World's biggest fish

Donsol Travel Blog

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Whale sharks can get up 18 meters long making them the biggest fish in the world.  Donsol has one of the most densely populated areas of these gentle giants in the world.  Some people we met along the way described the experience of swimming along side the as the greatest thing they have ever done in their lives.  The reviews turned this "would be nice" into a "must do" even though it was well out of the way.

There were dozens of tourists hanging around the booth when we arrived early in the morning so it was easy to find some people to share the cost of a boat.  We met up with an English couple who were out the day before but said that swimming with 11 was not enough so they were back for more.

The spotters were amazing.
  They could spot the sharks from several hundred meters away.  I could barley make out the black blob and white spots when we were right beside them with our flippers dangling off the side of the boat waiting for our guide to unleash us.  When the boat was in position he yelled out "DOWN!" in a way that made me feel like I was a marine.  It was pretty overwhelming when I saw my first one.  It was so big that I could only see half of it at a time because of the limited visibility in the plankton rich water.  It was hard to keep up with them even though they appear to put zero effort in to swimming at all.  If they were relaxed they would stay near the surface for up to ten minutes. 

Unfortunately the guides do not follow their own rules.
  There was only supposed to be a maximum of six people in the water with each shark.  When sightings were a little slow the boats swarmed around any sighting and there were dozens of people jumping in to get a glimpse.  This clearly disturbed the behemoths and they would soon drop down out of sight.  We told our driver not to partake in the swarmings.

By the end of our three hour tour we had swam with seven sharks.  The biggest one we saw was about nine meters.  The big ones were awesome but the smaller ones around 3 meters were more interesting to swim with because they were more active.  I came face to face with a couple of them which was pretty damn scary even though they eat plankton and don't have teeth.

I would not go so far as to say that this was the greatest thing I have done in my life as some others told me but it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip so far.  Highly recommended for anyone into marine life.

Travbuddies: Brenden (Can)
holdmyhandsforever says:
Nice blog! I'm so excited on my trip tomorrow! Thanks for sharing some info. Keep safe!
Posted on: Jan 20, 2011
jennethm says:
I have done the Donsol whaleshark thing last month, it's nice to read about it again. You are lucky with the weather, it was sooo cloudy when we went there and it even rained! :D Still, the whalesharks are fascinating :)
Posted on: May 29, 2008
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Donsol
photo by: Deats