Trapped in a Shark Cage


Uneasily, I boarded the small boat with fifteen other people that would take me out to cage dive with great white sharks. I was on the coast of South Africa and terrified of the large predators of the ocean, but didnít want to miss the chance to swim so close to danger.
A huge cage was set on the back of the boat that would hold five people at a time. We began to ride over the large swells out into the ocean. After moving a distance from the shore, the men began throwing chum into the water. They were trying to lure the sharks close to the boat. A few minutes later, I watched as a large grey mass moved towards our small sea vessel. As it drew closer, I could make out the sleek curves of its huge body, a dorsal fin cutting through the water, and the pointed nose that hid rows of jagged teeth. It was a great white.
I couldnít believe how large the great white sharks were. I knew they were big, but this was incredible. The shark was as big as a car. Over the next half hour, a few different great whites took an interest in the boat. I felt like I was in a horror movie as four sharks continuously circled the boat in search of prey.
The cage was lowered into the water and the men on the boat threw out a rope with a big piece of tuna on the end. The sharks were immediately interested and followed the bait. Their heads thrashed about and their tails made quick turns to catch the large piece of fish. They quickly glided through the water and made grabs with their sharp teeth at the bait. I couldnít believe how fast the monstrously large creatures could turn in the water.
It was time to get in the cage. I shook with fear as I put on my full wetsuit and snorkeling gear. I climbed into the freezing water of the cage with four other people and gripped the metal bars to steady myself against the thrashing waves.
I submerged my head and my eyes grew wide with amazement. The sharks were lured by the bait close to the cage, sometimes crashing into us. Through the clear water, I could see the rows of teeth snapping at the water in front of me. I unsteadily breathed through my snorkel and watched the massive sharks prey on the bait. The metal cage formed a protective cocoon around me.
Suddenly, I noticed the water was becoming very diluted. The previously clear water was clouding up and large pieces of yellow matter were floating by. I came up for air to a grotesque scene inside of my protective cocoon. The swells had caused my four companions to become sea sick. They were gripping the metal bars at the top of the cage and vomiting into the ocean. The disaster wasnít only in the cage, many others were hanging their heads over the edge of the boat, retching out the large breakfast we had eaten before boarding.
I quickly dove to the bottom of the cage, in a vain attempt to avoid the puke. I gripped the lowest bars and held my breath for as long as I could to avoid the scene above. I found myself more terrified of the partially digested food than the dangerous sharks whipping past. I watched as bits of peopleís breakfast floated by in the water with shark fins fanning it into my face. I resurfaced for air only to find the same sight awaiting me and dove back down. I felt trapped by the vomit closing in around me.
Eventually, I built up enough courage to climb out of the cage and take in the scene around me. The majority of the people on the boat were a pale shade of green and looking completely miserable. Almost everyone was very sea sick. Vomit floated from the boat in all directions with sharks obliviously circling through the filth. If I ever did this again, I would definitely get on a boat with less people. Less vomit.

A Duling

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