cage for a closer look. This was the real experience, viewing it in its natural habitat. One on one with one of the fiercest creatures alive, now this was the true thrill. As we ducked down into the cage, the beast approached, for a moment my mind was filled with all the horror stories and fear took over. Fear and excitement continued as the shark got closer and closer to the cage, how close would it get? The answer was that it passed the cage less than a metre away. What an amazing, priceless experience.

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I have been afraid when jumping of cliffs, taking a ski jump at full speed, snorkeling through caves, but nothing prepared me for this type of fear. It was more a muddle of instinctive/pressing danger mixed with the excitement of being that close to a wild Great White. It was not like anything I could accurately describe or I had ever experienced before… Priceless…

Check out a video on the ‘A Wandering Memory’ facebook page.

The Real Extreme Sports collection now contains…


17 thoughts on “Real Extreme Sports

  1. And that’s why I sit on the beach! They are scary and amazing. I’d just hopped out of the water in Walpole WA when a big tiger shark swam past and there was no fin or Jaws music to warn me.

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