Whale sharks in Mexico The alarm rings at 5:30 AM

Swimming with whale sharkThe alarm rings at half past five. At six the boat of “Solo Buceo” diving awaits us on the back of the Sotavento Hotel in Cancun, where there is a channel connected with the open sea.
Still sleepy we enjoy the spectacle of the sun rising over the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, while we circumnavigate the northern extremity of Isla Mujeres. After about an hour of navigation finally we reach this vast area of the sea in which a large number of whale sharks from all the Caribbean
meet in the summer months due to the large presence of bonitos eggs that the currents concentrate here.
Soon begin to appear the first dorsal fins that cut the smooth surface of the sea.

There are many spaced a few tens of meters.
We reduce the speed up to stop and while drifting reaches us under the boat one of these huge beasts, so already from the boat we can see the grey back with the unmistakable grating of vertical
and horizontal streaks clearer alternating series of white spots.
Wasting no time, with great excitement and emotion we wear fins and mask, grab cameras and dive in these warm waters to meet these large, harmless sharks in their natural
Putting our head under the water we can see more than one with a single glance, so we start finning toward the nearest shark.

Not easy to reach them because despite seem almost motionless their speed in the water is considerable. See them parading in their majesty is a thrill, a unique and unforgettable spectacle!
Various species of remoras are attached with their suckers to the sides of the mouth, on the back and on the fins of sharks, sometimes moving from one point to another of these big fish.
Often swimming whale sharks keep their mouth open and it’s wide up to a meter and half, really impressive!
In this way, jumping from a shark to another, we spend in the water all the day and when, before sunset, we turn the bow of the boat landward saluting these beautiful animals, we not evenfeel tired, happy to have spent a wonderful, memorable day with them.

WORDS and PICTURES by Alberto Gallucci

Whale shark mouth

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