Images of Yucatán 1: Islas Mujeres Revisited Post Hurricane Gilberto
Images of Yucatán 2: The Shanty Hole Boxes of Holbox
Images of Yucatán 3: Beachcombing for the Origins
Images of Yucatán 4: Swimming with Whale Sharks
Images of Yucatán 5: Onward to Mérida (a.k.a. Ti'ho)
Images of Yucatán 6: Moldy Architextures of the Off-White City
Our primary excuse of this trip was to swim with whale sharks. A few years ago they discovered that these gargantuan fish, in fact the largest, come to the shallow waters near Holbox to feed or do whatever in the late summer. Sure enough, after an hour ride from Holbox, there they were.
whale shark surfacing
We divided up into pairs and the boat would head towards where the whale shark was heading, then we'd jump off (with our trusty guide Abraham) and wait to intercept it. When the first whale shark emerged from the murky water, it literally took our breath away. To share the water with a primordial shape that big is counter-instinctual.
brooding whale shark
The first time we were so awed that we didn't swim fast enough to catch up to it. No fear, we'd have more opportunities. They were teeming.
seeing eye to eye
looking into the gills
so big (15 meters) you can't really get a picture of the whole thing
note the remora catching a free ride underneath the fin
the ribbed spotted texture that would wallpaper our dreams for nights to come
almost getting whacked in the wake
We were also treated to the sight of a passing manta ray. Even Abraham was wowwed by this. I managed to snap this photo as it went under the bow then disappeared. Its hard to tell from the photo, but it's about as big as our NYC apartment.
On the way back we saw more dolphins and flying fish. We got back just in time for yet another storm, almost a carbon copy of the one the day before but even more sustained. We rode it out drinking coffee and eating seafood at El Faro, digesting the visions of these mammoth beasts we had just encountered.
pelicans and frigates airing out after the storm
(c) 2006 Derek White and Jessica Fanzo. Photos cannot be reproduced or published elsewhere without permission. Just ask.