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Old 08-02-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
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Whale Sharks!

As requested, I will start a new thread. I tried posting video but it didn't work out (hangs head in shame). Will try to figure out how to send video without all the other unrelated stuff.

We were able to snorkel with these magnificent beasts twice, two years ago off Isla Holbox, and last year, off Isla Mujueres. Both times we took a small plane out of Cozumel airport to the islas. You can also take a ferry, bus, and taxi, but the plane is so quick and easy. Both times we went with three other friends. I sat up by the pilot on the way to Holbox, and he let me fly the plane! Much to the consternation of the other passengers.

The most recent trip, we were picked up from the airport by golf cart and taken to our boat. It was only the 5 of us, plus captain and first mate. We found the big guys, and were joined by a bunch of other boats, which serve to herd the sharks. We went in two at a time with our snorkel gear. Each boat basically had its own shark, we never felt crowded, and there were so many sharks!

What an experience! The shark was close enough to touch. 40 or more feet long! The water was crystal clear and very deep. Our friend, who owns several businesses in Cozumel including a restaurant and a kiteboard tour company, used my little Optio WP to take some great videos. One shows the magnificent creature with its mouth wide open, feeding. Each of us got multiple chances to swim with them.

We were then taken to a reef for snorkeling, and the captain prepared fresh ceviche and other snacks. We then rented a golf cart and toured the island. They have drive-in bar/snack shops. You literally drive your golf cart INTO the store. Ice cold Sol all around! We flew back, and went to dinner later at our friend's restaurant.

Truly a bucket list dream! At times, manta rays are found with the sharks, we didn't see any, but did see turtles. Not prohibitively expensive either.

We are strong swimmers, but the big guys can fly! It was comical watching DH frantically trying to keep up!
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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dawg, your intro to this deep sea adventure of swimming with (or trailing) the 40 foot whales, is a spectacular one, and ever so fascinating. i got chills all over when i "saw" this gigantic sea creature, two rooms in length, and swimming so close that you could reach out and touch it!! did you? touch it? did it acknowledge you in any way? were you scared out of your mind, or in a state of some kind of respectful awe of this humongous shark? how was this "herding" done? how did you know that some less gentle sharks or others might not decide to join your swim? what did you see the shark eating?...so many ????s, dawg. can't wait for your pics and your next installment. perhaps this shark thread will evolve into a back and forth q&a - would that be okay? thanks for sharing, dawg....
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks, Vit!

They eat krill. You aren't supposed to touch them. I watched an idiot from another boat touching "my" shark, with gloves on yet! and promptly reported him to the divemaster. They are the most gentle creatures you have ever seen. The mouths are huge. Some think Jonah was not swallowed by a whale, but by a whale shark.

The boats communicate by radio. When a pod is found, they radio the other boats and form a circle around the pod. Each boat gets it's own shark. At times there may be over 100 sharks!

The water is so deep and clear, and other than the remoras attached to the sharks, there isn't much more around. If I had seen a manta ray, which frequently swim with the sharks, I would happily have died and gone to heaven!

I will pm you more.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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So where is the vid? Is it in another thread?
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis
So where is the vid? Is it in another thread?
I have an issue with Photobucket, it provides TMI. I can pm, or if someone has a suggestion so it doesn't include all the extraneous personal info, I would welcome that. I've been playing around with it all afternoon and it's driving me nuts. I have no problem with the folks I have met and trust here, but don't want to open it up to the world I don't know! I'm not too good with FB either...
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:38 PM   #6
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OK. I thought by vita's post that they had seen it.

Of course... there's always youtube ;^)
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis
OK. I thought by vita's post that they had seen it.

Of course... there's always youtube ;^)
If I could figure that out...
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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oh wow DL......I really want to see that !! I've snorkeled with rays and reef sharks but never a whale shark!! Check your message box ok?
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