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A Land Based Birthday (18/05/12)

May 19, 2012

Today it was my birthday and although I was away from home, I was exactly where I wanted to be for it but sadly I wouldn’t be joining the sharks to celebrate.

There was to be no cage diving today as the conditions were still too rough, so a no sea day meant we were off to Cape Town. We didn’t really want to wander around outside in the rain, so we decided to go to the aquarium on the V&A Waterfront and have a look at some of the other creatures that we’d been sharing the Atlantic ocean with.

As we approached the first tank, Amy (one of our group of volunteers) burst out laughing, “Hey Gemma, they’ve got some of your friends here”. I walked over to take a look and recoiled in horror. There before me was a tank full of the dreaded eel-like hagfish – the ropey, wriggly thing that had joined us in the cage on our first day!


They were just as freaky as I remembered only this time I could find out more about them. After reading that these primitive looking creatures have no eyes and their deadliest weapon was an ability to produce a strong, sticky slime, I wasn’t quite as afraid but still pretty repulsed by them.

The next tank contained a much cuter fish, well, lots of cuter fish – tiny ‘Nemos’ or Clown Fish if you want to call them by their proper name.


After we’d seen penguins, sharks, rays and all sorts of other marine animals we bought some birthday ice cream and headed to a steak house for lunch. Having indulged in an American style greasy food fest we all had a sleepy two-hour drive back to Gansbaai.

Before we got back to our volunteer house we stocked up on cake and alcohol. What followed was a night of drinking games and subsequent gossiping and revelations which I think I’ll leave out of this post!

  1. Happy Birthday Gem – that’s quite some trip you are having!!!

  2. Thank you 🙂 Yes, it is quite some trip! Having a blast, although a few no sea days recently due to bad weather. Hopefully horse riding tomorrow followed by some shark lectures.

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