Swimming With The Sharks

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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an adrenaline junkie.. I’ve bungee jumped from a 201-foot tower (A.J. Hackett in Las Vegas, NV), tried indoor skydiving (Flyaway Indoor Skydiving in Las Vegas, NV), did a 1200-foot parasail (Xtreme Parasail in Oahu, HI), and pushed cars to their absolute limits (Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, AZ). And currently, I’m training in preparation for climbing Mount Everest! (And trying to generate enough $$ to pay for it..)

So when Christmas came around last year, my girlfriend decided to feed into my addiction and get me something truely out of this world – An experience swimming with sharks! The Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey offers participants the chance to come within inches of sand tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, nurse sharks and barracuda. You then get to enter the Stingray Lagoon, where you get to swim with and feed dozens of stingrays..

For whatever reason, I put off doing it for months and months, but finally decided to do it yesterday afternoon. There were 4 participants in the group, along with an instructor (who was carrying a PVC pipe, presumably to hit the shark with if they tried to take a bite out of us). We spent a little of an hour in the actual water (at a chilly 70 degrees, even with a wet suit on), and I’d say it was the perfect amount of time – Not too long, but not too short. Start to finish, the whole thing took about 2 hours. For those that are wondering, the cost was $165 ($150 if you have a season pass to the aquarium), and you get free admission to the aquarium, as well as free parking. (They also give you a free t-shirt and souvenir photo). My only complaint was that anyone that came to watch you do the experience had to pay the $20 admission to the aquarium, even if they were just coming for the sharks).

It was a pretty cool experience. It’s relatively safe (they haven’t had any accidents “yet”), and it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. So if you’re looking for something to get your blood pumping, I’d definitely recommend it!


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