Day 142: Rest day - A happy ride around Australia (third attempt) - CycleBlaze

October 17, 2022

Day 142: Rest day

I was up at 5am and was picked up at 5:40am by the shuttle bus. It was still dark when we boarded our first boat. I think there were 25 people on board.

It took us to Grindal Island after 1.5 hours.
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The ocean was rough and a few people were seasick. I've never been ill on the water and even I took a couple of seasick tablets.

We put on 7mm thick wetsuits as the water was very cold and then jumped in the water to swim with sealions.

Full flight with arms extended.
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Vince, look that way....
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I'm a puppy sealion playing in the sand.
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Annie O'SheaWhat great photos, totally loving them you lucky thing you
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1 month ago
Vince McCarthyIt was pretty awesome.
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1 month ago

We had about an hour in the water with them. They were playing around and underneath us. They were very cute and it was lots of fun.

We then swapped boats to this one.
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We drove for another 1.5 hours to the Neptune Islands for our great white shark cage diving experience. 

We wore a weight belt and had a second stage regulator so we could breathe underwater. 

This is the cage which was later lowered into the water. Six of us at a time went into the water.
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The swell was big. The top of the cage was at the water level and on floats. Unfortunately everytime a wave went by, it would create a million little bubbles making the visibility very poor.

The crew would throw out fish scraps to attract the sharks.

I saw a few sharks, the biggest was 'Scarface' at 4.8 metres. They were amazingly big and so fast. Most of the time they would gently cruise by about 2 metres from the cage.

Other times I would just see a blur as they rocketed for the fish scraps. I dont know how to describe it better. One second the water was clear, then the next second they had eaten the fish scraps and were leaving already. All in 2 seconds.

The bubbles from the bouncing cage would stick to the lense of my camera making all of my pics poor quality. This is a shame yet it didnt take away from the amazing experience. 

At one time, when other people were in the cage, a shark came up and bit the cage. I was a little jealous.

Here are my 2 best underwater pics of the 80 of took: 

A close up.
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I also took pics of the sharks breaching while attacking the fish scraps.

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At one time I saw a shark appear from nowhere and jump fully out of the water to get the scraps. It was truly amazing stuff.

I've swam with small reef sharks plenty of times. This was something else entirely, it was off the scale. 

Today's experience is heavily regulated by the government. The tour operator can't do it every day. And they are restricted with how much fish scraps they can use.

I didn't see any harm towards the sharks. They were always treated respectfully and it was the tour operator's goal for the sharks not to bite the cage. 

Today's adventure was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

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Lucy MartinWow! Very cool. What a great day 🦈 🌊 🦁 (no sea lion emoji so I did a mashup).
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1 month ago
Rita McCarthyDon’t think I’d like being in the cage near sharks but loved swimming with the dolphins so glad you enjoyed your experience.
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1 month ago
Vince McCarthyTo Lucy Martin🦭
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