Thursday 8th March
Journal entry brought to you by (a very very happy) Tami
Today was a GREAT day! Not that we're not having a lot of fun every day but seriously today was AWESOME.
We went diving with Great White Sharks!!!! Woohoo!
Okay now I've managed to type the most exciting bit, I'll go into more detail. We got up very very early (6 ish) as we had been told that our pick up for the trip would be 6.30, however at 6.45 we still hadn't been picked up, and then there was a phone call from the organisers explaining that someone on the pick up before us had over slept and they were going to be late. Then at 7 ish a truck pulled up and we met one of our guides, Bryan, and began the very long drive to Gansbaii where we would be doing the dive. We got there (eventually) and had the most amazing free breakfast I've had in AGES, there were croissants, muffins (yeah the healthy eating is going really well....!), bread, toast, cheese, fresh fruit, juice, cereal, yoghurt.....mm was delish. There were also optional motion sickness tablets which I decided not to take, but then I ate too much and thought I'd better. We were introduced to Brian (Bryan's dad) who was our other guide, then went to the boat. Soph and I went up on the top deck with this absolutely hilarious American girl called Cally who we'd got chatting to, and this American couple who had just got married (names escape me..... Sophie will know I'll ask her later). We went out to sea at high speeds for about 40 minutes, then anchored the boat (not us personally, the crew) and they threw the bait out to attract some sharks. We were informed that it would probably take about 45 minutes to an hour for us to see one, so although we knew this, after about 40 minutes we were getting a bit bored and fidgety......but then all of a sudden everyone just started yelling and pointing and there was this shadow moving in the water and then it got nearer the surface and this fin just broke through, and the water was so clear so we could see everything, every detail of the shark. It was just amazing I nearly cried in amazement. This shark had actually got hit by a boat propeller (not that day) and had got a massive white scar down its back, looked a bit like a zebra. We then saw sharks all over, it was so mint. Then after the first few went in the cage it was our turn, and we got changed into our wet suits, which are quite possibly the most uncomfortable articles of clothing I have ever had the misfortune of donning, including this one time when I got my head stuck in this metal thing and had to stay there for about an hour until someone managed to grease me out. Anyhoo feeling incredibly claustrophobic we got into the cage, and after a few minutes I was nearly in tears because everytime I went under water my mask just filled up with water and I wasn't seeing anything, and my wetsuit was so tight that I couldn't move my head to look around, we'd come back up to the surface and everyone was like "Oooh I saw a really big one" and I was just thinking, all I can see is water, this sucks. Then Bryan asked me what was wrong (because I kept adjusting my mask) and I told him and he sorted me out a different one, plus I opened up my wetsuit so that yes, I was in danger of head cold, but I could move at least, and from then onwards.....WOW. Sophie would like to add here that the water was really cold, but I actually wasn't cold at all, which I really should have been as I had the water running inside my wetsuit as well as I had undone it down to my chest, but there we go. Anyway about three minutes before the end of our time down there Sophie, bless her, had to get out because she was shaking with the cold, but I stayed in, and I'm not joking, maybe they didn't like Sophie or something, but the last few minutes were by far the most amazing for me, I had 4 or 5 sharks swim right up to my side of the cage, one of them actually came so close that its fin into the cage in through the viewing gap and was centimetres away from my face (unfortunately it's forbidden to touch them, like you can get properly done or I would have tried to do that). SOOO amazing! And then after we'd got out, the next people to go in the cage got a really cross shark who actually jumped out of the water and nearly landed on the cage itself, he was completely belly up, it was awesome.
Both myself and Sophie had heard that absolutely everyone gets sea sick on these dives, so we were both incredibly proud of ourselves for not doing so.
We got back to the house and, being absolutely exhausted, I curled up on the sofa for a couple of minutes kip. Sophie and Cally thought that this would be a great opportunity to draw on my face. Oblivious to this, I headed back to the car with a giant black cross down my left hand cheek. MEAN. We eventually got back to Cape Town, picked up Sophie’s laundry and returned to Ashanti. We bumped into Eddie who decided that as it was our last night, he would like to take us out to dinner, on him (and when have we ever turned down free food, really?!) so he gave us an hour or so to get ready and then we met him and his friend Abok outside the hostel and began the Oh so long 3 minute trek to the steak house he had booked us a table at. Needless to say, Sophie and I were a little apprehensive at what we were going to eat here, but they did have a rather appealing vegetarian platter which we both opted for, which was absolutely delicious. After a rather deep and intense chat about child upbringing in western cultures, myself and Abok returned to the hostel (knackered) and Sophie and Eddie went on to Long Street for a couple of rounds, sounds like they had a lot of fun, I was just way to tired. I then played a round of cards with Freddie and then after a bit of tinternet, went to bed. A truly amazing day.