I went diving with sharks - in Manchester.
On Sunday 3rd November we took a trip to SeaLife Aquarium in Manchester, right next to the Trafford Centre. My friend Mimi, works as a photographer there and she raved about the SeaTrek experience where basically you get in the tank and walk around with the sharks, the fish, the stingrays and one giant sea turtle called Ernie! So being the reckless adventurous type I am (nope) I had to give it a go. The whole day went really fast but looking back now it's quite unbelievable I was inches away from these creatures just by popping along the motorway for 20 minutes. So no expensive flights needed!
So here we are ready to go in! Everything you need is given to you on the day such as the wet-suit, shoes and a of course a helmet to breath. You just bring swimwear. At this point a big white helmet goes over your head and rests on your shoulders which pumps lots of air inside. You don't need any training in scuba diving. The helmet is quite heavy but as soon as you get underwater it hardly weighs a thing. Because it acts as a suction cup underwater your face and hair doesn't even get wet. The water comes up to about neck height. Meaning you can go in with a full face of makeup and get out exactly the same.
As soon as you get in everything feels like slow motion. We had our photo taken lots of times before getting in the water and once we were underwater too. You go around the tank in a small group and you spend about 10 minutes down there which is plenty of time to let all the fish explore you! Ernie (the huge sea turtle) swam right past us inches away from my face many times. The little sharks tend to stay hovering around the bottom of the tank and the stingrays swim around near the surface but if you looked up you could see their little faces! The tropical fish tend to nibble at your wet-suit and come right up to the helmet and peer in.
Of course we had my parents on the other side of the glass taking photos too. You dive in a tank on public view so everyone can see you moon-walking around the sea bed. Children from the age of 8 upwards can do the SeaTrek but we it's just as popular with the adults. I don't think I would have had the guts to do it at 8! Check out the website for more info on the SeaTrek and pricing. We got a little bit of a discount having Amelia working there so thank you Mimi and SeaLife!