Great White Shark Teeth And FREEDIVING SEAL ISLAND 🦈🤯
2022 has been an unprecedented year in Mossel Bay, There have been multiple Orca predations on Great White Sharks, one of which was captured by drone and later featured on this years Shark Week. This in itself is a fascinating story however from a diving perspective this has left the bay open to different opportunities. Many of the best dive sites around the bay also host large numbers of residential Great White Sharks. A great sign of a healthy reef system but not a wise place to dive given the low visibility and general sea conditions in Mossel Bay. After each Orca predation, the Great White Sharks retreat from the bay to safer areas away from their predators which leaves the untouched reefs around the bay wide open for exploration. After multiple scans and surveys to check for sharks in the area on a good visibility day we deemed the risk of encountering one low enough to go for an exploratory adventure at one of the preferred sites for the Great Whites. Hartenbos, a popular holiday destination right on the beach but also where many sharks like to rest behind the backline of the waves allowing the oxygenated water to flow over their gills without expending energy.
Exploring new dive sites and reef is always exciting but knowing these sites have hosted the most charismatic ocean animal for possibly thousands of years and knowing Great White Sharks lose and replace their teeth frequently means this dive is extremely exciting. The prospect of going on a treasure hunt for Great White Shark Teeth and finding one is most divers dream, but even if nothing is found experiencing the residential stomping ground of one of your favourite animals is still an insane adventure.
After an extremely in depth safety briefing on the what to do in the case of seeing a White Shark or worse someone unfortunately getting bitten by a White Shark we dropped in. Even knowing with a great deal of certainty that there are no White Sharks in the area, there is still that percentage of uncertainty in your mind which makes the thrill of the dive even greater. Under normal circumstances in good visibility, sea conditions and a Great White Shark with the right temperament seeing one on a dive would be a thrilling experience, however knowing how many are usually in the area and how close we are to their hunting ground it does remind you how aware of your surroundings and vigilant you need to be on the dive.
After dropping in were immediately confronted by spectacular structure and colourful reef with lots of little caves and overhangs to explore. We cruised slowly as a group scratching around in the collection pockets and surely enough with 5 minutes, Elton, the owner of Go Dive Mossel Bay, found the first tooth. The atmosphere was electric even underwater you could sense to elation amongst the divers. We carried on the rest of the dive where Elton found a further 3 teeth bringing his total to 4 teeth, however the rest of us weren’t so lucky. Nobody else found teeth but in all honesty taking in the Aladdins Cave of dive sights where there was something new to see every few meters and visualising one of your favourite animals cruising by was more than enough.
Filming and working with Great White Sharks every day is a huge privilege even if it is from a boat, so having the opportunity to get under the surface and experience the ocean how they do in an area they frequent regularly was a fantastic experience. It really gives you a greater appreciation for these incredible animals and a deeper understanding about how they live their life.
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