Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Diving With Sharks!

Last year, I had planned to go diving with sharks. It didn't end up happening, but when the same trip was rescheduled for this summer - you bet I signed up!

Once again, I gathered up all the dive gear. I was carpooling with other people, and they wanted me to be at their house by 4:30. That's AM. The subway doesn't even run that early!

Fortunately, my friend took pity on me and let me sleep over the night before, to avoid having to take a cab at 4 in the morning.

Now, the dive master had sent out a sheet on how to avoid seasickness. I followed those instructions to the letter. One Dramamine the night before, an additional one the morning of (although I contend that 4am is still the night before). No coffee, no acidic juice, a small filling breakfast so as to have something in the stomach. No drinking the night before (easy, of course), and a good night's sleep. The recommendation was to go to bed at 9pm, but I can't sleep that early - but I at least was in bed by 11pm.

There were five of us driving down to Rhode Island for the trip. Nobody else took Dramamine, and everybody but me had coffee in the morning. Two of the girls didn't go to bed until 2:30am, and then got up at 4am. And then they had greasy Egg McMuffins along with their coffee in the morning.

Guess who wasn't sick? And guess which other people were heaving over the side for the whole trip? Yeppers, Miss Outlier was very glad she can follow instructions!

Thanks to Bill Buckley for the following pictures.

Here's me, with the shark cage just loaded into the boat. It's pretty small, no?

Figure: First we loaded the shark cage on the boar, in preparation for the 1.5 hr ride out to sea.
When we got out to a good spot, we tossed chum in the ocean (fish oil and fish guts and chopped up fish) to attract the sharks. The seasick people loved that, let me tell you. :)

And then we waited for the sharks to show up. And fished while we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And JUST as we were about to give up for the day, this guy showed up:

Well hello! We quickly got into out gear, and jumped onto the shark cage to take a look.

The shark came over to investigate.

At this point we thought we'd better get into the cage. Well, I got into the cage. The photographer didn't want to have the bars of the cage in the photos, so he stayed outside just swimming around.

The shark decided to investigate the camera.

I was watching from that platform. That's my face you can barely see up between the bars. I was plenty close.

But the photographer is even closer. Yikes!

Well actually, I was pretty close too. :) It was so thrilling to watch this shark swimming around me. I just wanted to reach out and touch it - bad idea, of course, but the feeling is there. That big 'ol shark eye staring at me reminded me that you don't mess with these creatures.

Well hello to you too, Mr. Shark! After a while, we tagged the shark with an encoded tag for data collection purposes. That made him irritated, so he swam away.

Here's the group of us, coming up for air after the shark was gone. I'm the back left person - it's hard to tell apart the wetsuits... Such an adventurous crew!

We loaded up the cage, and headed home for the day. I slept on the hour and a half ride home, because, well, I got up at 4am that morning. :)

Fantastic day all around, out between the sky and the waves and the depths below. Who knows, maybe someday I'll do it again!

1 comment:

  1. hi there, just stumbled upon your blog :o) that's so awesome you get to go diving!