Big Fish

Trip Start Mar 01, 2006
Trip End Jan 25, 2006

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Monday, May 29, 2006

After Dani`s first serious attempt at snorkelling in Cuba she thought she would give scuba a bit of a go. Given there is a dive school in our hostel and the pool is 4mtrs deep. Dani`s experience at scuba diving is as good as snorkelling but yesturday they offered me a free paddle around the pool with weights and an oxygen tank.
I absolutely loved it!! Especially being in the safety of the pool it was very, very easy. So off we go to enquire about a day out diving. No problems we arranged it for today, but we were also given another option which Jon could participate in also as he has Asthma and is therefore unable or allowed to dive which he gets quite upset about as it's the one thing he desperately wants to do :(. That option was swimming with a Whale Shark... yeah why not??? How bad can it be, we swim in Australia every year, so far so good.
So instead of scuba diving we were picked up at 3.30am this morning and made our five hour journey to Isla Holbox. The exact position of where we were to meet with our fishy friend was the junction where the Mexican Gulf meets the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. Quite a way away from the shore (where on the the last snorkel trip we could see land, and the bottom of the sea).
The journey to our destination point was spectacular, teaming with wild life, pink flamingos, dolphins, turtles, mantarays (go stinga!!) and last but not least 8 Whale Shark`s ranging from 4 to 12 meters in length and weighing up to 20tonnes!!!
I thought it was totally crazy what we were doing and the other people on our tour were experienced divers with 6 or so years under their belts. No one could quite believe I had only snokelled once before, and were about to jump in with the biggest fish of them all. Well, least of all me! It took 2 attempts to get in the water as my mask was fogged up and my ears bent over. Between Jon and Abraham (our instructure) I was finally in the water and face to face with the Whale Shark.
IT WAS ENORMUS! and truely beautiful.
We swam around it for 2 hours or so, going in groups of 3. They are very strict in what you can and cannot do when snorkelling with the Whale Shark, not only for your own safety but the safety and respect of the animal. The boat must be running at all times so they are aware of your presence, you are not allowed any closer than 1.5mtrs (even though the instructure tried to get me closer, I ended up climbing over him in fear I might be eaten) and you are definately not allowed to touch the animal, which one lady did as the tail almost took her out.
We took loads and loads of pictures, it was very hard to capture the moment, so there is a little footage also. It was such a spectacular experience that neither of us will ever forget.

As for the scuba Dani will be giving that a go tomorrow, back in the pool to learn how to equalise and possibly if all goes well 2 dives out to sea in the afternoon.
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