Being in Australia with the Neptune Islands just a short flight away, I packed away my climbing gear and suited up in diving gear to face one of man’s most feared predators, the Great White Shark, otherwise known as “white death”.

The next morning, I greeted the divers and crew at 6:30am. Everyone was in high spirits and excited for our once-in-a-lifetime adventure. At 7:00am, we were underway with smooth sailing, hot coffee, and a hardy breakfast. By the time 9:00am rolled around, however, we were experiencing high winds and rough seas, as well as the dreaded sea sickness.

Finally, we arrived at the site and prepared to enter the cold waters. As the dive cage was lowered and the sea sickness forgotten, the exhilaration of a shark sighting took over. Buckets of blood, fish heads, and chum were tossed into the ocean with hopes to lure the sharks to the boat. We suited up in groups of four and eagerly awaited our turn to be lowered into the danger zone.

Within minutes, we had our first Great White sighting! When my turn in the cage began, I immediately spotted one underneath of us. It looked to be 10 feet long as it circled the cage. The shark maneuvered to attack the bait and charged the cage, hitting it with extreme force. In the excitement of the moment, I wanted to reach out and touch, but my better judgment told me that would not be a good idea.

As soon as it appeared, it disappeared. It would be another 20 minutes before we would see another shark. This time the Great White hung around a while, circling us with curiosity. We were in awe of the beauty and gracefulness of this large, dangerous predator. Before I knew it, my time underwater was up. I will never forget this up close and personal experience with one of the most powerful and feared creatures in the ocean.