Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The BIGGEST Challenge of all!

It is happening!  It is really happening.  I am a little bit in shock right now.  Normally I only post once I have completed a bucket list item, but I felt like it was worth mentioning this exciting moment now.

A few years ago when I decided to make the list, there was one item that came to my mind first.  There was something that I have always wanted to do, more then anything else and have been dreaming of it ever since I was a kid and watched the movie Jaws for the first time.  That's right, I am talking about swimming with the ocean's most beautiful predator, the Great White Shark.

I think shark week might be the most exciting time of the year for me.  (Well, at least it used to be before they just started regurgitating the same ones I've seen over and over again.)  Watching these majestic beasts glide through the water with such power after their pray is mesmerizing.  As a SCUBA diver growing up, I spent a lot of time down in the Florida Keys and have been around plenty of reef, nurse and bonnet head sharks, but most of those do not get much bigger then 5 ft.  Slightly different from the man in the grey suit who can get as long as 23 ft.  It doesn't matter how many times I've watched Marine Biologist and Adventure Enthusiast get in the water with them, it truly doesn't showcase the magnitude we are talking here.  I have to see it for myself.

And so the research began.  How am I going to make this dream come true before I officially grow up and have to be responsible for little people?  I could go to Australia and swim with them there, as well as cross off a few other bucket list items like swimming in the Great Barrier Reef and going on a safari across the outback, maybe make a stop in Hawaii on the way out there?  Sounds great... and expensive for this lady who just bought a house and is balancing two mortgages.  Looks like that will be a 10 year anniversary escape.

How about South Africa and go to Cape Town to see those amazing jumping great whites?  Hum... minimum of a two week vacation to justify the 14 hr. flight.  So... what are we going to do for the next two weeks?

Then I found it... the best solution:  San Francisco.  We will be traveling out of the San Francisco Bay to Farallon Islands.  On September 25th, I will be on a boat at 6:00 a.m. to travel to experience the largest White Sharks in the world while they feed on Elephant Seals before their long trans-Pacific migration.  I will spend the day both in the cage underwater as well as on the observation deck to witness some natural feeding.  By 6:00 p.m. we will be back to the docks complete with hundreds of photos, unforgettable memories and a grin from ear to ear.

This will be my view from the cage!
Since Logan and I like to discover new places, and we have already been to San Francisco, we are going to try to see as many other things during our vacation including Seattle to reminisce on my favorite genre of music growing up, the Gorge Amp to see Jason Mraz play, and make our way back to Napa Valley to enjoy a little wine and to eat at the world renown restaurant, The French Laundry.  (For those who know me, that is 'Jessica's' Bucket List item.)

Now the only problem will be trying to be patient while I wait for the trip to get here.  Luckily I still have a lot of other '30 before 30' items to keep me distracted.  Next up: Paddle Boarding and Paintballing!

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