I just read the latest research on the Shark Shield electronic deterrent device by Government researchers. Unfortunately the research was done in my back yard so to speak, with tests conducted off the Neptune Islands of Southern Australia. This is not far from a few recent paddling trips to outlying islands out of Port Lincoln and to areas around Althorpe Island and Innes National Park.
The verdict seems to be that they just don’t work.
Now I always had my doubts about these units, even when they first surfaced as the Shark Pod, several years ago. Anyway I ended up with one supplied by the manufacturer to try out . If it worked and I survived it would be great publicity but if it didn’t, well I probably wouldn’t be in a position to complain.
I was sceptical, but hey, what if it really worked. I had been spending a lot of time paddling around the bottom of South Australia and especially loved to snorkel with New Zealand Fur Seals on the Wardang Island group about a 10 km paddle from shore. Great times for both Robyn and me filming seals and friendly dolphins, even with a slightly cumbersome Shark Shield attached to my leg, giving me the occasional electric shock when it brushed against a bare bit of skin.
Of course one of my favourite places was Shell Beach in Dolphin Bay part of the Innes National Park . Just lolling about in the clear green water was fun and we often went paddling or snorkelling on the nearby reef. But then this bloody nosy 6 metre Great White Shark started frequenting the area and decided that small kayaks were fair game, and had a chomp on one. The kayak was a Dagger Wiz white-water kayak from the University Mountain Club and luckily the paddler was not seriously hurt in the attack.
So what to do now ? Simple, get out there, keep paddling, keep surfing and having fun. Always remember, it’s much less dangerous than my Saturday morning group bike ride.
One good thing though. I just removed another piece of superfluous electronic gadgetry from my kayak kit. Maybe that means more room for wine and cheese !!
Anyone want to buy a shark Shield ? Great condition, hardly used.