Behind the Boots: Swimming with Whale Sharks


Jumping in the ocean with a whale shark has been on the top of my bucket list, and this summer I was finally able to check it off. In May, I traveled with some friends to Isla Mujeres, a small island near Cancun. We had an excellent boat captain, Anthony, who took us around the island to incredible dive spots including Museo Subacuatico De Arte, an underwater museum. Anthony also brought us right next to the whale sharks. Sometimes it can be tough to find them, but we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

I’ll never forget this thrilling day. We woke up at about 7am, ate breakfast, and left the dock by 8:00 to be on the look out for a fin popping up in the ocean. The captain told us that it is best to leave early, because they swim close to the surface in the morning. When we finally spotted one, I quickly zipped up my wetsuit and put my mask on, anxious to jump in. I was a bit nervous swimming up to a creature that was over 20 times the size of me, but it was so calm and friendly. Within minutes I was surrounded by a pod of whale sharks. It was unreal. The gentle giants were beautiful with their polka-dotted skin, graceful fins, and historic eyes. I was surprised by how they didn’t seem timid by us at all. They seemed to enjoy humans swimming next to them. 

Swimming with whale sharks was an experience of a lifetime. If you are an ocean adventure junkie like me, I highly recommend making a trip to Isla Mujeres during whale shark season. Oh yeah…and the whale sharks told me that they love the Dolphins!

Fins Up!



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