It's a rainy morning on the north shore, and we are on our way to the harbor. Pit stops for breakfast, water, Dramamine, a bikini change, and we are on. We jump aboard the Mo'o with some of our favorite crew members. We are all good friends, but we get the same low-down as everyone else. "Remember to be calm, move slow, enjoy and leave everything else ashore." We nod our heads, and a small knot starts to form in the pits of our stomachs. Swimming with sharks..? Okay.
It's all smiles, but the heavy feeling lingers. We pull up to the buoy, tie off, and start putting our gear on.. Ryder jumps in first to feel it all out. One by one we line up, hang our feet off the side and plop in.
For a minute it's scary. But a wave of calm overcomes the nerves quick. The feeling of the cold water on your skin soothes you and all of a sudden everything feels safe. It's you, the ocean, and sharks. There's no time to think about anything else, everything is left ashore.
There's no time to think about your problems, or feelings. You focus on breathing, looking, learning. Every once in awhile a shark gets close, makes eye contact with you and the slow motion stops. Everything catches up with you and you feel alive.
There's such a preconceived evil with these creatures. Connotations with the word shark being scary, mean, aggressive. But one day out on the Mo'o and those connotations go away. Sharks are beautiful, powerful, majestic animals, and while they have the power to take a nice chunk out of your side, the reality is that we invite ourselves into their home, and that's on us.