Monday, July 3, 2006

shark encounter

While vacationing in Hawaii, I had the rare opportunity to wake up at 4:00 in the morning so I could be put into a cage, lowered into the Pacific Ocean (with my head safely bobbing above water), and wait for sharks to come to me. You can read all about the "beauty and splendor of nature's most perfect predator" at North Shore Shark Adventures. The adventure was complete with the music from Jaws playing in the background as we jumped into the water.

I was nervous, nay, petrified of the whole ordeal. I have two intense fears in life: (1) water (2) snorkel gear. Surprisingly, sharks I'm completely fine with. But it's the breathing through a plastic tube in the middle of the ocean that I didn't think I could handle.

Mask and snorkel firmly in place (after 4 unsuccessful attempts to get it on over my ponytail), I almost chickened out for good once I saw my three friends already in the cage. But that's when I remembered the other people on the boat. Never to be shown up by a person with no legs and a paralytic (I STILL don't know how they managed to swim), I climbed into the cage.

We saw a number of sharks between 6ft - 8ft in length. (The Galapogos and Sandbar sharks for the curious among you). No, I didn't touch them, but Scott and Tyler did. And I never thought I'd say this, but sharks are beautiful and majestic creatures. It was incredible seeing them ascend from the ocean depths.

The funniest thing was listening to the paralyzed guy. At one point, he yelled out to us in the boat, "My legs keep flying out of the cage!!! I can't help it!" I laughed. But I laughed with that "Oh, I'm laughing at the expense of a paralytic and that's just wrong" kind of laugh. And yet, I'm still chuckling.


KTown said...

ohmigoodness! hehe, LOL. I'm SO proud of you!!! haha...I think I would have been just as nervous! That's awesome that you went for it, yea!!!! You're my hero.

petagator said...

Laughing at a paralytic? Sinner.

rachel said...

so i know this is an old post but i haven't been to your blog before now, so i'm catching up :). i LOVE sharks and am completely fascinated by them. it is one of my many dreams to swim with them. i'm jealous!