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Thursday 11 Jan
Hermanus, South Africa

Great White Encounters

There was an awkward silence among the passengers on the boat, only distorted by the sound of the crew throwing out chum and of the waves slapping against the hull. It was as if everyone came to the realization that they were about to enter the same water as the feared Great White. More chum, and then a giant piece of meat dangling from a line were thrown into the blue ocean. Who was going first? My mate and I needed a minute to collect ourselves before taking the plunge, and a daring group made their way into the cage. The waiting game had started. More chum and waves slapping. Suddenly it appeared. Just a shadow beneath the azure water, and then it surfaced to take a bite from the meat on the end of the line. It felt like we were watching a show on the Discovery Channel during shark week. Its jaws broke the surface and we could see rows of dangerous teeth, and a shark just hungry enough for small snack. It disappeared just as quickly as it had showed up. Is that it? Are we going to see any more? The next two hours we snapped photos of great white sharks with our jaws dropped in awe. They were big sharks, most of them between 7-10 foot. We witnessed 5 different sharks curiously approach our boat, take a go at our mid-morning snack, and then dart quickly beneath the surface in dissapointment. And then it was our turn to enter the cage. We put on our wetsuits and grabbed our camera and headed into the blue. I could feel my heart beating rapidly as the captain threw out our bait. But nothing happened. We waited, 5 minutes elapsed, which felt like an hour, and no shark. Just more chum and the waves slapping the hull. Just as I was about to lose all hope, the captain yelled something in Afrikaan. Whats going on? Without warning one appeared out front of our cage, meandering around the piece of bait on the line. We submersed ourselves to see some of the underwater action. He worked his way over to the cage and gave us the stare. It was just jaw-dropping suspense as he floated past the cage and then disappeared into the vast ocean. Then another one, even bigger, appeared out to the left. This one was also curious, and gave us a look before whipping his giant tail around and heading away from the cage. We had a few more shark encounters while in the water, and then climbed back onto the boat overwhelmed with adrenaline satisfaction. We spent a few more hours on the boat, watching other passengers get their gaze from the huge predators. It was just about time to head back to port, and the passengers on the boat were feeling satisfied. Cook and I were satisfied to have faced our fear of being attacked by a shark. We also had a better opinion about the sharks. We can now think of them, not as ruthless man-eating predators, but as creatures from the deep just looking for a tasty little snack.

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WORLD TOUR 2006-2007

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Hello. My friend (Bill Cook) and I (Dan Duffy) are travelling around the world on an endless summer surf trip. We are from Point Pleasant, N.J. Visit this website to find out about all the crazy things going with us while we are travelling. Enjoy the ride

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