Swimming with Whale Sharks, Angels of the Sea

I wrote about this when I first started blogging, but I had no followers back then, so I don’t think any of you read about this unique experience. At least once a week, I’d like to share with you one of my previous travel adventures and swimming with whale sharks in Mexico off Isla Mujers (The Island of Women) in 2008 is by far one of my favorites! Would you consider swimming with these colossal creatures?


It’s dawn and the sun is finally blessing me with its presence. After traveling one hour in a small wooden boat off the coast of IslaHere is comes Mujers, Mexico, where the ocean floor can be found fifty meters deep, I jumped into the dark waters to find the most magical and angelic creatures- whale sharks.  It’s hard to believe that I had the opportunity to swim in the Caribbean Sea with wild whale sharks. Below the choppy dark blue surface, I could see the massive graceful creatures, twenty five feet in length and five feet wide; they were a sight to see.Big smiles

After jumping off the side of the boat in the middle of a school of whale sharks, with my snorkel gear in tow, I swam my heart out to find myself swimming alongside a beautiful whale shark. So close I could almost touch it, if only I could reach out and find myFin hand meeting its starry skin. Its huge body couldn’t fit in my line of vision; it was as if for a moment, time stopped as we gazed into each other’s soul. It was a miracle. Not like anything else I have ever experienced.

Snorkeling right beside

I swam with three of them throughout the morning on four different occasions. Although whale sharks are known to be slow-moving, it was a workout to keep up with them as they were moving merrily on their way enjoying their fill of plankton for breakfast. At any moment, one would switch directions, which is exhilarating being so close to them. I remember vividly twirling in the water, while my heart was beating out of my chest, nearly being swatted by a tail fin larger than the length of my body. I rushed to the water’s surface to see the entire tour group laughing at me on the boat from a distance.

Swimming AwayI dove back down into the warm ocean to see one swimming straight towards me with its large mouth wide open like a big entrance to a cave. While I waited for my heart rate to level, I was frozen there, gazing almost entrancingly at the most beautiful beast I have ever seen. I felt like a speck of sand floating in the sea in front of the enormous fish. Just when I thought it was going to swim right into me, it gracefully changed directions.  I floated there watching its gigantic body quietly disappear.

Almost getting swattedI looked all around me, and as quickly as they had come, they had vanished. Swimming with colossal whale sharks is one of my favourite travel experiences and something I will never forget. It’s aFull speed ahead story worth telling. When I think back to my experience, the palms of my hands sweat with anticipation, thinking about what my next thrilling yet frightening experience will be.

I’ve already been skydiving, what can I possibly do next?

22 thoughts on “Swimming with Whale Sharks, Angels of the Sea

  1. That sounds like an unbelievably amazing experience! I know I’d be pretty scared to try it myself, but… it’s always the things that you’re most scared of at first that turn out to be the best experiences, so I would love to give it a try someday. 🙂

    • I was a bit nervous at first, but as soon as I got into the water I calmed down! You are exactly right, it is the things we are scared of that we are the most proud of trying in the end!
      Is there something you were scared to try, but tried it anyways? How did it make you feel to accomplish it?

      • Yes, this post reminded me of when I went swimming – in the ocean, but inside a cage – with tiger sharks. I have always been so fascinated by sharks, but also scared to go in water because of them. I was terrified, but knew other people did it all the time, and when the morning came I was so nervous I didn’t think I’d get out of the boat. I kind of turned my brain off though and just followed everyone in the water. After a few minutes, I was actually giddy! It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! Swimming with whale sharks and NO cage though… maybe someday!

      • Oh my gosh! I so want to try this! Did you write a post about this? It is funny how we can be terrified and fascinated all at the same time. Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

      • I didn’t write a post about this – it was years before I started blogging, but maybe I’ll dig up some old pics and write one soon. Thank you for sharing your experience! It’s got me thinking that it’s time to start planning my next ocean adventure! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Sailing and Paddling Clear Turquoise Water in Cuba | Turquoise Compass

  3. Wow, this is absolutely on my bucket list…they are so majestic and beautiful. A real reminder of how small we humans really are on this planet. Thank you for the lovely pictures!

  4. Wow, amazing experience! I have just came back from Isla Mujeres, but I haven’t swam with the sharks. They told us it was not the season. They just brought us to the cage where was baby shark swimming. It was cute, but nothing like your experience. 🙂

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