The waves might have dropped off by the weekend, but the adrenalin level's didn't! A shark scare at Avo's on Saturday saw the guys get their hearts racing a bit. Body Boarder Warren Canepa was in the water at the time and takes us through what happened:
"It was about 10:30ish, cross-shore about 3ft on the sets. Waves were average but you could see the potential for Avo's to turn on the dropping tide. I was sitting alone at the back, the rest of the guys (Brownie,Jacques du Plooy, Wes Wiehahn, Josh Saunders, David Young, Dane van Greunen & Peter Coffey) were sitting wide and a lil more on the inside.
I was looking up towards Rincon as you'd do to see if sets are coming but for some odd reason I had paddled right onto that lil rock that sticks out on the take off zone and was standing on it. Literally 30 secs later I just heard splashing and frantic shouting, so I turn to look towards Millers and I see everyone bolting towards the beach (basically they were at that front ledge that sticks out) and then Jacques shouts "SHARK!"
Lucky for me a small swell came along and I motored straight for the rocks. Dunno how I actually caught that tiny lil swell! I then hugged the rocks to that inside dry ledge and a set pulled through as I got there. Somehow I ended up underneath Jacques' board!
I didn't see anything myself, I just reacted. But Brownie and the rest said they saw a fin maybe 20cm-30cm long and and moer of a splash as the "thing" swung around and back out. First time ever I've had that sorta thing with a BIG shark in the bay.
Three other guys carried on surfing. As we were in the carpark chatting and coming off the adrenalin rush, some fishermen rocked up. Okes were like naught, call it a day! Pretty sure if Brownie got out that quick along with the rest of us, it was definitely legit!"
Data from the 3 Algoa Bay White Shark project listening stations just off our main beaches (Avo's, Hobie & Kings) showed 9 great whites detected in the 9 months between May 2012 and January 2013. Five of them were local boytjies who'd been tagged in our bay, and 4 were ou's that had been tagged in Cape Town or Mossel Bay. Most of the sharks were detected in September (6 of the 9).
Seasonally, more white sharks were recorded inshore during September than any other month. Helicopter and shore angling surveys of the beaches also seem to support the observation that they're more common close inshore during spring and summer.
So, what does this mean? Just cos the sharks cruise past fairly close to shore doesn't mean you're gonna lose your toes....cos at this stage their main behaviour seems to be just cruising by. But still - be aware that September seems to be the month where their space and our space overlaps, so just keep your eye's peeled, and rather be safe than sorry.