• Shark cage diving in Gansbaai, South Africa with Marine Dynamics. Experience the exceptional and come face to face with a great white shark! 

  • The exact world record white shark is a contested issue, but chances are it is between 6-7m. In Gansbaai, the largest white shark ever caught was at Danger Point and measured up to 5.9m.

  • If you see a white shark in the water don’t panic. Chances are high that the shark has already detected you and isn’t interested. White shark attacks are normally associated with poor visibility, so avoid murky conditions.

  • White sharks have a unique system called a “counter current heat exchange”, which keeps their body  tempreture +/- 7C above the surrounding water temperature. 

  • All sharks have an incredibly unique system on the tip of their nose called the “ampillae of Lorenzini”. These are small pores filled with a gel that transmits the electrical currents in the water to the shark’s brain so that it can assess its environment.

  • White sharks give birth to live young (not eggs), and they give birth to 6-8 pups at one time. Pups are usually between 1.0-1.5m in length and are born with teeth.

  • Body language has been a well documented form of shark communication and has identified body arching, jaw gaping, and other postures as specific social tactics.


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HMS Birkenhead Commemoration 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017 |  0 Comment

Author: Marine Dynamics (Shark Cage Diving Company)
Marine Dynamics is a Shark Cage Diving company based in Kleinbaai, a small harbour town, part of Gansbaai in the Western Cape of South Africa. This area is known as a hotspot for the Great White Shark and the best place in the world to see and dive with these iconic creatures in their natural environment.

Every year, Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises launch their vessels to the commemoration of the Birkenhead disaster.  This year, ominous clouds with a promising rainbow made for a memorable ceremony.

Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises launched their boats to commemorate the 165th anniversary of the HMS Birkenhead.  The vessels headed to Birkenhead Rock for a wreath laying ceremony.

'To stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill is a damn tough bullet to chew.' – Rudyard Kipling, Soldier an’ Sailor too

On 26 February 1852, the HMS Birkenhead struck a rock off of Danger Point.  It was the first use of the Birkenhead Drill of "women and children first," which is now incorporated into maritime law.

The wreck of the Birkenhead is not only famous for the bravery of its young soldiers and for the fact that no woman or children were lost but also because legend has it that she was carrying £240000 in gold (about 3 tons) as part of a military pay-packet. According to a source from the British Archives this large consignment of gold was secretly stored in the powder-room of the ship.

The first attempt at salvage occurred early in 1854, when a team of divers led by A.H. Adams worked on the wreck and found papers and engraved silverware belonging to Colonel Seton, which were returned to his family. In addition many other items were found, but unfortunately no record of them was kept.

Towards the end of the century the government gave permission to a Mr Bandmann at the Cape to dive for the £240 000 in gold reputed to be on board, but it was made clear than any relics belonging to the officers or men were to be handed over to their relatives, and any treasure found was to be split up in the proportion of one-third to the government and two-thirds to the salvor. Again this salvage attempt ended in failure.

Various divers continued to search her remains. One of these was the well-known Cape personality Tromp van Diggelen, who began diving operations in June 1958. His team reported that the bow and most of the midships section were badly broken up and overgrown, and that the large paddle-wheels still stood upright on the sea-bed. However they only managed to recover some anchors and a variety of copper and brass fittings. Since then many amateur and professional divers have continued to recover items from the wreck but still no gold had been reported.

Then, in January 1985, a diving company, the 'Depth Recovery Unit' announced in the press that they had identified the stern section in 30 m of water and in early 1986 they began excavating the wreck. This expensive salvage operation, aimed at the gold and backed up by extensive press coverage, had little success. Led by Dr. Allan Kayle they salvaged a few hundred gold coins in the mid and late eighties but it was felt that these coins were obviously personal belongings and did not make out part of the legendary treasure. The motherload thus still eludes all.”

The Birkenhead Evening was hosted by Gansbaai Tourism and catering was sponsored by The Great White House. Guest speaker, Dr. James Gray, moved the guests with a heart gripping story of the unfolding events on that fatal day 165 years ago.  This morning a service and wreath laying ceremony was held at the Dangerpoint Lighthouse.

Please do visit the Great restaurant as it houses a display of the Birkenhead Collection.

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