Whale Sharks!

Heading out from Cancun

Heading out from Cancun

As the last day of my trip to Mexico approached I got up early and climbed aboard a van heading north to Cancun. We;d gotten word that the weather had cleared up and we’d be heading out to find the whale sharks.

At the port we had a short briefing- no flash photography, don’t touch the whale sharks etc. and a quick breakfast. Coffee wasn’t done but I managed to snag a cup that had finished brewing right before I headed on board. A veritable fleet of boats was heading out, all seeking the whale sharks. Since there was still a slight swell from the storms that had passed through and we had to haed a fair distance offshore, several people were looking a little green by the time we reached the location of the Whale sharks. Still, everyone was eager to jump in once we got there.

whaleshark

Whale shark.

We had been told to be sure and look underwater as soon as we jumped in and this proved sound advice, the glare on the surface gave no hint of this whale shark that became immediately obvious once I submerged.

Whilst they seem to be swimming slowly and relaxed their sheer size means that they swim considerably faster then a person so getting ahead of them for long enough to take pictures and video proved challenging but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

Whale Shark gulping in plankton rich water.

Whale Shark gulping in plankton rich water.

Whale Shark passing beneath me

Whale Shark passing beneath me

By the end of it all I was sunburnt, had blisters from finning hard to keep up and incredibly tired but it was oh so worth it.

swimming with these gentle giants was an amazing experience.

I even shot video

We had a short delay while some people were transferred from another boat that had experienced engine trouble on the way out, then it was on to Isla Mujeres for a chance to enjoy the scenery and a delicious lunce of ceviche.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres

 

I had one final adventure before heading home though. After getting out of the van at my hotel in Playa del Carmen I discovered my camera was missing! I had taken it out to show people the video of the whale sharks and left it in the van. I was frantic as I could not imagine losing those pictures or video. After a struggle to make a call (the phone at the hotel never seemed to work right) I contacted the tour company and they assured me they’d have it on the van for their first tour leaving Playa del Carmen at 645 in the morning, plenty of time before my afternoon flight. Sure enough after a night of tossing and turning I met the tour guide at Senor Frogs and he’d brought my camera! Then it was time to pack up and head for the airport for a rather lengthy trip home. can’t wait to return to the Mexico Riviera.

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, another beautiful sunrise.

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