Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Whale Sharks in the Bay of Angels

Tiburon Ballena en La Bahia del los Angeles

        Imagine you are in aquatic paradise, silky warm water, cloudy and opaque like a raincloud about to shower you with surprises. You are floating here, with only a horizon marking the separation of heaven and ocean.
 Suddenly you are startled by a presence you sense, but cannot discern. Something large and magical is right next to you!
 A dark charcoal spotted head the size of night table is right beneath you, and you scramble out of the way as the elegant creature the size of a mini-van slides past, its tail undulating .

   Our whale shark encounter lasted over two and half action packed hours, and I did not want to leave.
 The adrenalin rush and awe inspired by these amazing giants is indescribable .
The whale sharks are used to divers and come up to the shallows to feed. Several of them bumped right into me and I had to be cautious not to touch them lest it disturb the protective coating on their skin .

  The water was extremely green and "fishy", making for the LOWEST visibility. Taking photos while snorkeling next to them was challenging.

  The whale sharks' main agenda here is FOOD, the tiny krill and plankton they relish abounds in the Bay.
  The giants spiraled round and round, with their gaping mouths open , to consume vast quantities of nutrient rich " broth" and were  seemingly oblivious to their excited human observers.
 I had seen them before scuba diving in the Philippines( see my Oslob post) where the water was blue and one could see everything clearly.
 This environment was mysterious in a different way. The local boat operators took us to the middle of the Bay and we slid into the water in groups of four, looking everywhere and not seeing what was literally right under our noses until the animals brushed past us!

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