in honor of shark week

As the hubs and I watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, I am reminded of our shark adventure in Hawaii.

Brad and Jacki, Bry's brother and sister-in-law, lived in Hawaii for about a year after they got married. Bry and I (with the help of our parents) took a nice little 8 day vacation to Hawaii to visit them. And it was one of the best trips. Our parents gave us the tickets just after Thanksgiving, in time for Bryan's b-day. On top of opening up their home to us, Brad and Jacki bought us shark diving tickets the Christmas before we visited. "Shark diving?!", you say? Yes. Shark diving. The type of shark diving that we did was like this...

We had to be at the dock on the North Shore of Oahu at 7am. Once we got on the boat, we went about 3 miles offshore (I think) and stopped. There is a cage, that stays partially afloat so that you are not completely submerged. Part of the cage has plexi-glass on it so that your limbs can't slide through the cage in the middle section. The cage looked similar to this one...

The crew gives you snorkeling gear to use so that you can look around under water. They basically tell you to get in and then let the cage drift from the boat. Attached to the bottom of the cage deep down in the water is chum, which once the cage starts moving, attracts the sharks.

We get to our "launching" spot and the other group of people goes first. They get about 15 minutes in the cage before its our turn. Well, while we are waiting on the boat, just looking into the sapphire blue water, there are sharks just swimming around our boat. 5 foot, 6 foot, 8 foot sharks, just swimming around, their dorsal fins above the water.

My stomach was churning. Practically doing flips from the boat's movement, and then.. seeing sharks swimming in the water, well I was a little bit of a mess. I knew this was something I'd regret not doing, so I made the best of the situation and faced a HUGE fear of mine. (This is coming from the girl who gets nervous to go snorkeling.)

Its our time to get into the boat and the crew tells us that the sharks are about 8 feet long. They are Galapagos sharks.

We climb into the tank, which is easy because the water is basically the temperature of bath water. And we start looking underwater. There they are, just swimming around the cage. One of the sharks was as long as the cage (10x10). In so many words, I hyperventilated under the water. I kept coming up for air and to take my head out of the water. I was clawing into Bry's skin, I would NOT let go. And now that I think about it, I'm not really sure what I was scared of. Was it that we were in the water and sharks were 5 feet away? Was it that the cage didn't seem sturdy enough? Was it that I have a big fear of sharks? I'm not sure, but regardless, we went shark diving and we made it out alive and well.

See, I still wouldn't let go and this was after shark diving.

Bry, Brad, and Jacki showed no fear. Of which, I commend them. I seriously felt like a scaredy-cat, but based on the situation, I think it's ok to be a little scared.

Thanks for the adventure, Brad and Jacki!

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