Kimberly Bishop and her husband were kayaking at one of their favorite spots, Anaeho'omalu Bay, just like they had been since they first started coming to the Big Island of Hawaii in 1984.
She told KITV a shark hit the side of the couple's kayak, tipped it over, then "chomped into my leg."
"She started yelling, 'Shark! Shark!'" Bishop's husband, Kim, told KITV. "I turned and saw she was capsizing. She fell and tried to put her body across the kayak, but I could see the fins behind her. They were right behind her!"
"It wasn't a reef shark, and it especially was not just a five-foot shark," he said, adding it was "very big."
After the attack, people paddling a canoe nearby helped her get to shore. She was airlifted to the North Hawaii Community Hospital with a significant leg injury.
"It is a curved bite mark above and below the knee that is 12 to 13 inches in diameter," her husband said.
Her doctors were able to close the wound with stitches and staples, the couple told KITV.
"I was very lucky," she said. "I can walk on my leg, and it has feeling in it. The bite didn't hit any arteries, or nerves."
The Department of Land & Natural Resources, which tracks shark bites, is still investigating to determine the species and size of the shark. There was a shark attack at the same beach just a month ago, KITV reports.
Bishop told ABC News affiliate KITV she and her husband got engaged on that very beach 35 years ago.
Even with those good memories, she shared a word of caution for anyone venturing to the ocean: "Never head out on the water alone."