Friday, 17 June 2016

Isla Mujeres: Whale Sharks

It's that time of the year again! The time where you can swim in the middle of the ocean with amazing gentle giants!

On the way out..
In Mexico, at least in Quintana Roo, Whale Shark season is from June to August. Sometimes you will see one or two, other times you see hundreds. If you're really lucky you'll get to see Manta Rays too!

Patiently waiting for my turn
I did this trip for the first time in 2014 with a few friends, I will never forget the experience. To get there from Playa Del Carmen is quite long, but well worth it.

When you arrive to the boats on the coast in Cancun that take you out, you are given coffee (terrible) and a snack, if you get sea sick, I don't recommend either!

Ready to jump!
The boat ride takes awhile, but it was only then did I have a quick thought to myself; wait, what if this is scary? what if these huge mammals scare the shit out of me?! Naaah!!

Such an amazing animal
As soon as we got there we could see them all spread out, but boats everywhere too. They come to the surface to eat the plankton, actually you'll see it in your hair and on your skin. The guide lets you jump in 2 at a time with them and you have to SWIM! These things may be big but they are FAST! You swim until you're tired, or until they go back down to the blue, then you get back on the boat and wait your turn again.
How can you not love this?!

I don't even remember how many times I jumped in, but for sure I was the last one doing it. I just could not get over every little detail about them. How all of their spots varied. How their gills looked to move so easily like paper. How fast they were. How small I felt next to them.

Trying to keep up
The only thing I don't like about the tour is the number of boats. You feel a bit like you are harassing them. Obviously if they get sick of you they just descend deeper, but surely that would be annoying, like flies in your food or something.

Can't even fit their full body into one frame...
Will I do it again? I'm not sure, I want to obviously, but I really don't know how I feel about all the attention they are getting and how that affects them. It's been 2 years since my last trip so I am getting itchy feet, so we shall see. Please, if you do go, remember to cover up with hats, sunglasses and a shirt but don't put on sunscreen!

Surrounded by aqua blue water...don't mind the hair!

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