At the RV park, I saw a poster advertising a swimming with whale sharks tour. (Whale sharks are completely docile.) I looked up the company in Facebook and read good reviews about Anna Cabo and her Whale Shark VIP Tours. So I emailed her and through a series of emails and phone calls, made plans to go out on Monday afternoon at 2 after our Spanish class.
Met the other two people from Brisbane Australia also staying at the RV park who were going to share my boat trip. Anna arrived promptly at 2 and we walked to the dock where another boatload of swimmers/snorkelers had just offloaded.
Anna introduced us to Jahaziel, the dive master, and Captain Eddy. The boat was about 15’ long and reminded me of the Boston Whalers in Hawaii and had a canopy over the center of the boat.
We left the dock and the water immediately became choppy because upon leaving the La Paz Bay, there is a cross current as you go into the second Bay, El Mogote. The swells were 4’ high and my hat, shoes, bag, shirt, pants and sunglasses were wet before we ever stopped and got into the water from the spray as we crossed over the swells.
It took approximately 15 minutes to get to a likely spot, then stopped and started scouting for the fish. Took about 15 minutes but finally the Captain spotted one and headed over to the area. The Captain lined up the boat and Jahaziel handed out fins and masks.
He had us lined up on the lip of the boat’s back half when a swell came in and knocked me over backwards right back into the boat and right onto my head. Tight quarters with other couple also on side of boat, my fins are up in the air and I couldn’t get turned around feeling very much like a fish out of water floundering. Finally upright and Aussie couple got into water and started swimming towards the fish.
I plopped in and a big 6’ swell came through and I immediately panicked, surfaced and swam right back to the boat. They helped me back into the boat and asked if I had ever snorkeled before. I said “years ago.” By that time, the fish had already gone so Aussie couple got back in boat.
Quickly spotted another whale shark and Jahaziel offered to hold my hand if I wanted to give it another try. So everybody went overboard and I followed holding tightly to his hand. Swam for awhile with head above water and then he said “put your head under water”. I did and he pulled me towards the whale shark.Underwater it looked about 4’ in length and I thought was only 3’ away. But later discovered when I saw it above water, the whale shark was about 12’-14’ long and was 10’ away. Rows of spots all along side, perpetual grin on wide mouth and remoura fish swimming alongside and underneath the whale shark.
Fish swam away. Everybody back in boat. Soon spotted another and Aussie couple back in water but by the time I was ready, fish had already dove. Everyone back in the boat.
Spotted another and this time everybody was back in the water in time and with Jahaziel holding my hand, I got to swim alongside for about 60’. Since the fish swims much faster than a human can, quickly out-swam us four again.
Back in boat and then spotted a fifth whale shark. This time only the couple and Jahaziel got in and I didn’t get into water while Jahaziel was photographing the whale shark.
Back in boat and then spotted a pair of whale sharks feeding almost in the upright position. Somewhat rare to see actually feeding and that there was a pair was highly unusual. Everybody back in the water with Jahaziel still holding my hand. This time swam with this one for about 10 minutes. Kept looking for second one but didn’t see it again.
Back in boat and everybody was tired so back to Marina by 5:00 for an afternoon well spent and a new adventure to add to the books.