Asia, Philippines

Diving With Whale Sharks

Asia Philippines

One of the main reasons I went to Oslob in Cebu, Philippines is because I knew that is where you are able to scuba dive with Whale Sharks. The thought of that scared me at first (even though I so badly wanted to do it) because I know how big Whale Sharks are… or can get. I have seen lots of pictures. They are HUGE. I also know they are called the gentle giants of the ocean so I knew I would be safe. I have just never been scuba diving with anything that big before. What if one of the whales accidentally ran into me or opened it’s mouth and swallowed me whole? I know they eat plankton but my mind just gets carried away.

I found out as soon as I got to Oslob that I could do it and it wasn’t that expensive. My friends and I were thrilled. Our only instruction before going on the dive was “DON’T TOUCH THE WHALE SHARKS.” They didn’t give any scuba instructions as you normally would on a dive;  just several different ways of telling us not to touch the sharks. I thought to myself, “You don’t have to tell me, I don’t want to get THAT close to them.”

However, as soon as I saw them, that was all I wanted to do was get right next to a whale! And I did! I would just move out of the way as soon as they started coming toward me. It was awesome because when we first started our dive, we were the first scuba divers. There were tons of people snorkeling at the top with the sharks but, Allison, Ian and I (and our dive master) were the only ones under water with them. THAT was awesome. When we were almost done, a TON of divers ended up coming and that was kind of annoying because there were always tons of people around each Whale Shark.

I really lucked out. They are huge and beautiful animals. I just loved them. We found out these are the young ones, meaning they are not even fully grown! We had 8 or so whales swimming with us that morning. What an AMAZING experience. I am SO glad that I did this. I have really loved being scuba certified. It adds extra opportunities and fun to my travel adventures.

I am in the picture, swimming under two big Whale Sharks
Contributed by Tracy Mills