SNORKELING WITH THE GIANT FISH
Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
255Trip End Aug 18, 2010
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Where I stayed
We had a long day's journey from Belize City to Cancun and then a three hour drive to the port and a thirty minute drive in a boat. Everyone drives around in golf carts as there are no roads just sandy lanes. It was ridiculous trying to balance our luggage and squeeze ourselves into two golf buggies.
We were staying at a neat hotel by the sea front. The 'city’ centre runs off a small square with many restaurants, bars, artisan shops, t-shirts, hippy jewelery and supermarkets. It is very laid back and a real Mediterranean feel but Mexican style, The bug-bear at the moment are the mosquito's – they are everywhere and a real nuisance with exception to El Mirador this has been the worst place for them but as one local told us "we are on their patch"
We were going out to find the Whale Sharks on our first day here. We left early in the morning and joined two other couples as we sped out into the sea hunting the Whale Sharks followed by about nineteen other boats. It was twenty minutes out to the sea and ten minutes looking for it. In the end it was about twenty minutes out and an hour searching. Everyone in the boat were thinking the same and that this was not going to be our lucky day but all of a sudden we were hacking out to a point – a Whale Shark had been spotted. The only problem was that we were not the only boat hacking there too and by the time we got there a ‘crowd’ or ‘cluster’ (what do you call a group of boats?) of potential snorkelers putting on their flippers and masks.
The good news is that the WWF has been working with the local tourist industry and strict regulations have to be applied. This means that only three can be with the Shark at any one time and one of those has to be a guide. No touching the Whale Shark or boats getting near to the Shark. But even with these rules you could not feel sorry for the beasts.
It was our turn to get in the water and swim
But it did not stop we carried on getting in line with the other boats for everyone to have their go and then we motored off to find another Whale Shark. After a while our luck was in and we were beside an even larger Whale Shark with only four other boats. We were back in the water again – in fact three more times which was fabulous as the next time you knew what to expect and was more prepared. We failed to have a waterproof camera, just a disposal able one so we will have to upload our photos when we find someone who will process a film!
The next few days on the island we just chilled and caught up with our scrapbook, blogg and relaxed as when we leave here for Chichen Itsu our programme is full until we reach our next beach destination on the 7th August.