The alarm rang nice and early for our 5:45AM pick up to go snorkeling with whale sharks. Swimming with whale sharks is something that we have both wanted to do for a long time so needless to say that we were ridiculously excited. We packed our snorkel bags the night before so that we could literally get up right before the man came to collect us.
Tomo decided to join us, which was great. We all got into Pakal’s car (our guide for the day) and drove the couple hours to Cancún. Along the way Pakal was pulled over by the police for driving too fast, just like anywhere in Mexico he gave the police officer a nice sum of pesos and managed to talk his way out of a ticket.
Once we arrived at Cancún pier, we had a couple slices of banana cake and sorted out our wet-suits. There was another girl with us and along the way we picked up 5 more people, so there was a total of 9 customers and 3 staff on the boat.
The boat ride took just under an hour and a half; along the way we were greeted with dolphins jumping out of the water, which is always exciting to see.
It was also amazing to watch the water change from dark blue to the most turquoise water you could imagine.
We were headed to apart of the ocean where Caribbean sea meets the Mexican gulf, here is where the whale sharks seem to be hanging around gathering up as much plankton as possible. We were lucky with the weather, sunshine and calm seas, it was also a full moon which meant that there was so much plankton at the surface. This made for easy spotting and before we knew it we could see (and this is no exaggeration) hundreds of whale sharks swimming around the surface opening their mouths to engulf as much plankton as they could.
It was an amazing sight, Tim and I were both so excited and couldn’t get dressed into our wet-suits quick enough. Once we were ready we paired up and two groups at a time could jump in the water. The boat would line you up with a whale shark and as you jump in the first thing you see is a whale sharks open mouth coming towards you.
We all took it in turns swimming along side the biggest fish in the sea, taking photos and videos of these magnificent creatures. We had about 3 x 10 minute swims with them before it was time to get back on the boat and head back towards shore.
It definitely wasn’t enough time, we could have stayed out there for hours! But we were all over the moon that we finally got to see a whale shark – well whale sharks I should say 🙂
On the way back we stopped for 20 minutes at a reef where we could snorkel around whilst the boat boys prepared shrimp ceviche for us. Once they were finished they took us to the most tropical water where we swam around drinking cold beers and eating ceviche…bliss!
When we returned back to shore we hopped back in to Pakal’s car and headed back to Tulum. Pakal is a free diver and was able to swim ridiculously deep under the whale sharks and had taken some amazing pictures of us with them, so we gave him some money and he gave us all the videos and pictures that he had taken throughout the day.