Kiwi recalls wild encounter of shark chasing seal, banging into his kayak

A Kiwi kayaker has recalled the surreal moment a shark banged into his boat while it chased after a seal.  

Kayak fisherman Greg Potter runs a video channel called GP Fishing Adventures where he posts videos of his time on the water. 

On Saturday, Potter headed out to Waihau Bay on the East Cape in search of tuna but got much more than he bargained for.

As Potter was out trying to catch tuna, he spotted about 200m away from his kayak a shark - either a great white or a Mako - chasing after a seal. 

The footage, which Potter posted to his YouTube channel and has over 29,000 views, shows the shark and seal both jumping in and out of the water as the dramatic pursuit continues getting closer and closer to Potter's boat.  

Potter told Newshub about the dramatic chase and said it came a little bit out of the blue.

"I was out there towing lures all day and all of a sudden I saw some surface activity in the distance. Thinking it was tuna, I went to approach it and then I realised this was no tuna, it was a huge shark chasing a seal," he recalled. 

Being an avid fisherman, Potter couldn't believe his luck at being able to see the dramatic chase firsthand. 

"The first thought that went through my mind was, wow, this is incredible to see this in the flesh," he said. 

"I've said it before, but it's like something out of a David Attenborough documentary seeing sharks chasing seals leaping out of the water like that." 

Potter described to Newshub the moment the seal decided his boat was the "perfect hiding spot" but only for the shark to bang into his kayak on two occasions. 

"I continued filming for a wee bit but as they got up close and personal, I had to switch the camera off because the seal had tried to hide under the kayak and the shark obviously had one goal in mind, which was to catch that seal," he said. 

"It [the shark] rammed the side of the kayak the first time and then the seal did a few laps around the kayak and was hiding under there again and the shark must come straight up from underneath, smashed the underside of the kayak. 

"At that stage, it was a bit of a shock and the cameras were off by then and I started making tracks for sure." 

Potter said the force of the shark banging into his kayak resulted in him almost falling into the water. 

"I'd hate to think what would've happened if I had landed in the water - that would not have ended well," he said.

When asked if he was concerned about what might have happened if he fell in and the shark misinterpreted him for the seal, Potter said that thought didn't cross his mind.

"I've obviously looked back now at the tape and gone man if I had ended up in the water that could have been pretty disastrous but generally speaking, sharks and sea life, they're not interested in people that's why I'm comfortable around them," he said.  

"They know what their prey is, which is seals and fish, that's what they're interested in…[but] generally speaking, sharks are often misunderstood, they're not out there to chase people, hence my relaxed manner when I was seeing it all unfold." 

While an encounter like this might be scary for most people, Potter told Newshub he remained calm throughout. 

He puts that down to his experience of seeing lots of mako sharks, orcas, dolphins and seals during his time on the water.  

"It wasn't a real shock to me at first [but] once they got close, the heart rate definitely got up then but I think it was pretty calm to start with... so I was more excited and in awe of what was going on in front of me," he said.

Potter told Newshub the ordeal definitely hasn't put him off going kayaking again, so much so he kept fishing straight after. 

"I love being on the water, love being in the water and I love seeing what beautiful New Zealand's got to offer," he said. 

"In fact, I kept fishing straight away after the shark left and then I went back in, caught up with some mates then we went back out for a dive. I told them about the shark but they were happy to get in the water." 

Potter said he's had a lot of reaction to his video, with people blown away by the dramatic chase. 

"One of my colleagues was asking me if it was real or if it was fake... but yeah they're all shocked by it. They're saying, 'Weren't you freaking out, I would've been peddling in much quicker than you were,'" he said. 

"I think everyone is just blown away. It's not something you really see normally, a shark going aerial like that is a pretty rare sight so to have caught that on camera, I'm absolutely rapt by it."

Watch the footage of the dramatic chase in the video above.