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My wife and daughter are planning our fourth trip to Coz and have dove every time. We are thinking of doing some snorking with the whale sharks. We were wondering if anyone has done this before and if it is worth it. I would love to swim along with these wonderful sharks, but want to make sure that it is the experiene we expect.
It is the best experience in the world!
You will never forget it.
They start coming to the island of Holbox around mid May until mid September.
The best months are June, July and August.
If you go you can book a daytrip with one of the many many touroperators. This is a pretty long and tiring day.
What we do once a year is just travel to Holbox by renting a car. Stay 1 night on the island and the next morning you go and snorkel with the whale sharks.
Hi-My 50 bday present was diving with the whale sharks. I still dream about them. That was last July. We had Ben from Mayanaqua dive of Cancun set it up for us. We left Cancun on a fast boat and it was a 5hr adventure on water. I love that type of thing.
Some things I will do next time.
-I wont wear my full 3mil dive wetsuit. Can't swim fast enough. I will wear a skin( in case of jelly stings).
-I will get a personal dive vest. They give you the type that you cant get under surface. I will buy the type you have to blow up. You can get sub surface with them to get better view or pics.
These are the only two things I can think of that would have turned my day into the perfect day. This adventure is mind blowing at least it was for my wife and myself. Here is a shot of the story. My wife does not dive, she is a snorkeler extrordinaire. She is tiny. 5ft2. 125lbs. These things are bigger than my suburban. My wife is timid of the deep ocean. I thought I would have to throw her off the boat to chase the whale. When the guide said go- I was still putting my fins on. As I got ready to toss her, I look up and shes in the water just givin er to the whale with the guide yelling at her to go left as she was headed straight for a five foot mouth. I am so proud of her for getting in there. Needless to say I still wake up with her. She didnt pull a Jonah. I know you will love it. I will do it again. kev
In judging others a man labours to no purpose, commonly errs, and easily sins, but in examining himself, he is always wisely and usefully employed. Thomas A Kempis
[countdown=06/12/2011 12:30 AM]Count down:[/countdown]until Kev's on Coz
[countdown=2/12/2011 12:45 AM]Count down:[/countdown]until Kev hits Coz again
You're sitting on the edge of a small boat as a 45 foot whale shark skims the surface and the Mayan-Mexican skipper slowly pulls the boat ahead of the giant beast. You KNOW that they only filter the water to eat organisms smaller than a shrimp, but when he yells "GO!" and you lunge into the green murk, it's still a little unnerving the first time. Then you find him...!
This is a 14 minute digest of a 34 minute video I put together, the longer one covering the second day's whole outing. If you click 4-point icon in the lower right of the video to the left of the word Vimeo, you get full screen...
Hehe, I need speil chik for Windows Movie Make. "Hoilding"
Our Manta experience starts at the 8 minute mark, at 10 minutes we're trying to find him at again, at 12 minutes I knew how a trolling lure must feel....!
We drove to Holbox for a 3-night, 2-day experience. Finding Holbox was indeed a large part of the adventure.
Last edited by DandyDon; March 23rd, 2009 at 10:52 PM.
Nice video, Don. Still pic's of parts of the WS just don't do them justice.
Yes, it really is that great. Last May, my wife (non-diver/20% snorkeler) and I went with Ben @ Mayanaquadive also. We both had an awesome time. On the return, we stopped at a nice spot and had fresh ceviche & lunch after some good snorkeling there. Perfect weather, a great crew on a nice boat, and many WS & (breaching) giant manta that really made for a memorable day.
We flew into CUN, and stayed the night at the north end of Cancun. The next morning, MAD picked us up and took us to nearby Punta Sam where we met Ben & the boat. After the day, we went back to the hotel, showered & changed, then used the transfer service that MAD uses to take us (for a very fair price) to the Playa ferry and a week on Coz. It was a great start to the trip. Have fun!
Did the whale shark think in the summer of 07 with Mayanaquadive in Cancun. It was a great experience. They are a very professional group of divers, have a very high level of service. I use them now only when I go to Cancun and dive which is usually 1-3 times per year.
Its a fantastic experience - the island Holbox (pronounced "Holbosch") is nothing like Cancun or even Cozumel - dirt roads, very laid back, etc.
A bit of a pain to get to but the whale sharks were great; a once in a lifetime experience and despite the trip there, its likely the easiest place to see these magnificent sharks.
Some things to know:
Only can snorkle; no SCUBA allowed
The water is the gulf vs the carib. and it can be chilly and the viz fairly poor - while the boats have wetsuits, masks, fins and snorkels, you may consider bringing your own if you have them for diving
You will likely have some complete newbi's on the boat with you as no diving experience is required
You take turns swimming with the whale sharks, so the fewer people on board the better your chances of multiple swims/snorkels - also for some, one time in the water is enough
Many Mexicans go there for vacations, but other than the sharks there is not much to "do" on the island
All the boats seem to operate the same way
There are tours that can pick you up from Cancun, however if you go on your own, you can book transportation to Holbox, a hotel room (not sure but I think they only go out in the morning) and a boat to the sharks on your own - you may or may not save a few $$$.
I was on that boat with Dandy Don last year--nice video, Don! I'm really glad we went. I have nice memories of Holbox, but there are things I would do differently if I did it again.
You can basically do Holbox two ways--make your own way, more or less, to the island and stay a night or a few, as we did, or do a day trip. Each has advantages.
We stayed two nights and left ourselves only one day for the whale shark thing. We were supposed to go with an operation that our Cozumel dive shop recommended and called on our behalf, but reservations got misunderstood/mixed up and we ended up having to go with someone else. We signed on with our Holbox hotel's operation simply because it was late in the day and we were afraid that if we didn't settle on something fast, we'd end up with nothing.
I think it's pretty easy to show up and find someone to take you out. But it probably pays to do your research AND have a solid backup plan--it seems many/most operators will let you swim 3 or 4 times, and no more--so if you have a bad turn (equipment issue, whatever), that's it. We talked to some people who went out with a captain who let them go in as many times as they wanted (within reason) until they were tired. That's what I had been hoping for. Because my snorkel valve got stuck as I hit the water on one of my 4 swim turns, I ended up really only seeing the whale shark twice for my hundred bucks (and unless you're Michael Phelps, you won't keep up with it forever). I left our boat still wanting more--although the manta was a nice bonus! On the way there we saw dolphins and scads of rays gliding by beneath the boat, and there was a pretty little jaunt through the lagoon at the end. Other things you might want to consider is how important it is to you that your captain speak your language (or vice versa). You don't need much, as the main communication may be, as it was for me, some variant of, "Lady! Lady! Lady! Go! Go! Go!" But if you like your guys chatty and/or extra-informative, do your shopping.
One thing I very much liked about our operator--no one asked that I wear a vest.
I thought the island was delightful--super laid back, and eating is heaven if your idea of a great meal is really fresh fish simply prepared. It was mine.
We took the ferry from Coz, then the bus from Playa, then the ferry to Holbox. It all worked flawlessly, though the bus isn't for everyone. If you decide to sleep on the island and it's high shark season, definitely reserve your hotel as far ahead as you can. We called three weeks ahead, and very few rooms were left on the island. We saw several groups of people wandering from hotel to hotel, hoping in vain for a bed. Late into the evening, they were still looking. For all I know they ended up sleeping on the beach.
If you just want to compare value, I think doing a day trip can end up being a fine idea--but we wanted the adventure.
So is it worth it? I think so. Will it meet your expectations? Maybe. Or, as in our case, almost. Definitely a cool experience.
Guys, read the thread title, he wants to snork with the whale sharks, not snorkel. As far as I know, snorking with large mammals is illegal in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Better check with the CDC and see if you need to get shots before you arrive too.