How many people can say they’ve ever been shark diving before? What about shark diving on Long Island? Probably very few. The Shark dive at the Long Island Aquarium is an absolutely awesome and unique experience that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.
Before entering the cage, one of our trained dive instructors, Rachel, familiarized me with all of the equipment we would be wearing, demonstrated how the scuba mask worked, and informed me about some of the animals we might see while under water. Unlike a common scuba respirator, I used a full face diving mask – which was very easy to breathe with. After this quick “training session,” it was time to suit up for the dive.
I put on my wet suit along with the wet shoes and was getting very excited to finally get into the cage. But, before we went down into the water, I even got my souvenir picture taken inside of the cage! (yay). Rachel then strapped the scuba mask on me so I could test out the breathing and get comfortable with it. After a few practice breaths, I was breathing like normal. When we were all set to go, Rachel gave the thumbs up to lower the cage. The cage slowly submerged into the 120,000-gallon Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit and it was time for the shark dive to begin.
For twenty awesome minutes, I was submerged in the water where I saw sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, a moray eel and much, much more! At some points, the sharks were even swimming inches away from the cage. A great thing about the scuba mask was that it allows for underwater communications, which meant I was able to ask questions about what I saw and could listen to the educator explain everything we were seeing. Looking at the shark exhibit from the outside is really awesome, but when you’re the one actually inside of it, that’s an even cooler experience. Being able to see all the marine life from the comforts of the shark cage at such a close distance made my shark dive adventure amazing. Throughout the dive, I heard some really interesting and cool facts about the numerous species of fish living in this tank – did you know the sharks in this exhibit eat only five to seven pounds of food a week?
For days leading up to the dive, I was very excited and anxious to get into the cage. When I was in the water, I couldn’t believe I was actually shark diving! Overall, this was an awesome experience for me and I highly recommend that you put it on your to-do list and experience it. There are numerous adventures and interactive experiences to be had at the Aquarium, but the shark dive is one that you won’t want to miss.