Whale Sharks, big as a bus and just as tough. There is nothing like swimming with the biggest fish in the world, even crazier that it’s a Shark! In Cebu Island the sharks congregate in large groups and you can snorkel amongst them. There were between seven and eight sharks swimming around us. Yvonne was taking a picture of me swimming with them when a shark came out of nowhere and knocked her out-of-the-way. It left a nice softball sized bruise on her leg.
The sharks are incredibly powerful, measuring up to forty feet long and possibly more. They don’t have sharp teeth like most sharks but baleen, which is a fibrous filter in their mouth. The water runs through the fibers catching small plankton and other food. Sharks live in tropical waters ranging from the Philippines to the Galapagos.
The reason so many show up here is because the fishermen feed them. It’s unethical possibly, but the experience is beyond words. The sharks are in the open ocean though, and nothing is holding them back from continuing on their way. In addition, it’s better that tourism brings tourist money to help creat jobs as well as protecting the sharks. If people were not here then the sharks probably would be on the dinner plate. Feeding a few sharks, allowing people to learn, educate, experience, and possibly fall in love with them is essential to saving the species. I do feel they should limit the number of tourists and double the size of the feeding area making it more of a one on one adventure, and I would enforce the no touching rules more. They can also be found in warm tropical water near Donsol, Philippines. From what I hear there is no feeding there. Scientists are not aware why they congregate in such numbers in this area. For a more detailed look on the controversy check out this article.Whale Shark Controversy
Which ever way you feel more comfortable, swimming with these gentle giants is an amazing experience that everyone should try.
Wow!!! I’d love to be able to swim with any type of shark, being from South Africa the Great White is top of my list tho. The photo’s are amazing. Thank you for sharing your experience and adventure.
The Great White is on the top of my list also, as well as South Africa. But swimming with any sharks is always a rush. Drawing them evan more exciting. Thanks for the comment, I look forward to hearing more about life in South Africa.
I will keep a look out on your blog to see when you have swam with the Great one in our beautiful oceans ;). Will do a post special about how I experience life in SA.
Just hung out with my South African buddy Ig all night. He has no interest in great whites, but I promise, as soon as I see one you will know.
sounds great… looking forward to it.
Wow! So cool. Great pics… I’d LOVE to do that. Jealous! 🙂
Thanks so much for your comments. It took me ten years to finally get on the road long term, and I am so glad I did. I cant wait to hear about your adventures!
I hope to do the same someday. Currently considering moving to China to teach. Have lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but never spent a year on the road like that. Really really cool 🙂
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Great photos and video Michael! It was indeed an awesome experience one could have! I agree with you that the local government should limit the number of tourists/visitors per-day. Perhaps through online registration to avoid disappointment. Nowadays people can use mobile app to do such thing.
It was bit too much with the number of people swam and snorkeled at the same time 😦 I don’t think it was good for the animal itself.
My wife had one of the Whale Sharks knock her around when it swam paste her. She had a bruise the size of a plate on her side. She was fine, it just shows how powerful these animals are.