The following years she worked and studied at the Department of Sea Fisheries, Research Institute as she only wanted to work in marine circles. She worked in laboratories and factories as far afield as the west coast, but from day one, Kim pleaded with her bosses to let her go to sea but the department had a policy that females were not allowed to go to sea.
She persisted until finally the department sent two of them on a hake tracing study. They did so well at sea and kept up with their male colleagues that from that day on, Kim was considered part of the teams assigned to work at sea. This was another dream come true, as she was always passionate about the existence of sharks. For a little girl it was strange that her bedroom walls were adorned with large pictures of sharks and dolphins instead of pop idols and film stars.
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The research work had a life-changing effect on her future plans — working on a tagging programme of the great whites gave her new insight and understanding of these giant predators in their natural environment. She spent several months on DyerIsland, observing natural predations of fur seals.
At this stage she had to do the difficult scientific class IV diving course. She was stationed in Struisbaai where they set up portapools on the jetty and went out in rubber ducks to dive for all the species needed. These were put in the portapools and transported to the holding tanks in Cape Town, even before the aquarium building was completed. Because of her love of sharks, she worked in the group that caught the ragged tooth sharks.
When they were brought back, they had to be settled in the tanks. Kim loved this as she was not happy about the animals being caged in, although it was necessary for education. The sharks that were in the aquarium for eleven years, were returned to the sea.
To Kim it was the most emotional experience in her life to assist the tagging of and release of a shark which she was responsible for putting in the aquarium years back. During this time, Kim became the best qualified cage diving pioneer in South Africa, by qualifying as skipper, rescue diver, level 3 first aid, as radio operator, oxygen provider and scientific class IV diver, safety at sea and life raft proficiency as well as fire fighting.
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Kim also qualified as a Western Cape tourist guide and specialist underwater guide but her career really opened up unexpectedly in One day in , four Italian tourists asked Kim to take them out on a boat to see the great whites. She reluctantly took them out in a small ski boat to DyerIsland and did not expect to attract too many sharks as it was winter. Within five minutes of being in the water and putting out her buoy, the sharks were swimming next to the boat which really excited her tourists. Kim and Terry McCarthy had known each other since school days and when her great white diving started to grow, Terry agreed to come in as partner to do the financial side of the business.
It was a big article and from that day all hell broke loose. Her boat and staff grew with her business and to date she is the only hands-on female operator in a fast growing male dominated industry. She is also one of a few woman in the world working with great white sharks on a commercial level.
They have been pursued, hunted and indiscriminately slaughtered to the point where many species are endangered. The relatively few shark attacks on humans encroaching on their habitat also cause knee-jerk reaction and hysteria. If we can dispel some of the hype, myth, and fear which surround these magnificent animals and through our commitment we only introduce some element of objective perspective to the people we come into contact with, then we have at least made some contribution to maintaining the natural balance in at least one ecosystem on our communal home, Earth.
She continually assists Marine and Coastal Management the new name for Sea Fisheries in looking after the marine interests of the Hermanus, Gansbaai and Kleinbaai areas. As millions of sharks are killed every year in brutal ways, there is a need to educate people from around the globe that sharks have a purpose in our oceans especially the great white which is the apex predator and top of the food chain. Kim herself admits that she has been privileged to work in such a close proximity of this apex predator and hopes to carry on for many years in education, conserving and protecting sharks and the marine life in the waters surrounding our coastline.
One evening, about seven years ago, they were in a Gansbaai pub and someone wanted to know: It is a catchy name and suits Kim to a T. There are at present eight cage diving operators from the Kleinbaai harbour, one in MosselBay and two in False Bay. Kim was the only local operator for at least three years before the others followed her example. The fast growing industry combined with a few operators, defies competition and boats are usually packed in season. Kim and Terry witnessed an incident when a woman drowned some years ago, and were present last year at the tragic drowning of two tourists.
Why should I start and stand still? I was watching the woman that bore me Stretched in the brindled darkness Of the sick-room, rigid with will To die: If I could have put you in my heart, If but I could have wrapped you in myself, How glad I should have been! And now the chart Of memory unrolls again to me The course of our journey here, here where we part. Leave this field blank. Lawrence , - They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent. All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea! And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages on the depths of the seven seas, and through the salt they reel with drunk delight and in the tropics tremble they with love and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.
Then the great bull lies up against his bride in the blue deep bed of the sea, as mountain pressing on mountain, in the zest of life: And over the bridge of the whale's strong phallus, linking the wonder of whales the burning archangels under the sea keep passing, back and forth, keep passing, archangels of bliss from him to her, from her to him, great Cherubim that wait on whales in mid-ocean, suspended in the waves of the sea great heaven of whales in the waters, old hierarchies.
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And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale- tender young and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end. And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring when danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood and range themselves like great fierce Seraphim facing the threat encircling their huddled monsters of love.
And all this happens in the sea, in the salt where God is also love, but without words: And of, that you had never, never been Some of your selves, my love,. Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter.
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