IT WAS TIME for the long 11-hour transfer to Daedalus, famous for the strong currents that make it a good place for spotting hammerheads. The best place to see them there is on the northernmost plateau.
We kitted extra early at 5.30am and speedily left for the northern reef before any other boat could have a chance to follow us. After a current check, everybody dropped to 25m and waited.
Visibility was exceptional, making it possible for us to see the steeply dropping seabed at 60-70m below us.
On the reef, pipework was strewn all over the slope. The site had hardly been explored, so it could be that it contains an interesting wreck to explore on future trips. The guides say that much of the main hull lies beyond 100m, and this location is also subject to strong tides and down-currents.
Close encounter with oceanic whitetip.
The group hovered motionless in the blue, waited patiently until finally our first hammerhead appeared, 15m below us. The 2m shark turned its head 45° to eye the intruders in its hunting ground, then thrashed its tail and disappeared back into the grey depths.
We made our way up the reef and followed it around, coming across another shark, but both kept their distance. That might have been disheartening for me, but the big positive was that we had seen sharks in numbers on every dive since the beginning of this shark-dedicated trip.
Those dives extended to the hours of darkness, too. On the second night at Daedalus we noticed a large group of silky sharks congregating under the boat to intercept any scraps of food from the evening meal being thrown overboard.
A number of guests got out selfie sticks and improvised broomsticks to film the sharks at the rear dive-deck. This was highly entertaining, as we had up to four 2m sharks thrashing around under the boat. I was tempted to get into the water, but not sure if I would have ever get back out again!
The final part of this grand tour was a visit to Elphinstone. After the overnight crossing, it was difficult to moor in the windy, choppy conditions, and we managed to get in only one dive, at the northernmost plateau.
The current was strong, making it difficult to stay in one place. Below us a few grey reef, whitetip and blacktip sharks patrolled the rocky peninsula.
We spent just 10 minutes at 35-38m, continuously kicking just to stay in one spot, but it was certainly rewarding to see these amazing sleek creatures. I just wished I had brought my rebreather!