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Turn Shark Week into a reality with a shark encounter

A reef shark is shown in this undated

A reef shark is shown in this undated file photo. Credit: Katie Grudecki

On Aug. 12, Discovery Channel's Shark Week turns 25. That's a lot of celebratory years for the pit bulls of the sea, a whole lot of education and giving of mad props to the gilled guys that terrify and fascinate us.

But does it all feel just a little two-dimensional? If so, take that crazy excitement for the great white, tiger, blue, hammerhead and all their brethren into the real world with a shark experience, such as the new one offered at Bimini Sands Resort & Marina.

If Bimini sounds familiar, Shark Week fans, that's likely because of the Bimini Biological Field Station (aka the Sharklab) stationed there. (A collection of three islands in the Bahamas, Bimini is a little more than 50 miles east of Miami.)

Two former researchers with the Station, Katie Grudecki and Grant Johnson, head up activities at Bimini Sands; they also lead a weekly shark encounter that can get you as close to a reef shark as you'd like.

Grudecki and Johnson take visitors south of Bimini, feeding the Caribbean reef sharks and offering up their knowledge about the species, which the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists as "near threatened." And if you're feeling it, you can jump on in and swim around with the tropical guys and gals.

The shark encounters are $30 for resort guests ($20 for kids), plus equipment (if you're indeed going to slap on that snorkel and swim with the fishes). Bimini Sands has a five-night package deal, priced at $145 per person per night, as long as you book your stay during the Oct. 1 through March 31 window.

Ring in the new year with the sharks, anyone?

For more information: 242-347-3500,

Photo: A Caribbean reef shark

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