Sunday 16th August 2015
Nick K, Nick R, and I headed down to Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, to dive Julian Rocks and SpotX with Blue Bay today. We had hoped to see some bigger sharks at SpotX with the cooler water and the fact the site is out wider than Julian Rocks and usually hosts current. We joked about seeing a Great White.
I could talk about the first dive but Ill skip to the good part…
Dive two, we pull up at SpotX and there’s not much current. I see a pelagic fish jump out of the water, obviously some action happening below. I’d done this site only once before so was excited to scope it out again.
I was first in the water and decided to descend and selfishly see if I could spot some Sharks before all the others got in the water. I descended down by the rope and noticed the visibility was pretty average, about eight metres. There was all this floaty stuff in the water, like when you put a tissue in the washing machine and it goes everywhere.
I saw a huge amount of Tropical fish and noticed a bommie out wider so went over to investigate. There were some large Kingfish hunting which was cool and I scoured the rocky outcrops looking for Bronze Whalers or Bull Sharks through the murk.
After about five minutes the boys came rushing over to me with this crazy look in their eyes. Both of them doing the shark signal and the BIG signal. I figured maybe they had seen a Hammerhead. Then they both started frantically doing the buddy together signal…STAY TOGETHER! hmmm Perhaps it’s a Great Hammerhead I thought. I could tell in their faces that something was up. We had seen plenty of Sharks before underwater including Tiger Sharks but I’d never seen them like this.
I was impatient to see it, I didn’t want to miss out, so signaled asking where? Nick pointed ahead and I swam over there looking up, down and all around. Then I saw it above the bommie and knew straight away, holy shit it was a Great White! My first reaction being a videographer was to swim after it and get some footage which I did, but it disappeared into the murky distance.
We kept tightly together and kept looking out for it. I signaled to say lets swim over there to that bommie and see, so we headed over to the ledge and waited. I saw two Eagle Rays come by in a sandy gully. Then the Great White appeared again about five metres from me.
It was surreal, and amazing. A stunning looking creature that looked like a well polished rocket, perfectly streamlined in every way. Its large black eyes gazing at me, I filmed it as it cruised by and back into the murks again. Its tail like a cartoon animation so enormously oversized waved in the distance.
We saw it several times on the dive, although it was a smaller Great White about three metres in length, it was not phased by our bubbles and seemed curious. Adrenalin was rushing through my body, it was exhilarating and I felt my heart pounding out of my chest and realised I was sucking down my gas a lot quicker than usual with all of the excitement. The other group of divers had also seen it and so we all headed to the line to ascend together.
We surfaced on a complete high, buzzing out of our brains.
We got back on the boat quickly and couldn’t stop talking about it. Nick K, then told me that he had an even closer encounter than we initially thought. The Great White Shark had actually swam up beside him when he first descended and Nick had turned around and seen its face right there, gotten a fright and pushed it with his arm and hand! His bare hand touching, what he described as being it’s extremely rough skin. Wow that kind of explains the look on his face when he found me.
Here is a snippet shot on a Go Pro by Nick Kermode.