"You yell barracuda, everybody says, 'Huh? What?' You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July." (Jaws, 1975)
After we took a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls for Grace's birthday, we needed to come up with something equally awesome to celebrate Mike's. Luckily, the timing put us in Hermanus, which is 40 minutes from some of South Africa's best shark cage diving.
To cage dive with great white sharks in the region known as "shark alley," you need to go with a company based in Gansbaai. While they will shuttle you to and from Cape Town, it's a 2-3 hour ride. We were thrilled to save time and money by driving ourselves.
Once there, we sat through the safety talk, boarded the boat, drove for 20 minutes, then waited for the sharks to come. After 45 minutes or so, we saw the first great white cruise by the cage. That's when the frenzy started onboard.
"In the water! In the water! Divers in the water! Who's ready??"
All of a sudden, it seemed like no one was ready for the one thing we were all there to do. Because Mike and I were suited up and standing near the cage, we were the first to jump into the frigid water.
Although submerging yourself in super cold water is never fun (even if you're wearing a 7 mil wetsuit), the sharks swimming under and around the cage were a pretty great distraction.
After about 15 minutes, we had to get out to let the next group in.
The best kept secret about cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa? It's arguably a better show from the boat. We got some killer photos and soaked up as much sun as we could before returning to shore.
Check another off the bucket list.