Day Three / Shark Dive Xtreme!

I’m a day behind but I’m going to quickly get caught up.

After my outdoor nighttime blogging experience, we sucked it up and bought weeklong internet access for our hotel room; only an economical $99.95 for all 7 days (with the exchange rate… $112ish?).  I don’t really mind.  You all seem to be appreciating the daily updates.  Considering Travis’s phone bill is likely to hover around the ~$500 range for this month (“Can’t you wait to send that $1.25 picture message?”), the internet charge doesn’t seem so bad.

Let me catch up and start talking about our exciting Shark Feed XTREME we went on the day before yesterday.  When Travis had first gotten wind on me wanting to go to Australia, he reminded me that he would go only if he could swim with the Great White Sharks.  Upon further research, those expeditions are often 3-4 days long and hover around the $5000 price range.  We did the next best thing and found that Oceanworld in Manly offers shark dives within their aquarium.  We upgraded and did a shark feed instead, an experience that allows you to be in the tank while the sharks and sting rays are being fed their weekly meal.

After taking the (very cold) ferry to Manly, we grabbed a quick coffee and waited near the dock to be let in.  Our instructor, Rhiannon, took us in and gave us a run through on what our dive was going to look like.  Through the first portion of the aquarium, we were to be on the opposite side of the tube as the stingrays were to be fed.  It sounded boring at first and silently thought, “Where are the sharks for the SHARK dive?”  She then took us into the next room.  Ohh… that’s where they are.

These guys were a lot bigger than I expected and their teeth were as frightening as ever.  I forgot most of what she was explaining at this point because I was trying to think up every excuse to get myself out of this.  Then she got us into the prep area.  I obviously didn’t think of a good enough excuse fast enough.

After a bit more briefing and explanation on basic underwater skills, we suited up and got ready to go in.  We met our other instructor, Jamie, so both Travis and I had someone guiding us through the experience.  Besides our instructors, Travis and I were the only two down there, so it was a really personal, intimate experience.

The water is pumped straight from the ocean so it was cold.  The wet suits were wet, so those too were cold.  It was cold.  The experience was far too exciting and I was able to stop focusing on my frozen blood.  Let’s take another photo break, shall we?

Definitely an unforgettable experience.  There was so much that went on while we were underwater that it’s hard to recall all of it.  Travis and I agreed that our favorite part was during the last portion.  We sat right in the middle of the feeding area. Imagine being in Chuck E Cheese at a birthday party with about 50 small children.  You just announced that you’re holding a bucket of tokens so everyone quickly runs up to you, poking your arms, legs, stomach, jumping up and down until they get a couple of tokens.  That’s what being in this feeding area was like.

After exploring Manly a bit further, we rested up and went home in time for dinner.  Continuing on with the underwater theme, we met my mom and sister to have sushi.

We found a restaurant close to our hotel named Wasabi.  It’s a sushi train style restaurant, meaning that there’s a long conveyor belt of small plates of sushi that just roam around.  Anything you want, you just grab off the belt.  It was such a fun dinner.  I love little gimmicks like that.  The sushi was pretty good, too.

They even have sake and Sapporo rotating on the belt!  Too much fun!

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