My aunt Jane is one if the greatest underwater photographers this side of Atlantis and a friend of legendary great white shark chaperons Valerie Taylor and Rodney Fox. Aside from their amazing shark conservation crusades, Valerie once put on a chain metal wetsuit with fish in it and let sharks munch on her. As for Rodney, in the 60’s he was bitten so hard by a shark that his intestines fell out. Luckily the shark spat him out, he got to the hospital quick enough to save his life leaving him with some two hundred and fifty stitches. Lucky for me they had a spare seat on their amazing South Australian Shark Adventure so I put on a nappy and went along for one hell of a ride.
If you don’t know who those guys are, theyre those friendly creatures who swim around you when you’re at the beach.
I have been diving since the age of thirteen, following in the footstep of my mum the seal trainer and shark feeder at Oceanworld on Sydney’s northern beaches. When the opportunity came up for me to go to Port Lincoln with Jayne on a Rodney Fox Shark Expedition, lead by his son, shark legend Andrew Fox I couldn’t say no. Get ready for one hell of an adventure that will blow your freakin’ mind and completely change your perception of the Great White Shark.
*cue Jaws theme*
dan dum, dan dum, dandumdandumdandumtu tutuuuudandumdandumdandum…*
I have always been freaked out by sharks imagining them as big evil monsters from the movies. Once when surfing alone at main beach in Port Macquarie I saw a fin splash through the water in front of me, turned and paddled into shore faster than a piranha on a pork chop, only to hit the sand and hear a little kid saying “look mum dolphins”. So doing this shark cage diving thing may just turn my wetsuit brown. The trip guided by Rodney Fox’s marine expert son Andrew who is a leader in shark research takes you on a once in a lifetime roller coaster ride into the world of the undisputed king of the deep. Andrew an his team have been successfully tagging and tracking great whites for years using the latest in technology.
Andrew even tagged a few sharks while we were on the trip, what a show that was.
There are two surface cages, a one man and a four man plus a four man bottom cage. The top cages are great for watching the sharks get tagged as they come up close and the bottom cage is an incredible to be a part of sharks in their natural environment. Rodney Fox Shark Adventures is one of the only dive company’s in the world where you can do the bottom cage. I kind of felt like a really tasty shark lollies that the poor little sharks couldn’t figure out how to unwrap. Well actually, they weren’t little, up to five meters in length and have been seen in the area up to six and a half meters. That’s bigger than my Toyota Hilux!
Check out my video!
Diving With The Sharks off Neptune Island, Port Lincoln, South Australia from Mike Goldman on Vimeo.
The idea is to keep your hands and arms inside the cage at all times, but my new West Australian buddy Ash forgot this when taking some pictures while leaning outside the cage. While taking some snapshots of little baby fishes, a big monster fishy, otherwise known as boomerang the five meter shark crept up from behind him. The shark was only seconds away from chomping his arm off as I yanked Ash back into the cage by pulling on his tank. As he fell back his arm lifted centimeters away from Boomerangs gaping mouth elbowing him in between his massive mouth and pointy shark nose. Kind of rude to take away a sharks meal like that but I’m sure Ash appreciated keeping his elbow where it was. So when you go on a shark dive its a good idea to keep all limbs inside the cage.
Thanks Andrew Fox and the team at Rodney Fox Dive Expeditions for making the video and for putting on such an amazing adventure. Check out their site!
Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions