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📍 Blue Ocean Dive Resort, Umkomaas, South Africa
⚓ Aliwal Shoal: South Sands – North Sands
⏱ 47 minutes
👓 15-20m
⇩ 16m
📅 June 2017
Deep Sea Diver, by Heifervescent (licensed under CC BY, sourced from Quik)
🎥 GoPro Hero 5, edited with Quik

I count myself incredibly lucky to live where I do. I’ve called Durban, South Africa my home for the 38 years of my life thus far, and I love it immensely. With the recent addition of diving to my arsenal of rad obsessions, living on the coast is a major plus – even in winter.

The first of three dives with Blue Ocean Dive Resort on Aliwal Shoal in Umkomaas in June 2017 included my first-ever shark encounter (we saw about 12 in total), a beautiful butterfly ray, a heap of turtles, and a crazy cool pod of dolphins on the way back to shore.

I will admit to being nervous as hell about the whole shark thing. I’d been told repeatedly that it’s a mesmerising experience, and while I was sure that was true, I really expected to lose my cool and panic when faced with the reality of it… until I found myself completely entranced in awe.

Raggies are probably best suited to a first-timer experience in my novice opinion, because they’re complete stoners and appear to pay you no mind whatsoever. They just cruise, super slowly, doing their stoner thing. It truly is one of the most beautiful encounters I’ve been lucky enough to convince myself to seek out. Sharks are rad.

TOP TIP: If you’re planning a dive trip to Aliwal Shoal, get in touch with Blue Ocean Dive Resort. The team is phenomenal and the pizza is life-changing!