Feb 17th Today we were scheduled to arrive in Cape Town, but due to high winds and waves, we had to stay at sea and linger around until the weather was appropriate enough for us to dock. I spent my day in bed, watching movies, and then headed to the talent show.
Feb 18th Woke up in the morning to find we were still circling at sea. With no rush to get to Cape Town, I again spent some time in bed and outside until we finally were able to dock at about 11:30 am. After going through immigration and being cleared I hopped off the ship, headed to the mall quickly before my Township overnight stay. Shortly after leaving for the trip, we arrived at a Township where a group of us would be spending the night. We arrived at Mama (all elder women are referred to as Mama (last name) as a sign of respect) Nocks house; she was the lady in charge of where the students would be spending the night. I, along with another girl, were assigned to Mama L’'s house. There she fed us a small lunch and we headed out for a walk around the town. Her young neighbor joined us and with her she told us a lot about the town/village. She was telling us that there was a lot of crime and that it was not a good idea to go out at night, so her advice we took. Arriving just in time for lunch, Mama had prepared the most amazing South African dinner. It included chicken, carrot, cabbage, and some cornmeal thing that looked like mash potatoes. It was amazingly delicious. That night we spent it with her at her house, next door to Mama L'’s watching Step Up. ☺ After the movie, we went back had some tea and went to bed. We had to wake up bright and early to be at Mama Nocks for 9am. At breakfast we had the same cornmeal stuff from the night before, but it was prepared differently and sugar was added. Still, it was yummy. Once at Mama Nock's house we patiently waited for our bus to arrive but due to some delay we had to stay a little passed 1030. During the time all of the SAS kids were outside playing with the local kids and enjoying the sun. The ride back was short, but upon arrival to the ship at 11:30 am, a few of us planned to head out for some wine tasting. A quick shower took place and by 12:15 we were off the ship and out again. The vineyard lands were about an hour away, but the sight seeing on the way there was beautiful. We were able to go to two places, very fancy, for tasting and lastly ended at Spier for the petting of the cheetahs.
The ride back was long and tiring, we drove by district 6, then to the Africa Café for dinner. The Africa Café was an all you can eat set menu restaurant. All of the courses were typical South African dishes. The food was really good and while having dinner, we got our faces painted. Nights in Cape Town get very windy and chilly and being on the waterfront did not help. We walked back to the ship, put on warm close and headed to Mitchells (a local bar) for some socializing.
Feb 19th Today was a fall through day. I wanted to hike Table Mountain but everyone had seemed to already do it. So I finally found 2 people to go with, but due to high winds the mountain could not be climbed! So I spent the day walking around the city and back to the mall.
Feb 20th Finally, I found 2 people who wanted to hike Table Mountain bright and early. We all had to be back to the ship before noon, so everything worked out well. The hike was not what I expected. It was anticipated to take 2.5 hours, but we booked it and hiked it in an 1.5 !! I got an amazing feeling when I got to the top and being able to see clouds and mind-blowing views, I had the biggest smile on my face. Because of time we could not hike it down, instead we took the cable car. An hour and half up, 3 minutes down.
We got back to the ship right before noon, just in time for me to go to my doctor’ appt. The doctor's’ office was something I had never seen before. They still do everything by hand and only have the necessary materials, which I thought was super neat. After 2 plus hours, more blood work, I headed into the city and then back to the ship. By this time I was wiped out, ready for dinner, and bed. I had to make sure to get some sleep since I had to be up at 330 am for shark diving !!
Feb 21st My most favorite day. Although I only got one hour of sleep, at 330 I was ready to go. We got picked up at 415 and arrived at our location a little after 630a.m. After a quick introduction and a small breakfast we were all suited up to enter the cold water. The area where the sharks were located was a 15-20 min boat ride away, not to mention the waters and waves were crazy strong, everyone was getting sick. Finally we hit a spot and the boat was anchored. The waves were still really strong, but I was super excited to get in the cage and see a shark. Because of the season Great White's were the only kind of sharks we saw and we saw 7 of them !!
We were first instructed on how to get in the cage and what it was that attracted them our way. So there I was inside a cage with 4 other people ready to see these beasts. The water was freezing and even with wet suits my body was still shaking. After 30 minutes and 4 great white encounters, I was ready to get out. On the boat I sat for the remainder of the time trying not to throw up from all of the movement. At about 1030 we headed back to shore. After a quick snack and viewing of the video, we headed back. 2 hours back to the ship just in time for on ship time.