In spite of reports of shark attacks off the coasts of the Carolinas my family and I ventured down there for a long over due vacation. Our room wasn't ready when the plane arrived so we visited the aquarium.
The shark tank we walked through was filled with landsharks and other ocean life. Living peaceably together. To my surprise, we didn't see any feeding frenzies or bloody attacks with the predators free to eat any other of the marine life included in the enclosure.
After our "close up" view of the creatures I felt a little better about taking a dolphin tour in the ocean on a jetski from the marina at our hotel. I mean the marine life we'd just experienced seemed well behaved enough.
So after arriving at the hotel, we took a walk down to the dock to check out the availability of an ocean dolphin tour. On jet skis. Life's an adventure right? Besides what was there to lose, besides an arm or a leg? We made our appointment for 9:00 the following morning.
After a false start with one member of the family getting sea sick on a rocking pontoon while we waited for our jet skis, we ventured into the unknown. My husband decided he would ride with our teen and I with our oldest daughter.
Our guide, Brendan, went through step by step instructions to operate the machines. We donned our life jackets, climbed onto the small crafts and hit the start buttons. Easing our way into the bay area that connects to the ocean, my daughter pressed the throttle and the machine bucked like a stubborn horse. Our oldest is an accomplished horse woman so I encouraged her to stay on course. She tried several times to tame it, but each time it swerved off course it rattled her.
So what do you do when you want to sit back and let someone else take over? Get mom to do it.
"I'm a little nervous about venturing into the waves in the ocean." Our uber relaxed guide told me that the ocean was like "glass" that day.
We came to see dolphins so that's what we were going to do. Besides our 16 year old seemed to be having no problems so I took over from our oldest and pressed the throttle down. Secure in the knowledge that once we got over that 25 mph mark the little craft would start to behave and we could enjoy the adventure.
Ha! Three foot waves and swells from other boats rocked our jet skis, making it impossible not to fly up in the air. Salty spray covered us from the top of our hot heads to our toes. I could feel my daughter hanging on to my life jacket for dear life.
A strange peace came over me in spite of the three foot waves, the salty ocean water being thrown up into my face, the rocking jet ski and my daughters screams behind me. "You would kill me if I went this fast with you." She's probably right.
And, you know what? We didn't see any dolphins but that three hour ride crashing through the aqua ocean waves was the most fun I have ever had in my life.
By the way, I highly recommend a vacation in Myrtle Beach...it's the bomb. :-D