Offshore Adventures in Plettenberg Bay is back to swimming with seals after a short winter break with a new, eagle-eyed team member – a shark spotter on Robberg Peninsula.
Following the good work done by the Plett Shark Action Group, Shark Spotters and Bitou Municipality over Plettenberg Bay’s summer season, Offshore Adventures first experimented with a shark spotter on Robberg Peninsula in May of this year. After a short winter break during which they operated seal viewing marine safaris, Plett’s original seal-swimming outfit is once again back in the water this month with shark spotter, Everol Williams as their permanent “spotter on the mountain.” Whenever Offshore Adventures clients are in the water, Everol is there keeping a watchful eye and in instant communication with the boat.
Everol trained with and worked the high summer season 2022/2023 with Plett Shark Spotters which was launched in 2022 when the town retained the services of Cape Town-based Shark Spotters, who have been offering sustainable shark safety solutions in the Western Cape for almost 20 years.
The young shark spotter grew up in Tsitsikamma, previously working with SANparks (South African National Parks), and was very keen to become a shark spotter when the opportunity arose, saying: “It’s right up my alley. I’ve gained a lot of experience in nature conservation, especially in the Marine Division.” However, due to budgetary constraints, he found himself trained and enthusiastic but with reduced shifts after the summer ended. Incidentally, Offshore Adventures was looking for just such an experienced individual.
Skipper and owner of Offshore Adventures, Jaco Kruger feels that employing a shark spotter is beneficial to his clients and tourism in Plett, as a whole: “We want our clients to enjoy a safe, carefree and enjoyable time at the seal colony, and to have a wonderful time in our beautiful town, overall. By employing Everol, we’ve also opened up more shifts for the other Plett Shark Spotters to work through the quieter months. Our guides and skippers are all suitably experienced and focused on safety, so Everol is a beneficial inclusion to our team.”
Over the past decade, Robberg Nature Reserve and swimming with Robberg’s colony of Cape fur seals has grown in popularity and is now a top Garden Route attraction. It’s not difficult to see why: in the shallow, clear and sheltered waters on the leeward coastline of the peninsula, the seals are in their natural element – playful and engaged – making for a unique and unforgettable marine adventure in South African waters.
Everol offers the following advice to those considering a career in shark spotting: “It’s fun, even throughout the nerve-wracking moments. But, at the end of the day, we save lives.” Jaco concludes, “It’s awesome to be back in the water, and conditions have been great for swimming with the seals over the past month. We’re looking forward to a fun-filled spring and summer season with our beautiful seals.”
ABOUT OFFSHORE ADVENTURES
Offshore Adventures has been offering a marine safari to swim with the seals of Robberg since 2010 and supports a number of conservation and research projects in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Robberg Express and Oceanic Express are the only two Blue Flag status boats in South Africa for the 2022/2023 season. www.offshoreadventures.co.za