Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sharks!!! - Breanna

OK, fine I’m still here. Thank gosh.
You should have seen me the night before and the morning of. I think all the stress of this whole event and leading up to it has made me sick with a sore throat, stuffy nose, horrible cough and stomach ache, not to mention my mind running wild with horror stories about sharks. Not liking that at all. Ben, the brat, did something really mean. A few days before the actual shark dive he pulled up some shark attack videos on Youtube and said “Hey Bre, check this out! Hahahah” Great, just great, a woman getting her leg chomped off by a GREAT WHITE SHARK. Perfect, that’s exactly what I need to be watching. “Not funny. I’m going to have nightmares”. I was alright on the 40 min drive there because it didn’t seem real. Does that make sense? Once I walked in to the lounge area and office of the gathering house I saw about 30 different pictures of massively huge Great White Sharks and their jaws wide open with rows of sharp teeth and a big TV with shark videos playing in the background. None of this was helping at all. Well, that’s what you get when you are going shark cage diving. Duh Bre, be realistic, what did you expect flowers and rainbows? Come on. Good lord I really am going to die. Yes, of course that’s what I was really thinking. I can’t help it.
We all ate breakfast, signed a waiver, got a small run down of what was going to happen and then led down to the boat launching site. That’s about the time I started freaking out. I was choking back tears the best I could because I didn’t want to look like a complete wimp. Next, I was trying to hide the tears but that wasn’t really working either. I was moving the equivalent of a very tired slow snail. Maybe I wasn’t even moving. I don’t really know. Dad and I were far in the back of the group. I was seriously having troubles. I’ve been more than terrified of sharks my entire life and this was walking towards to my worst nightmare, where the greatest concentration of Great White Sharks is on the planet. Omg omg omg. I can’t do this. Why me? I don’t even want to be on the boat let alone be in the water with sharks. The tears came faster and I definitely wasn’t moving another step. Dad wrapped his arm around me and said something encouraging which I can’t remember; I don’t think my ears were working just then. I was seriously ready to throw in the white towel. But before I knew it Ben had me by the arm and was pulling me forward.

Tune in next week…..after I regain my senses.

Of course I wouldn’t do that to you.

Then again… maybe I would. ahaha


It took about 45 min to reach the shark point. Once the anchor was dropped, the workers poured fish blood and guts into the water then tied a large fish head to a rope and threw it about 15 feet from the boat slowly pulling in the line to act as bait, within minutes a large dark shadow in the water was spotted. Oh great. “Wetsuits on!” the guide yells. I was pretty slow at doing that too. I was definitely in my own little world. “Brrrrr”….cold wetsuit, that’s never enjoyable, now is it? Some trip I thought.
After a little while everyone was in wetsuits except one, I noticed Ammon was sitting at the front of the boat still in his clothes. “What the…?!?!” If I am expected to do this there is no way he is getting out of it. “What’s with you?? You can’t chicken out. Get your skinny, non-existent butt in that wet suit.” He isn’t going?? Why not? Oh he’s sea sick… Hell, why didn’t I think of that?? Idiot...good one Bre.
We got the run down about the cage and all that. Not very comforting. First group in the cage was Kees (again taking the lead) and 5 other people. One worker would keep pouring in fish blood and guts to attract as many sharks as he could. Another crew member would keep throwing the fish head line in and another guy would be watching for sharks and when they came close enough to the bait he could call out “go under” and the 6 heads would dunk under for how ever long they could hold their breath or until the shark was out of sight. During all of this I was still on the upper deck watching. You know, just keeping my distance for a while. Ok, first group finished after about half an hour. Next in was Mom, Dad, Savannah and Alex from our groupie plus two other non-groupie people. Alex and Savannah were constantly laughing and screaming saying “oh man, I feel sorry for Bre” –Savannah “Yeah she is going to die” –Alex. That was mean. They were having a swell ol’ time teasing me and someone always making the Daa Da, Daa Da, DaDaa Jaws theme song. Such nice friends and family I have. To keep my mind off that I just kept asking if it was cold. “Yeah but you get use to it”-Mom and crew say. Well that’s somewhat good news.
OMG, MY TURN. Lucky number 3. I’m so nervous. “Mom feel my pulse.” It was Me, Ben, Dad and Kees plus 2. Dad and Kees got to go again because there was extra space and everyone had already gotten a turn. So this is it. Zip up my hood, strap on my goggles and dad puts the extra weights over my shoulder to keep me down as I slowly walk over to the edge. Peak over and see Ben down in the cage reaching up for my hand with a big smile on his face. “Ha-ha to you too.” Someone was patting me on the back saying “You can do it Bre, just go”. Deep breath. One leg in…and then the other one, up to the waist now. “Holy Crap that’s cold….you liars”. They laughed.
I definitely started to panic once the water reached my shoulders and I was eye level with the choppy ocean. How do I explain that? I tucked myself into a ball, stalled, couldn’t move, desperately wanted to climb out at an amazingly fast speed, body heating up, heart beating off the charts out of control and the tears came again. Maybe it's all those nightmares of being in the water, alone, in the dark and in the distance you see a shark fin headed straight in your direction and you scare yourself into waking up. I closed my eyes really tight, wishing I knew how to wake up and be somewhere else. After a few more breaths, which felt like forever, I managed to steady and calm myself down a little bit.
Once everyone was in, the guy threw in the fish head again along with the blood and guts. The cage isn’t very big so everyone was shoulder to shoulder but I was huddled up against Ben while we waited for the call. Then it came. “Everyone down, look left”. Gulp of air and down we went. Usually goggles get foggy and you can’t see clearly but noooo not these ones they were perfect....Dang it. I saw everything. AHHHHHHHHHHH I SCREAMED underwater and the bubbles raced up. There was a 12 foot Great White Shark not 4m away swimming around. Poor Ben. I had a death grip and a half on his arm. I came up fast and said HOLY **** ,A ******* SHARK!!!! (Sorry grandma, I couldn’t help it. There must be some kind of exception for this one)
“AHHHHH.OMG OMG OMG!! This is crazy”.Only seconds had passed before the strong voice yelled “Back down looking right”. Back down. This time I stayed longer. Back up, breathe, next call and down again.
After a couple of times it became fun trying to see a Great White Shark for as long as possible. I was super high alert with all my senses working over time. Just because I say that it started to get fun doesn’t mean I let go of the death grip I had on Ben or got any closer to the cage bars. My one hand holding on to a bar to keep me down was plenty enough. After a while it became more like a Universal Studios roller coaster thriller ride of some sort with the boat rocking in the waves, the goose bumps running up and down your back, the water splashing in your face when you come up, the yelling and gasps from above and the sounds of the cage crashing into the side of the boat all mixing together was something else entirely. The first time the cage crashed into the side of the boat it freaked me out because I thought a shark had hit it from behind. Everyone was looking forwards at the big ugly fish head on a rope instead of behind you and that’s how it always happened isn’t it…it gets you from behind.
We (the third group) definitely got the most action and sharks. “I told you that would happen”. I did say that “As soon as I get in that cage lots of sharks are going to show up”. I’m sure they could smell the fear all over me. But it worked out great in the end because right when the guy yanked on the fish head rope, a shark leaped out of the water right in front of us and chomped like crazy on the head, pulling the rope farther into the water until the head was fully devoured. Woah that was a sight. Cool. Glad that wasn’t me. Yiiikkkes. I survived!!!!!! Wahoo!!! I did it, now let me out. Ahahah
Writing this all down after it's all done and over with is funny because I feel like such a baby chicken wimp dork. Just telling it how it was, that’s all. I hate to admit this but it was a good experience and I don’t care if you make fun of me, I’m still afraid of sharks. Lol
Most of us stayed in our wet suits until we got back because it was warmer that way. Dad, Ben and I were on the top deck laughing and having a blast in the wind and jumping for more height when we went over the huge waves. We drove past some of the 60,000 Cape Fur Seals that live on Geyser Rock that borders world famous “Shark Alley”. Most of the Great White Shark documentaries seen on TV are filmed at this location. Wow. There were so many seals it was like a fast food drive-thru made for sharks. lol
Got back to the reception area, took a shower, changed and had a big lunch. Afterwards, we all got to watch our adventure of the day on the big TV screen. That was funny. Awesome! So yeah that’s pretty much it. If I can do it you definitely can.
Still alive and kicking,


At 9:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bre,
Finally something I could have done. You know how you felt going to the water, that would be me bungy jumping. But as your Mom and Dad can attest water is my element. That sounded SO COOOOLLL!!!! And you were heroic to go in and over come the fear, truly and amazing feat. You guys continue to amaze me. I think the bravest thing I'm doing is getting a new bike after the accident..... but it doesn't compare t your experience.
I just wanted to let you know how amazing you guys all are, and that I love keeping in touch with you through this medium, I can't believe more don't. Anyways, give your Mom and Dad an special hug for me please, they are very dear to my heart, and their friendship is top among my most prized possessions in this life.

Love to you all, and of course bear hugs, even for Ben for being there for you.
Love Shean

At 4:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bre,
Had a thought; when you think of the Saviour and how he probably felt at the Garden of Gesthemane, I'm thinking your last experience with sharks, being terrified, but knowing it had to be done was probably etting closer to his experience.
Just a thought to discuss with Maggie and Brandon sometime.

Love and Hugs
The Bear

At 3:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Watkins and other travel company :-) The pictures in the picture album are showing that SA is really awesome, and you all are having a great time,..Great!! :)
Cool that Ben has rejoined the group, and Bre is having such a great time,..good going!
It seems that everyone is in good shape and having the time of their lifes, excellent,...keep up the good work....

Take care, be safe and lots of greets



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