The White Shark Trust Field Research Assistantship is proud to introduce you to our assistants:

Andy CASAGRANDE (Santa Cruz, California, USA), Darren John HUNNIFORD (Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales) and James KIRBY (London, England).

On Thursday the 4th of December 2003 the SE wind was blowing very strong, and we decided to conduct some exploration for alternative White Shark Hot Spots... We therefore launched Lamnidae from the Gansbaai harbour and looked for White Sharks in Walker Bay. The area of Die Plaat offers some splendid views over the sandy dunes and unspoilt beach stretch...
Christian Jungblut from GEO Magazine joined our research fieldwork... Michael Rutzen (Shark Diving Unlimited) joined us on this exploration as he has fished for many years in the area and knows the good potential spots as well as the dangerous reefs. Jenna Cains, Michael's partner and one of the first assistant in this program, joined us also.
Unfortunately, we did not observe any White Sharks today... But we spent a very nice day at sea... Michael Rutzen and Christian Jungblut spent a lot of time talking over the free-diving with White Sharks and their behaviour... very intersting indeed! Very large Sharks have been observed in this bay, and we will keep trying to find these ellusive White Sharks!
On Friday the 5th of December 2003, we welcomed Christian Jungblut, a journalist from GEO Magazine, and Per-Anders Petterson, a photographer commisionned by GEO magazine. Stephan Swanson from Marine and Coastal Management and Ryan Johnson from the University of Pretoria also joined us to take biopsy samples of White Sharks.
It was a slow Shark day, but we observed three different White Sharks today, and managed to take one biopsy sample (little piece of tissue) from the third Shark. These samples will then be shipped to Dr. Les Noble at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) for an extensive molecular study in collaboration with Marine and Coastal Management.
Sunday the 7th of December welcomed us with a wonderful day with virtually no wind (for a nice change)... Christian Jungblut from GEO Magazine was invited by Shark Diving Unlimited to join them on one of their cage diving excursions... and he managed to dive with a Great White Shark in the cage to get another perspective for the article he is writing on White Sharks...
Familiar faces... Polly Crouch and Alice Clarke joined us one last day after tracking the Baboons for the past three weeks in Pringle Bay... Very nice day and flat sea conditions... But a rather slow Shark day... After four hours, we finally observed our first and only White Shark... or was it?
We took a slow drive back to Kleinbaai along the Erlkraalsmond beach where we usually go swimming... and... we observed no less than five White Sharks swimming close to the surface just behind the breakers less than 300 meters from shore... no chum, no bait! Makes you think! But in a good way... after all these times swimming and surfing these waters, and no attacks!
And that was not all! We also observed many Humpback Dolphins in the same area... it was amazing! What a finale for Polly and Alice, and what an amazing spectacle for everybody! The Sharks and the Dolphins did not seem to be bothered by each other, they just swam around in a relaxed manner... sometimes within a few meters of each other... That was just great!