Friday, July 22, 2011

Shark Dive!

Last October, I was in Hawaii for a wedding. My friends did a shark dive on the morning of my arrival. They couldn't stop talking about the experience for the rest of our trip. I wasn't too keen on taking the dive but it sounded too great to pass up.

Last Thursday, I took a ride with Hawaii Shark Encounters and did that dive!

It was a 20-minute boat ride out to the cage. We were less than one hundred yards out and sharks were there, waiting. I was trying to see the sharks, handle my camera and keep my balance on the rough sea. I decided to give up looking for them until I was in the cage.

Group 1 got in while Group 2 listened to stories of the Galapagos sharks we were about to encounter. Rich, boat captain, told us of a great white shark off the coast of Lanai. That wasn't a story I wanted to hear while on a tinny (and tiny) crabbing boat in the middle of the ocean and a bunch of sharks.

My turn! I entered the water, holding the boat & cage bars while trying to find the ladder rungs. There were 3 sets of bars - water level for your hands, midway for your knees and bottom for your feet. The hand bars were easy to find. *bump* Ouch! There's the knee bars. The feet bars weren't so easy. Between the bars is open space, ocean and sharks. I didn't want to be kickin' around, y'know?

Finally in position (one hand on bar, knees locked under the midway, feet hooked on the bottom), I stuck my face in the water. It was silent. It was eerie. And it was shark filled! Sharks were just...there. I mean, thisclose to the cage and the bars and me. At one point, I lost my footing. As I tried to find the bar, the foot of the girl next to me brushed across my leg. I peed myself.

Rich told us just to snap photos; don't try to look in the window or view finder - just click away. My eyes didn't see everything my camera did. My camera didn't capture everything my eyes did. That was okay because I took some great photos!

All the photos from the dive can be seen here