September 30 : Yea. We went swimming with Sharks.

I climbed out of bed this morning at 7 a.m. to make our appointments with North Shore Shark Adventure. I love that my husband desires to live an exhilarating lifestyle; yet, I suppose it is a stark contrast to my desire having been to swim with dolphins...

The earliest we could call for reservations was 6 a.m. but we were both exhausted. It was nearly impossible to get either of us out from under our haven of white hotel sheets. The boat was scheduled to leave port at 11 a.m. so we needed to be there by at least 10:30. JD checked his email while I traveled to the lobby for our morning Starbucks run. For some reason, we didn’t have our act together so we left the hotel around 9:20 (it takes an hour to get to the North Shore). We had to stop at Wal-Mart so we could buy an underwater cover for the Flip Cam though. After asking the electronics lady at the weirdest placed Wal-Mart I’ve been to (it was located downtown), she said that she didn’t even think the Flip had an underwater cover (which they do because I saw it on the Wal-Mart website yesterday). Oh well. We drove through the pineapple fields to get to the North Shore, welcomed by exotic trees and breathtaking views of the mountains and ocean. I was so thankful JD finally got to see what I had the opportunity to witness last Sunday!

We arrived to the port around 10:45 a.m.

In other words, we barely made it on time.

This was perfect, as our timing prevented me from thinking about the "What If" scenarios prior to jumping into the ocean. The instructors quickly briefed us on Shark Safety

(can you believe there is such a topic?)

as the boat started into the vast blue. Views behind and beside us were extraordinary. I know I use words like that to describe Hawaii fairly often, but that’s the only way I can express the beauty!

The captain drove out about 3 – 4 miles offshore. The first group, made up of about 7 people, was the first to go down in the cage tied up to the side of the boat. [I got sick during this time, due to the nature of the 4-foot waves tossing the small boat around.] We could see the sharks from the boat but they looked much smaller from above than from down below. The cage was beating steadily against the side of the boat. The top of the cage was surrounded by about one foot of steel bars, held above the water by buoys. The sides of the cage had glass panels and steel bars to hold onto. This is basically what we looked like:

picture courtesy of Masa Ushioda

With blood flowing rapidly through our veins

and fortunately not from our skin

, we counted at least eight Galapagos sharks. I kept bobbing up like I was wearing floaties or something, but JD went to the bottom of the cage, only to find out that there was not a glass bottom... simply steel bars that he accidentally stuck his foot through. He quickly swam back to the top in slight terror. I think we spent a total of 20-30 minutes underwater, amazed at the gracefulness and precision of these giant fish.

The ship crew filmed our time with the sharks but I can't pull the files up on my computer yet. We can't wait to put together a video of this thrilling experience!!

The ship captain commanded us to get some some type of doughy substance in my stomach to soak up the acid which was beginning to settle. I got terribly seasick during this trip. Fortunately, my stomach felt like it could handle a treat from Matsumoto. Shaved Ice. Oh yea!

We also stopped on the side of the road to capture the beautiful view of the tide rolling in. While exploring, JD found this coconut... and he opened it using a rusted nail on a wooden block. Fortunately, we had no desire to eat it (given the rusted nail and all) because it was filled with maggots. We got out of there as quick as possible and took showers as soon as we got back to the hotel!!

Between the nasty traffic jam in Waikiki and dinner, JD said such an amazing thing to me:

“One of those great yet small and simple things about marriage is that I actually have someone to eat dinner with tonight.”

You see, we spent at least an hour calling around and asking for restaurants to deliver to our room. At some point during our frustration, we heard the sky roaring with dominance. “Seriously?? Now we’re going to have to walk through the rain if we want to eat??” We looked outside and realized it was the Friday night fireworks show –


thunder. JD felt bad that we missed the fireworks show after he saw my reaction from last Friday. But I just laughed. It had just been one of those nights; the fact that we missed the show just added to the amusement of the evening.

When we went downstairs for dinner, we honestly had no option but to get take-out from Round Table Pizza again or to just dine-in at any restaurant. Having been faced with this dilemma last Sunday (not having anyone to eat with nor being able to get take-out, and just eating biscotti bites I bought at the Farmer’s Market earlier that day), we decided it would be best to eat at Benihana. We came to the conclusion that the Hilton just wants to make sure their guests get out of their rooms.

This would not be the best hotel to stay at during a Honeymoon. ;)

We have found a bountiful blessing in marriage today: you will forever have someone to sit with at a dinner table and to sit by on an airplane (as long as you travel together, that is). Praise the Lord for that!