Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busan Part II: Sharks!

(continued from Busan Part I)
In the morning, we got up (obviously) and headed to McDonald's for some breakfast. Then it was off to the aquarium at the beach. Shark time!! :)Me!
[this pic is from Michael's camera, posted on Scuba In Korea. I'm in pics 1, 2 and 5 on the October 11th dive]
[the rest of the pics are my own]I went on the shark dive 2 years ago and thought it was fantastic. Again, I loved it. I posted about most of the details the last time I went, so check it out if you are interested (including a lot of the things that are living in the tank). There were a few additions to the tank, including another sea turtle, much more aggressive than the 2 aggressive ones that were already there. Fun!! The new turtle was locked up in the double lock (the area we have to go through to get to the main tank, so it wasn't bothering us for the most part.[main tank from above - that is a glass bottom boat tour]
As I had gone once before, Michael had me join the first group, who all have their PADI. He went through a quick training with me to make sure I remembered everything, and then we headed to the 3 million liter, 5 meter deep main tank. Michael moved the new turtle into the training area and a few at a time went through the double locks to the ledge of the main tank, above the second tunnel. I was last in line to go through. While waiting, the turtle started pushing. All it took, though was couple of hard pushes on its 'shoulders' to get it away. In the tank, though, the other two turtles were right there, waiting for food. As Michael put it, they will eat and eat and eat until they throw up. Then a few seconds later, the'll be back and want to be fed again. If you don't feed them, they think you've forgotten and need to remind you. Since they don't have fingers to poke you with, they give you a bit of a nip. Well, luckily I don't think anyone was nipped, though one was close. Eventually, Michael got annoyed and tossed both of them into the double lock area. The first was easy, as it was right there. The second he had to wait for it to get back, then did a bit of turtle wrangling - had both fins together (behind its back?) so it couldn't move and pushed it in. Never seen giant sea turtle wrangling before!! :P
Michael is the first down to the bottom of the tank. Then we went down one at a time. It sometimes takes time to get down, as you have to equalize (pop your ears) as you go down. If they won't pop, PAIN! in which case you have to go up a little and then back down and try again. Going down, there is a rope to hold on to and you basically walk backwards down the side of the 2nd tunnel to the bottom. Once everyone is on the bottom, the tour of the tank starts. At one point we stopped to look for shark teeth on the bottom. I found 3!! In the tank, the divers are often the 'main attraction' (according to Michael). The Korean visitors watch the foreigners in the tank more than the sharks, I think. They wave and take many pictures. Of course, we can wave back (not wildly, though, for safety reasons) or pose for the pictures. I suppose I'm used to feeling like a bit of a zoo attraction (being a very obvious minority does that - people stare all the time, people sometimes ask to take pictures of you/with you, kids (and sometimes big kids) say hello, giggle and run away. LOL.After my group finished, we stuck around to take pictures of the 2nd group in the tank.
Then time for FOOD!!! A few people went for Mexican. The rest of us went for kalbi (meat). YUM!! and I suppose I could mention that soju and beer were also on the menu! ;)

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