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Whale Sharks

Discussion in 'Mexico' started by Ed Hatfield, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Ed Hatfield

    Ed Hatfield Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ontario , Canada & Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    378
    5
    We did 4 dives yesterday and another 4 today. Looking forward to 4 more tomorrow. The gang at GeoFish have been super. Our group is planning to do the whale shark snorkel trip on Saturday as our desat day before heading home oin Sunday. THE BIG QUESTION. Do we go from Holbox or from Puerto Jarez? I did the Puerto Jarez last we and we had a fantastic trip (40-60 whale sharks). Is Holbox better? I know the drive is longer to Holbox but the boat ride is shorter - all in all the time there and back is the same. I want to base our choice on the experience in the water. SO - WHICH IS BETTER?
     
  2. caz777

    caz777 Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
    20
    7
    Did 2 days of whale shark swimming out from Isla last week (will write a full trip report when time permits).

    It seemed the whale sharks were quite close to Holbox (compared to more north east to cancun). We had no more than about 30-45 min boat trip for them on the second day (longer on the first day though)... So even with swimming as much as anyone wanted with them we were still back by around 11 am :)

    We had plenty of whale sharks. On the first day we had first one juvenile (5-6'ish meter) together with a few boats. Then we went somewhere else, where we had roughly 5 whalesharks within very little distance (almost had swimmers being trapped between two :D). The biggest we had was around 10 meter I reckon.

    Second day we had one around 6-7 meter which we kept swimming with since it was very docile, and had a few mantas staying around as well.

    we had lots of mantas both days as well. I was told by our diving op in playa that seeing mantas are more rare going from cancun, since they are mostly along the coast of Holbox...but can not judge if it is true or not...

    Anyway the mantas we had were surprisingly friendly. I had a 15 min swim with a big one (around 5 meters from wing tip to wing tip)...It just keep circling around us, had to try to get out of its way several times when it came very very close (as in 5-10 cm) :D

    I dont know if it counts as a recommendation, since I have not gone from puerto juarez :) But we enjoyed both the whale sharks and the mantas from holbox ...

    Have a nice trip!
     
  3. dzonokwa

    dzonokwa Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    22
    0
    Isla Hobox is a long drive but well worth it if you are going to stay a few days. But if you are only going to swim with whale sharks one day and are leaving the next day, go for the longer boat ride. It will be easier. Don't forget to turn your camera on before you jump in!!!!
     
  4. chace_nicol

    chace_nicol Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oklahoma
    120
    8
    We did our swim in Isla Mujeres from Puerto Juarez. While I have never swam with the whalesharks in Holbox, the water was blue in Isla Mujeres and I could see the whole whaleshark from nose to tail. My friend who had done Holbox the year before said that the water in Holbox was not as clear and she could not see the whole whaleshark.

    No doubt both places are probably lovely. We saw plenty of whalesharks and mantas in Isla Mujeres. Have fun either way you go!
     
  5. hypersonic

    hypersonic Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: central U.S.
    101
    6
    Here's my whale shark report from last week out of Puerto Juarez:

    July 11, 2010:

    50 Whale Sharks 8 miles off the coast of Cancun in the blue water (read deep)

    July 12, 2010:

    Four boats set out for the blue water with 8 snorkelers including my wife and I. No sign of the WS's 8 miles out so the convoy heads North to shallower water (green) in search of the elusive prey. Various sites were checked 10 miles out, then 20 miles, the 30 miles, then 40 miles and finally more than 50 mies North of Cancun, 3 small 18 ft WS's.

    After everybody has 2 or 3 brief encounters with the beasts, we head home only to run into several large manta rays. Several people jump in to snorkel with them then the armada heads South to Cancun.

    But wait, one of the boats is dead in the water with the engine cover off. The captain fiddles with the engine, it re-fires and he is off for another half-mile where both engines die. Out of friggin gas!!! How in the hell does any self respecting captain run out of gas in the middle of the friggin ocean???

    Our captain is senior, has the biggest and most powerful boat, plus cash in his pocket so we are the designated boat to tow the hapless craft 5 miles to a small fishing marina at 4 mph.

    Then it takes another 1.5 hours before 30 gallons of fuel can be siphoned into the boat out of smaller containers.

    Expected time back at our hotel 2 pm...actual time 8:30 pm.

    July 13, 2010:

    Same result as the 12th except we're down down South diving Puerto Morelos. We hear the captain put enough fuel on board so he does not run out before he gets back to Cancun.

    July 14, 2010:

    They send a spotter plane out to find the WS's. Over 100 are spotted in the blue water 8 miles off the coast of Cancun. We're down South diving a cenote (Dos Ojos)
     
  6. Ed Hatfield

    Ed Hatfield Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ontario , Canada & Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    378
    5
    After having such a great experience with the whale sharks in 2009 I didn't want to take a chance on a trip that MAY OR MAY NOT have a successful encounter. Since it was to be our last day before flying out on Sunday we rented a car and took in Coba, Valladolid and a stop in Akumal on the way back to Playa. It would have been smarter to plan the whale shark trip for the middle of the week so that we would have the option of going again if the day was cancelled (as it was on the Wednesday) due to weather. Better planning next year for certain. Thanks to all for the replys.
     
  7. dive pro

    dive pro Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Cancun, Mex.
    286
    22
    I know it is out of date but this info may help others, The Whale shark snorkel tour does not depart from Puerto Juarez but from Punta Sam, where the car ferry departs from, Holbox is great if you want to stay there, great place but, Punta Sam is the best if you are staying in Cancun, it is 20 to 30 mins. away from the Hotel Zone. Pick up is around 720 to 730 depending where you are staying. Back to hotel around 230 to 330pm, depending on where the migration is.
    For more info please contact me.
     
  8. VortexTed

    VortexTed Registered

    7
    0
    Hello Miguel, I was looking over your web site and photos of the whale shark swim. Are the nice looking boats in the photos the ones your company will actually use for the whale shark swim? I was looking at the pics of the boats from Islawhalesharks .com and they look much smaller. I want to go with a company with a big comfortable FAST boat :) Thanks

    It would be nice if those of you posting your whale shark adventures would also post the companies you used and what you thought of them. Thank You.
     
  9. dive pro

    dive pro Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Cancun, Mex.
    286
    22
    HOLA, THE BOATS YOU SEE HERE,
    Cancun Diving, Dive Pro Cancun Diving Cancun, QUINTANA ROO Whale Shark Swim ARE THE ONES YOU GO ON THE WHALE SHARK SNORKEL TOUR, FOR SURE! There are many companies that use different types of boats, ours are 28 to 33ft twin 250hp and what you see is what you get....
    I am sending you a PM
    Have a nice day
     
  10. dive pro

    dive pro Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Cancun, Mex.
    286
    22
    HOLA TED,
    I just now uploaded more photos of our boats check them out
    Cancun Diving, Dive Pro Cancun Diving Whale Shark Swim
    We have an excellent operation, and we have Juan "loco" (on blue tshirt and khaki shorts
    he is the man, a legend in Isla Mujeres, a human GPS who every year finds the migration before anyone else, he is our head captain)
    Have a great day
     

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