Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bec's Day 28. Neptune Islands

I'm in Shark Heaven (Shark Dive Day 3)

That's me in the cage, photo courtesy of Andrew Fox

I was up on deck by 7:30am today, a little later than yesterday, and the swell has picked up. The weather has come over grey, and the water looks so cold. I was the first ready in my wet suit this morning; everybody else had taken one look at the grey sky and water and were putting off getting into their suits. I wasn’t sure if the cage was ready yet, but I went down to the lower deck to have a look anyway. Andrew was down there and straight away asked me ‘what are you waiting for’, so I jumped in.

Me giving Andrew the thumbs up, photo courtesy of Andrew Fox.

I had the cage all to myself for at least half an hour, and it was the best shark action yet. I had two massive sharks and for the first time since starting this adventure, a cheeky one with a white dot above his left eye made me feel like I could be his ‘lunch’. He would come in so close, and twice he had a taste of the cage, just a small nibble… Once when he bit the cage, he turned and took off so quick that his tail fin came in through the bars and the rush of the water knocked me off my feet. I was probably in the cage this time for close to an hour, the water may have looked cold but it wasn’t that bad. The overcast weather had locked in the heat, and it was actually warmer than yesterday.

After a while the sun came out, and I went up on to the top deck to help with the spotting duties. TJ is in charge of the bait and his job is to just try and draw the sharks in close to the cage for a better look, the whole aim is to not let them actually grab the bait (this is much harder than you might think). It’s really hard on the bottom deck for the crew to see the sharks coming in to pull the bait out of the way in time, so it helps the guys if we stand up on the top deck and call out what direction and how close the sharks are coming in from. I was chief bait spotter for quite some time, and took some good photos and video footage from this spot.

Helping bait boy shark spotting from top deck

I went back in the cage again after lunch, and there were three sharks more hanging around. The really game one with the white dot was back, and a couple of times he swam directly at me and placed his nose into the cage before turning. There was only one good breech this time, but with so many close passes (the bait boy was doing a great job) we were in shark heaven. Andrew got into the little cage next to us to take some photo’s and he took a great one of me with a shark taking the bait, with teeth fully extended - Check out the photo at the top of this blog! I was in the cage for another hour and I found my breathing was improving as it was the easiest yet.

The afternoon was spent spotting on the top deck, taking photos from the bottom deck as the sharks came out of the water to try to take the bait, and taking some time to have a hot cuppa tea. I am ecstatic with the number of sharks there has been, it has exceeded my wildest expectations. Also it turns out yesterday’s final number of individual sharks was 16, an amazing effort.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Fox

Getting into the cage for the last time was like boarding a roller coaster, slowly chugging to the top then bang the sharks appear from nowhere. I was in the back corner for at least half of this dive, but then was able to move to the front. I now know what it is like to be in a washing machine, the swell was up and I was holding on in the cage whilst trying to keep the regulator in my mouth was a real effort. However, I was determined to make it a good one and stick it out as this was my last dive. It’s really quite difficult being in the cage and takes a huge amount of energy to hold onto the cage in the swell, concentrate on your breath, keep your mask clear, spotting sharks, taking photos, and be aware of the other three people around you. Two sharks rammed into the cage again, and one almost landed on top of us after launching for the bait. I don’t think I got many good photos on this dive as the swell was huge; however I was first in and last out again. I was very disappointed when it was time to get out. The bait was all gone, and there was only one shark still hanging around. I was tired from hanging on, and I was so mentally tired from all the adrenalin over the last few days, that I knew I needed to get out.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Fox

This trip has been a lifelong dream of mine, and it did not disappoint. We had at least 14 different sharks visit again today, and I will never forget the feeling of seeing an animal that I have loved for so many years, swimming in his own territory. It’s an experience many people will never understand. The memories and stories will live within me forever.

Jen, Andrew, and me, photo courtesy of Andrew Fox

I will be back Rodney and Andrew Fox, and next time I will have Shane and Scarlett down here with me. Thank you.


  1. What an awesome adventure Bec! You obviously had a lot of fun and will never forget the experience.
    Keep up with the blog it is extremely informative and you are taking some really good photos.

  2. Thanks Gary, i appreciate the feedback.