It was a beautiful day! The forecast was calling for light winds and calm seas. We arrived at our favourite dive site to find this was true! Can't have all the luck though. As we were preparing our equipment, I noticed that my Gopro seemed to be missing a certain memory card that I then recalled was still plugged into the computer at home. As unfortunate as that was, it was a beautiful day and we were about to go diving.
We finished getting ready and jumped in at the start of our 1.3km journey. We passed through the narrow cut in the wall to arrive in the open sea. We turned and headed south on the first leg of our journey. The vis was a modest 10m, we were hoping for better, but it had to do. We cruised slowly along the wall, the others slightly shallower on my right hand side. I was having a look around and suddenly got a weird feeling. I decided to make my way back to where the others were.
We're just over 30mins into the dive and about a third of the way around the rock. We turn the corner and meander on. Not paying attention I look up to my left and notice a big eye looking back at me from a few metres away. Following the eye was a collection of large fins that looked kind of out a place. Like a puppy that hasn't grown into its paws yet. Nothing like an unexpected visiter a few metres away looking back at you to get the heart pumping. It wasn't hard to tell, due to it's size and it's features, what it was that was so curious as to find out what we were. I turn around to see where the others are at and try to get their attention. As I turned I noticed Rob had already seen it and was probably as surprised as I was. Trying to split my time between getting Vanessa's attention and taking in the moment without being too greedy, I finally arouse her gaze. As her eyes lock on, what seems to be a look of shock and awe comes over her. The three of us watch together as our first white shark leisurely swims out into the distance never to see it again.
As excited as we were to have seen a white shark in a natural encounter, the last leg of the journey around the rock had us hugging the wall a little closer, perhaps, than we normally would have been. We all exited safely and excitedly, recalling what we've just experienced.
As with many divers who dream of experiences like this, we consider ourselves very lucky to have been able to check this off our lists.
During this period in time, Western Australia had an unprecedented number of fatalities related to sharks. For a while it was the only thing you heard people talk about, which was prodded on by wide spread media coverage. Many rash and uneducated decisions were made during this time (what more can you expect out of politicians), primarily the shark cull. In amidst of all this hype and negative atmosphere it felt good to still be able to have a safe natural encounter with one of these amazing creatures.