The White Shark Trust Field Research Assistantship is proud to introduce you to our assistants:

Edward FARRELL (Dublin, Ireland), Clova JURK (Perth, Scotland), Sarah BAHAN (Idaho, USA), and Barney DUNLOP (Bath, England)

Timo SECKLER (Ellenberg, Germany) has been our assistant since the 15th of July 2005. He assisted with the manual telemetry tracking of White Sharks in Mossel Bay during the month of August.

Andy Brandy CASAGRANDE IV has been our assistant, guest and especially friend since September 2003, and he has been living in Gansbaai and assisting the White Shark Trust during most of 2004 and now again in 2005.

On Saturday the 10th of December 2005, we finally managed to go to sea again... Beautiful day at first, then the clouds rolled in and drizzle did not improve our hopes, but then the wind changed and sky cleared up... In the morning, we had the most successful shore transect of this season with seven White Sharks observed...
Then two four-meter long White Sharks and a third slightly smaller Shark met up (see pictures below), and circled one another for a while... A pod of Humpback Dolphins were cruising clowly past this amazing aggregation of White Sharks... During our Shore Transects (no chum involved), we record the distribution of the White Sharks along a four mile long stretch along the coastline of Haibaai. Several very interesting and exciting social interactions have been observed between the Sharks swimming in less than three meter water... Read the September issue of the Africa Geographic magazine for more information...
Three large White Sharks meeting...
White Shark and Humpback Dolphins...
And some photographs taken by Andy...
We observed nine different White Sharks today...Clova left yesterday evening to spend some time in and around Cape Town, but she will come back for a couple of days later to enjoy the Sharks before returning to her Loch and her friend Ness... Sarah's last day sea today before going to travel the Garden Route before the mad holiday rush starts...
Some underwater photographs taken by Andy today...
Late afternoon, we conducted a second Shore Transect along the Haibaai shore... We spotted two more White Sharks, an African Penguin and a Cape Fur Seal... but the swell had picked up during the day, and the surf was high... On our way to the little harbour of Klainbaai, Andy spotted a White Shark swimming off the Franskraal shore... White Sharks are everywhere!
Read what Timo SECKLER had to say about his experience at the White Shark Trust Field Research Assistantship...

My thoughts about White Shark Trust and it's great white sharks...hmmmm!

I've got a lot of memories about my time there and it's very upsetting to sit here in f...ing cold Germany, having no sharks at all swimming through the streets or not even having the sea anywhere close to me...at least not as close as you! From the garden to the great white shark in under 20 minutes ;-)

My time there has been just great! Met some cool people there, some weired ending parties :-), got to know the coolest and most useless guarding Rottweiler on this planet, Mrs "Oh, I've never seen that before! Can I eat it?"- Max and her teaching boss Billy, Mr "I'm the only dog with balls! I hate other dogs with balls!" the smallest fighting dog I know!

I also learned a lot about what it's like being a shark researcher and what you should be able to do as one and how you can be the coolest of them all. :-)

I got to know how documentaries are made....even got into one and I can't wait till I'm famous, hihi....and that you should not always believe what they say!....... Oh!!!

How it is to live in an exciting place like Gansbaai and Kleinbaai, where you can see pretty people only when it happens that christmas and the easter holidays are celebrated on the same day, or you are very very very very lucky....also depending on how long you've been living in Gansbaai and if you remember what a good looking girl looks like!

But the greatest thing of them all is that I learned to love sharks even more than I did before I came to the White Shark Trust and being with them nearly everyday! Learning from researchers, see the sharks,...

I think I even can quite proudly say that during my time in South Africa I must have seen everything possible to see when it comes to white sharks swimming around Dyer Island and Holbaai! Starting with the sharks as themself, on an awesome first day with flat sea and a "cool" shark with a blue tip on it's nose because it hasn't seen the big cage diving boat "Barracuda" on it's way through the ocean :-)

He investigated us, sitting on the engines, by popping his head out of the water and looking straight into our faces. He nicely swam arround Lamnidae and gently pushed her with his nose! And as the day went pass, a southern right whale cow with her calf kept coming close to us and then decided to dive underneath the boat on their way to I don't know!

We then even were more lucky as we headed home to the Kleinbaai habour after a day with not a lot of sharks but one really really nice shark and we spotted a big school of common dolphins and so we decided to "play" with them by following them for a little while. It has been a great first day at sea! I'll also never forget the smell of the seals on Geyser Rock when I got there for the first time....I think no one will :-)

Then I have my first predation on a seal when I've been tracking White Sharks in Mossel Bay which totally blew my mind and I'll never forget! I mean just following them when they go hunting is exciting. It's a great feeling if you can see plenty of seals swimming in the water and you know there's a shark in hunting mood just next to you! But seeing them breaching successfully and than eating the little seal within a few seconds.... that's different again!!!

And then I've seen a shark practicing breaching on a seagull and after taking it down the shark let go and you could see the disorientation in the seagull's face as it appeared back on the surface.

The coolest shark breach I had was only a few weeks before I left South Africa which was awesome!! It was a propper breach of I guess a just over 2m shark with it's whole body out of the water, just 20m behind Lamnidae. WOW!!!

Another great experience was to see how great white sharks scavenge on a dead southern right whale! I guess that's something close to compare with meeting all the writers of the holy bible for very religous people!!! I nearly was meant to miss out the whole event but because of cool people I got an experience of a lifetime!!!......Also a thing my sence of smell will never forget :-) But who cares about that?!

Funny things like meeting a crazy seal and a sissy of a shark, swimming together around Lamnidae stay in my memory. The seal right behind the shark's tail and the shark either scared of this mighty seal or might be the first great white shark not eating sea mammals, who knows?!

Oh, and I guess that's even a thing you Mike won't forget when we were "surfing" with Lamnidae that day next to a shark and we all had plenty to do to hold on as the boat turned sidewise! And I still laugh after we all held our hands out and all of us were shaking :-)

.........oh man! There are a lot of things to remember! Not to mention these ten thousand braais...in every weather condition :-)

One of my favourites were the transects along the beach! I enjoyed cruising along and looking for sharks! It was great just seeing them swimming in the waves and you could see these big grey shadows in the water....when we were lucky of course and or it wasn't kelp! I like when you go to the sharks and not the sharks come to you. Really one of my favourites....I even dreamed of that a few times.

.....Puh, that's a lot of words! But I could keep going and going.... But I better stop! I'd say that's enough and I hope there are some funny comments for you!

I'm thankful for everything Mr Scholl!!! Thank you so much for choosing me to join the White Shark Trust for all that time and making it all possible for me to see these wounderful things!

Thank you.......

Let's see where this is gonna get me?!

You already got me to the Bahamas which I'm thankful for as well of course! They told me today that I can come on the 15th of March and than I'll stay 2 months I guess. Let's see how that is going to work out and what's happening after that.

A lot of people here don't understand this passion for sharks and they think I'm nuts for spending all my money for these animals. My Dad kind of gets frustrated with me because he doesn't understand what I'm doing it for. But I know there are more people out there who love sharks as well, hey Mike, Andy :-) You guys do what you love. And that's what I want to do as well. Just don't know how yet.

But something's gonna happen....as always!

Alright. This is it!...Finally ;-)

Good luck with working together with Marine Dynamics and I hope your only having passionated assistants in the future. Also good luck for discovering what the sharks do at the beach and where they mate and give birth :-)..... I might be back before that anyway ;-)

Greetings to everyone and the sharks and the dogs!!!

Don't work too hard!

Timo Seckler

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