Mossel Bay, SHARKS and blue flag beaches

Feb 27  The journey continues.

The Baz bus picked us up on time and stopped at various hostels on the way to pick up others. One girl was really late so the driver took the time to chat and get to know where everyone is from. He even taught us a few Xhosa (one of S.A’s 11 official languages) words. None of them had the “click” which I find impossible to repeat.

We took the time to back up work on photos and consider future stops. It’s not easy while speeding down the windy, hilly, garden route highway.

We checked into our hostel; a de-railed train on the beach in Mossel Bay. It’s tiny, the beds aren’t that comfy but it’s different. Apparently it’s a place for “eccentrics”.  I guess that means us.  Why not?

We set out for a long walk on the beach, chatted with a local man where I asked the silly question “which ocean IS this?” Apparently not so silly. In Mossel Bay, it’s the Indian ocean. The two oceans mean a mere hundred km or so away.

The rhythmic sound of the crashing waves put us right to sleep. Life is good on the beach.

Feb 28

We’d arranged to cage shark diving with White Shark Africa, really not knowing what we were in for.. I asked why when the lady at the hostel told us we needed to bring our passports. She said it was so they’d have our info if they need to inform our next of kin when we didn’t return. Funny lady.

After being fed a nice snack of assorted fish and calamari, we boarded the boat for seal island where we anchored. The first couple hours were uneventful so I amused myself taking cute photos of seals. They’re very amusing and get up to some funny antics. They also smell really bad.

Jan worked hard chumming the water enticing the sharks to come. Then the shark showed up. The first 6 people donned wet suits and jumped in the cage. Then it was our turn. We weren’t so sure. It didn’t look easy to get in and out of but, we paid for this. A nice young Englishman said “don’t worry.. I’ll help you get out. You’ve got to do it!” We’re here. Let’s do it. Just one other guy was in with us. Nothing happened. It seemed the shark had left. Suddenly those on the boat shouted “Get down!” so we held our breath and ducked under water..

Out of nowhere he came right at us, whacked the cage with a fin, flipped his tail at us and took off. WOW! We all came up with a “HOLY CRAP!”

Some on the boat were jealous. Others were scared for us. Others were too busy puking from sea sickness to notice. WE were EXCITED! Maybe it was the adrenaline but getting out wasn’t as difficult as we thought. The nice young Englishman had even taken a few photos with my camera.

Back in port we watched the video but decided it really didn’t capture it well so passed on that expense and decided to go back and enjoy a beer instead.

Feb 29

This morning’s aim was to hike the Baize trail. It started out fine with a nice walk on a water front trail around the point and up to the caves. Then the trail got a little dodgy so we turned around to find a road to the light house. We looked a little lost so a man in his driveway came up and asked if he could help. We had a nice chat about the trail, golfing, the light house, etc and decided the trail was likely a bit too scary for us. Pieces are missing. There’s no handrails and it’s on a cliff that descends hundreds of feet to the ocean. So, we continued on our way to the light house and then walked back through town.

3.5 hours later we were back at the train lodge so went for a refreshing swim. There we met another man who we asked about places to eat and again, had a nice chat in the water while being battered by waves.

After lunch of calamari (again. Hey, it’s really good!) we did some beach walking, swimming, reading and just relaxing for a change. We ARE on the beach!

That night in the shower I found sand in lots of places. Gotta love the ocean.

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Santos Beach, a Blue Flag beach in Mossel Bay

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I don’t know how those kids got out there but they’re having fun!

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Our “cozy” room

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African fur seals

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Seal island. Shark food.

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Close encounter!

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Just before the cage got rammed by a great white shark

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The Santos Express….our accommodation in Mossel Bay

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Sand sculptures

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Crashing waves

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Crashing waves

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The light house WAY up there above the cave

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Rock dassie posing. Did you know his closest relative is the ELEPHANT??

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view from the light house

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View from the light house

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