AND THEN WE SAW OUR FIRST SHARK! Yeah!!! I was so happy for Charlie. I pointed it out to him and he stayed amazingly cool and just intently watched it swim past. He then spotted the next shark 10 minutes later and calmly walked over to the other side of the cage to watch it swim away. And then the next one and next one. I think we had 10 shark sightings with Charlie spotting 9 of them.
My heart swelled with pride as I watched my 7-year-old daughter comfortably standing on the bottom of the cage in her wetsuit, booties, hood, mask and regulator intently watching the sharks. Mary Anne actually had a bit of trouble getting Emmy to pull her head back in the cage as a white shark swam by 4 feet away!! And even more trouble getting Emily out of the water… turns out that my daughter appears to be a mermaid and was extremely reluctant to climb out of the cage! I couldn’t be prouder.
We were all very concerned that the kids not feel any pressure to get in the water and worked out a process in which the kids would practice with scuba regulators in the hot tub, then get familiarized with the cages and finally – gently – allow them the option of getting into the water. That all went out the window when the kids started jumping into the cages right after breakfast!! I couldn’t believe how fearless they were. On 6-year-old Max’s second dive, his Dad said “Go down Max,” at which his son immediately dropped to the bottom of the cage and stared intently out through the bars.
Captain Mike here, back at the helm and loving it! I’ve been on days off, with Captain Dave doing an excellent job of covering things, but it is really nice to be back onboard. Even better, this is the start of our long-awaited “Family trip,” and we have five kids onboard (including my 7-year-old daughter, Emily, and 5-year-old son, Charlie) chomping at the bit to see great white sharks!! The rest of our passenger list includes journalists, two film crews, Mauricio Hoyos (our favourite shark scientist) and some greatly appreciated ‘regular’ guests.