After four attempts to cage dive with the great whites we headed out from Hermanus to Gansbaai at 5:00 am and 0 C temperature anticipating the great adventure. Joyce was nervous but determined to face the rough seas and the face of the “Jaws” of the sea. After our briefing and a small snack (importance to be explained shortly) we headed out on giant rolling seas on a 15 minute ride on a 12 metre dive boat towards Dyers Island which is very near to Shark Alley, well known for the 90% of Great White documentaries filmed in the world. We set anchor near three other boats, about 1km offshore from the island, chummed the waters and waited in high anticipation. And waited, and waited while several of the younger crowd, who happened to eat a big breakfast (told you we would get to this) proceeded to turn green and puke over the side of the boat. Once the scrambled eggs and toast was wiped away we lifted anchor. None of the boats nearby who arrived earlier had seen anything yet so the skipper figured we should try another spot. We motored a little further while watching a few more landlubbers retch over boatside and then re-anchored. And we waited and waited, puke smell permeating the fresh salty air.
Our great adventure was not to be. Five swashbucklers were picked up by the “sea-sick rescue boat” and about an hour later we headed back to shore heartened by the knowledge we would receive a coupon good for two years to use when we made our return to South Africa. Wow, what a deal! We’ll be back!
Knysna is a small town on the coast of the Eastern Cape and was well known for a huge variety of hiking trails in the region. Unfortunately two weeks before our arrival the area was hit with one of the largest forest fires in over 100 years, the result of an over year-long drought. 8 people died and over 800 homes, lodges and businesses were destroyed. Our lodge amazingly was spared but all around it were burnt out remnants of homes and other lodges. Needless to say, the hiking in the area has been devastated.
The town has two main touristy areas, the Waterfront and Thesan Island, both dotted with nice restaurants, curio shops and bars.