A Whale Shark Tour

On a whale shark tour you will learn many fascinating things.

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean and can grow in excess of 40 feet with mouths over five feet wide.

Whale sharks are filter feeders. They have a small thin mouth with small teeth, tiny eyes and usually feed near the surface for plankton as well as small marine life such as krill, tiny fish and squid.

Because of their slow and docile nature they have been given the nick name “gentle giants” by avid divers.

Whale Shark Sea or Cortez

Whale Shark - Sea of Cortez Whale Shark Tour

Whale shark bellies are white which scientists think is to camouflage them from predators looking up. White spots on the top of the whale sharks are also thought to be for camouflage. They look like the glimmering water from above.

The whale shark has lateral lines along its sides which it uses for sensing motion from other creatures in the water around it. They act much like cat whiskers.

Whale sharks are curious and have been known to swim up to divers (or swimmers) in wonderment about their human visitors as we are equally fascinated about them.

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a whale shark up close and personal on a trip to La Paz Mexico (the trip was a whale shark expedition). Here is that story.

Close Encounter - Whale Shark Tour
Several of us had gotten into the water with our masks and snorkels after spotting a whale shark and were swimming around trying to get a closer look.

Several of us had gotten into the water with our masks and snorkels after spotting a whale shark and were swimming around trying to get a closer look.

Several minutes after being in the water I was looking through my mask and saw a large shadowy creature about seventy or eighty feet away swimming towards me. The whale shark closed the distance fairly rapidly. He was coming right at me moving his powerful tail gracefully side to side.

I breathed rapidly through my snorkel as the breathtaking was now within ten feet of me. The closer he came, the more I could make out the distinctive features.

Whale shark facts raced though my mind. I probably would only have one close encounter and wanted it to be a good one.

His white underbelly was prevalent as well as the unmistakable spots on his gray back. His three foot closed mouth was huge, but not ominous. I could see a black eye on the right side of his head. How curious, his eye was less than an inch in diameter—for such a large creature this seemed small.

I fumbled with my camera to get a head on shot of this supreme creature. My head was swimming with excitement. He was three feet away when I took the shot. See the Whale Shark picture above.

The smooth and graceful body passed by me within inches almost effortlessly. I was in complete awe! I could see the white spots as he glided past. Soon, his huge tail swished by and he was gone!

Return from Whale Shark Tour to Sports Scuba Diving

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