Whale Sharks

Donsol Travel Blog

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My first encounter with a whale shark

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Emily (England), 10 Whale Sharks

As we had slept very little on our bus ride from Manila to Legazpi then jeepney on to Donsol, we didn't do much on our first day in Donsol. We had a walk along the rather dirty coastline, where we saw a dead dog been dragged along by a rope and quite a lot of litter and pollution. We had an afternoon nap and went out to the whale shark centre to book our trip for the following day and watch an information video. We spent the night in a cool little restaurant where hot dogs were 17 peso and beer 22 peso, can't argue really! before getting an early night.

Whale Shark

Wednesday was judgement day and after an egg sandwich for breakfast, we were ready to set off in the boat by 7.30. There were 7 of us snorkelling including Julia, Emily and myself, accompanied by a guide and spotter. Within 10 minutes we were told to pull on our mask, snorkel and fins as we had our first sighting. We jumped over the side of the boat and saw nothing other than murky green water from all the plankton. We waited a few seconds.... Bingo! The World's biggest shark came into view only a couple of metres away, truly amazing and inspiring. We snorkelled above it for maybe 30 seconds before it descended.

We clambered back on to the boat but didn't have long to wait before our next sighting. For the next couple of hours we were constantly in and out of the water, trying to comprehend that we were so close to these gentle giants.

Head of a collosal Whale shark
Around the sixth time we entered, we basically landed on top of one from the boat, lets say it was close enough to touch - i won't comment if the urge got the better of me or not ;) On average they swam a couple of metres below the surface and we usually swam along with them for 30 seconds upwards, before they either accelerated off or went to deeper water. It was certainly enough time to leave you exhausted by the time you got back to the boat!

After 10 sightings and enough memories to last a life time we headed back to shore. The experience had only cost $15 and is probably the best value for money activity that is to be had on our wonderful planet. Maybe i'm bias been a wildlife freak, but i can't think of anyone that couldn't get a real buzz from such an encounter.

Back in Donsol Julia was so blown away, she asked if we should stay for another day, which i was also thinking, but after we mulled it over we decided it was best to crack on. To be 100% honest, its probably the worst decision we could have made, because chances like it come along very often in a life time, especially so cheaply. Never mind, i'm sure our paths will cross again by hook or by crook!

bafi72 says:
nice trip and lucky to meet the gaint and gental shark :)
Posted on: Jan 05, 2010
Deats says:
I was there in May the first time and March the second. I think they can be seen normally from January to June, but the migrational patterns can differ by a month either way, its down to the plankton! When will you be there again?
Posted on: Jul 31, 2008
Deats says:
I loved it so much i went back twice this year too :D Such an amazing place :)
Posted on: Jun 10, 2008
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My first encounter with a whale sh…
My first encounter with a whale s…
Whale Shark
Whale Shark
Head of a collosal Whale shark
Head of a collosal Whale shark
Its a fact TRAVBUDDY has swum with…
Its a fact TRAVBUDDY has swum wit…
Fin of the whale shark
Fin of the whale shark
Head of a Whale shark
Head of a Whale shark
Whale Shark
Whale Shark
A funny looking whale shark...
A funny looking whale shark...
Julia and I geared up and ready to…
Julia and I geared up and ready t…
Head of a Whale shark
Head of a Whale shark
Julia surfaces after meeting the W…
Julia surfaces after meeting the …
Whale Shark
Whale Shark
Whale Shark
Whale Shark
Out of breath after swimming with …
Out of breath after swimming with…
Laid back Donsol life
Laid back Donsol life
Some kids waving at Donsol
Some kids waving at Donsol
Swimming with 14 metre Whale Shar…
Swimming with 14 metre Whale Shar…
Swimming with 14 metre Whale Shar…
Swimming with 14 metre Whale Shar…
Donsol
photo by: Deats