Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
56Trip End Ongoing
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What I did
Okay, calm down. We survive. And the sharks are not the killer Jaws type but gentle giants called Whale Sharks. They are by far the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate and are slow-moving filter feeders, so thankfully they lack the razor sharp teeth as they munch on tiny plankton like whales. Hence the name Whale Shark.
Our alarm clock goes of at 5:30am. We are NOT morning people. As we trudge about, getting ready, we wonder if this is really going to be worth the effort. Back in El Nido, Aussiejeff had told us that he had been swimming with Whale Sharks in Oslob about a fortnight ago
There are 5 of us in the tiny boat as we sail out into open water - us, the 2 Filipino boatmen and our new friend AmericanEric. We fear the boat will sink before we reach the monster fish but finally we reach them and pop on our snorkel gear
Having looked online at Whale Sharks we knew they would be big. We had also just caught sight of one of their huge heads. However, we are still shocked at just how massive they are once we are underwater. Ian swears profusely into his snorkel and Anna tries to become one with the underside of the boat. They are everywhere and they are gigantic. They brush up against the boat and swim past with graceful elegance. We cling onto the boats bamboo ballasts as they create rolling waves with their bodies and fins. As they glide past, mere inches from us, we have to curl our legs under to avoid touching them. They come so close we both worry about having our legs swallowed on a number of occasions and we both get clipped by massive fins as they glide past. These dozen or so Whale Sharks are not obeying the 5 metre rule! Along with the sharks there are schools of fish swarming around us too
Back on the shore we can't quite believe what has just happened and just how many Whale Sharks were swimming about with us in such close proximity. We count our blessing for meeting Aussiejeff and for taking his advice in coming to Oslob. To top off an already amazing day, AmericanEric says that if we give him our email he will send all the pictures he took on his underwater camera! What a top guy!
Heartfelt thanks to the people of Oslob, AmericanEric and AussieJeff. And also a gigantic sized thanks to the Whale Sharks and their lack of killer teeth. Truly Incredible.