February 12th 2012,
Bright and early at 5:30am I get up for a new and exciting day of Shark Cage Diving, we all hop in vans for a 2 hour drive to the harbor. When we get there they feed us breakfast and give us a small talk of how Great White sharks only kill 5-15 people a year and humans kill over millions of sharks a year, a very eye opening fact to all of us. Then they hand out these stylish orange fishermen jackets and blue lifejackets for the boat ride out. We all gather on the boat and ride out to the bay where the sharks tend to gather, in the winter season there are more sharks than now because they tend to hunt seals in the area.
So we all suited up in our wetsuits and goggles while they brought the cage to the side of the boat. I was the brave soul who was the very first to get in the cage in our whole group. A shark was coming up to the cage when I first got in and the workers shouted at me to “GET DOWN” which means to lower yourself to the rungs underwater in the cage to see the shark under water, but I panicked because I thought they were shouting at me to “GET OUT” so I freaked out and tried to crawl out of the cage, everyone was laughing at me afterwards because they said I had the most terrified look on my face. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life though, because we were able to observe these beautifully terrifying and close-to-extinct creatures, and I was lucky enough to have one of the Great White fins brush up against my arm. We watched all five of the groups go through, since the cage only holds 8 we went in waves. Its funny though, because watching on the boat, you ended up getting a better view from there. On the third wave, while my friends Annie and Sully (Chris Y.) were getting out of the cage, the string of fish heads they use to lure the shark got extremely close to the cage and the shark basically jumped on top of the cage, it was so scary to watch. From this trip Meg gave me the nickname “Iron Stomach Bernie” because about 1/3 of the group got very seasick, and while everyone was throwing up, I was on the top deck (the rockiest part) happily munching on my sandwich and chips. I felt so bad for Ginny, because she got so sick from the very beginning that she wasn’t able to dive, but she did receive the nickname “Seven Bag Ginny” for filling seven puke bags. Then on the way back we passed the island where all the short-haired seals gather and we watched them for a little bit. Luckily I chose the right side of the boat, because Meg, Chris M, and Sam were stuck on the side that A.)got soaked with a ton of water and B.) was the side with all the puking casualties, therefore Meg said it was like a war-zone because they got sprayed from all sides with puke and water. Other that the massive amounts of seasickness and water spray, I would say it was quite a successful day and I would do it again in a heartbeat!