Mia Goes M.I.A: Swimming with Whale Sharks

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It had always been a dream of mine to swim with sharks. I had always been addicted to shark week and fascinated by these amazing creatures. Never in a million years however did I think I would get an opportunity as unique as the one I got for my birthday this year.

I had a chance to celebrate the big 2-8 I got the surprise of a life time while in Cabo San Lucas. I was told I was going to go swimming with sharks, but not just any sharks, whale sharks.

The whale shark is a slow moving filter feeding carpet shark and basically the largest known fish species in the world. So large that the largest confirmed whale shark is a whooping 41.5ft long.

From early winter until late spring a large number of teenage whale sharks can be found feeding in the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez in the Bay of La Paz. It was the perfect time of year to have a date with these gentle sea giants.

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The Experience 

The full day excursion started with a two-hour bus ride from Las Cabos to La Paz. Once there, our group was split into a smaller size and headed out to see. You travel in a small group because too many people in the water at once can scare the whale sharks and force them to disappear into the depths of the water.

Because of the murky water conditions, we were told it would be a little tough to spot the sharks, but to keep our eyes peeled for brown spots in the water.

About 30 minutes into our boat ride, we saw divers in the water. My heart was pounding; the whale sharks had been spotted.

We were told that the boat would get ahead of the whale sharks and then we would be told when to dive underwater. We were also told to swim as fast as we can because despite their size, they can sure move.

I literally thought my heart was going to pound right through my chest when the told me to get into position. Nerves, excitement, anticipation, all of the emotions were going through my head. “1,2,3… go” our tour guide counted down. I froze for a minute before he yelled go again.

The murky water made it hard to see anything, but all of a sudden this giant spotted fish swims right underneath me. I was so mesmerized by it’s size and beauty that I completely forgot the swimming aspect. I just waited there, frozen, amazed.

I got back on the boat and we all just sat there talking about the experience together until our tour guide told us we would get another chance to get in the water with these creatures. This time I was determined to stay with them as long as possible.

I went down as soon as I was told to and kept my eyes peeled. Out of nowhere I saw his face coming right at me, as if he was going to hit me head on. I was so close I could reach out and touch him!  I tried to keep up, but swimming at top speed I was able to catch the end of his tale flying past me. Our tour guide didn’t lie when he said they were fast.

What I Learned 

Swimming with whale sharks was truly the most amazing experience of my life. I got to be so close to these incredible animals. I got to see them in their natural habitat. I got to appreciate their size and their way of life. I got to appreciate the world that is beneath us.  and I highly recommend it for anyone who has an adventure side in them.

We went with Cabo Adventure and the entire experience was unforgettable. They guarantee a sighting or a free trip. The tour guys were knowledgable and fun. I would highly recommend them

What are some of your favourite adventures? I would love to hear them and maybe add them to my own bucket lis! Share them below.

Until we go M.I.A again