You know, after the previous dive didn’t go so well, I was a LITTLE apprehensive about diving in a tank full of SHARKS, but as I already said, they wouldn’t let people do it if they died. That was my mantra leading up to the dive. They wouldn’t let people do it if they died. I even said that to the guy who took us on the dive; “I’m a little nervous, but I figure they wouldn’t let people do it if they died.”
And imagine that! We didn’t die! Despite being a NOT THAT LARGE tank of water with five sharks and untold numbers of other predatory fish. Who KNOWS what would have tried to eat us! But there are also eagle rays swimming around, PREGNANT ONES!, and turtles and fish that look like grumpy old men, and sharks teeth in the gravel we could seek & find and take home (we got THREE teeth, none of which I found).
But there were also GIANT! FUCKING! SHARKS! RIGHT THERE! IN THE TANK! WITH US! SWIMMING RIGHT OVER MY HEAD! *RIGHT THERE*! There were several times I was swimming merrily along, minding my own business, checking out the rays or looking for sharks teeth, and I happened to glance up and THERE WAS A SHARK! RIGHT THERE! RIGHT OVER MY HEAD! I could have touched the damn thing had I stretched my little phalanges out, but I wouldn’t, because the guy warned us that a shark might mistake stretched out phalanges for food. I like all my fingers, thankyouverymuch.
The dive was SO COOL though. It was amazing to be so close to all those animals; a couple of times I thought a little male ray was gonna run into me. And I got to pet turtles! It was amazing! But you know what the best part was? Looking at all the kiddos through the glass of the tank. I really wish Feller had gotten some pictures of the people looking in at us, because seriously? My favorite part. I can remember what that kind of experience would have been like for me as a kid, so I can sort of imagine what the kids I waved at were thinking as they watched us in full scuba gear swimming with crazy huge fish.
After the dive, we wandered around the aquarium together, and checked out, well, everything, but ESPECIALLY the baby mantas that had been born the week before. They were SO CUTE, and they obviously knew that people in front of their separate tank (so they wouldn’t get eaten) meant FOOD. They swam right over to us and stuck their little lips out of the water looking for a treat of some sort. If there hadn’t been a sign right in front of me (in RED) that said NO TOUCHING, I would have pet those cute little suckers.
It was an amazing day, and definitely one I look forward to revisiting next time we’re in Cape Town.