Swimming with WHALE SHARKS...Say What?!*!?
Trip Start Jun 27, 2010
16Trip End Oct 05, 2010
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Okay so it is painfully obvious that we run a wee bit behind on updating these, but you know the saying…time flies when you're having fun!
On August the 9th I experienced the thrill of a lifetime! I was fortunate enough to be invited by some friends to go out on their friend’s boat to go snorkeling with Whale Sharks! If you have never seen one of these magnificent creatures then definitely check out the video I have posted. It was amazing!!
We left around 8:30 am and headed out into the open sea. This was the first time other than a cruise ship that I have been out on a boat with no land in sight
Next, we donned our snorkel gear and waited for Brian our Captain to give us the green light to jump on in. He would maneuver the boat right next to one and yell, "Go now!" This way he was aware of where everyone was in relation to the boat and the Whale Sharks. I will come right on out and admit that I was TERRIFIED. I did the whole sit on the edge of the boat, count 1-2-3 go in my head, lean forward to jump, and then back up thinking whoa whoa whoa. At one point I was saying audibly, “I can’t do this. I just can’t do this.” I mean you are literally jumping into water that is 300 feet deep about a foot away from a 30-40 foot long shark weighing SEVERAL tons…so call me a pansy if you must. My friend Bundy was apparently unaware of my extreme phobia of water in general let alone this particular “what nightmares are made of” scenario, so I hear him in the background of my panicked inner monologue saying he is about to throw me in the water if I don’t jump. I immediately decide it will be better to make the leap myself and take the plunge
Once in the water all sound seems to stop as water surrounds you and it is just you and the largest fish in the world. They swim very slowly (about 3 mph) so it is perfect for a nice long look under the water. I made sure to try and stay alongside the gorgeous beast as of course I had Googled the dangers of Whale Sharks and read the only real threat is being inadvertently launched 10-15 feet by their enormous tail. There is truly peacefulness about them as they slowly glide through the water and for a few moments all fear is gone, and I am just in complete awe.
However, as soon as the shark is gone and I am no longer enthralled with its beauty I become petrifyingly aware that I am in the open water miles out at sea in 300-400 foot deep water!! My imagination immediately starts working overtime as I envision all sorts of creatures swimming up from the great abyss that I am now staring at below me. Some of the people on the boat would stay in the water and look for the next Whale Shark since they were all around but not this chic. Once the tranquility was gone and the fright set in, I was ready to enjoy the view from the safety of the boat.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who has the opportunity (even if you’re a scaredy cat like me) and I was extremely lucky to be invited to go with friends as one of these tours costs $200!!