Winter in Baja California Sur is a very special time of year. Not just because of the best season with gorgeous weather, amazing fiestas, celebrations and events for the upcoming Christmas and New Years, but also because of the amazing events of nature: the arrival of whales and whale sharks to our warm Baja waters. Every winter, California Gray whale, Blue, Fin and Humpback Whales, and Whale Sharks travel thousands of miles from Alaska to warmer waters of Baja to feed, mate, give birth, and play with their baby whales. While Grey and Humpback whales enjoy showing off for crowds by spouting and breaching, leaping almost completely out of the water, whale sharks offer a completely different experience: swimming with whale sharks!
Our concierge and destination specialist Patrick Holdbrook got lucky past weekend – he got to swim with whale sharks! Or as he happily told me after his return: “I touched a whale shark and I liked it!” I asked Patrick to share his experience with us, and this is his story:
“I had the very fortunate opportunity this past week to do something truly amazing and unforgettable that a very few people can actually say that they have done. I got to swim with Whale Sharks! This is something that I have been wanting to do for over a year now and I can finally say that I did it. My friend Seth from Pisces Sportfishing organized the trip for a small group of friends, with help from Oscar Ortiz of Cabo Expeditions. Organization of the trip was handled very professionally and courteously by the Cabo Expeditions staff. We started our morning off with a 7am departure from Cabo San Lucas and were shuttled in two vary spacious vans up to La Paz. We stopped for a coffee break along the way and picked up some empanadas to carry us over until we reached our destination.
Upon arriving in our State’s capital we were greeted by a parade! No, it was not actually for us, it was for Día de la Revolución, none the less it was impressive. After a quick stop in the dive shop to pick up gear for the people that did not have their own, we headed for the boats. Two separate pangas were already set to take us out into the bay. The waters were calm, still warm and inviting. Within 30min we spotted our first whale shark, a small one, only about 3.5 meters. Four of us accompanied by our guide entered the water and swam to intercept the shark. I was surprised at how fast you have to swim to keep up with them. As fish go whale sharks are relatively slow, it’s their size that moves them along, one flicker of that enormous tail gives them a great advantage compared to my clumsy fins. After only a few minutes you’re left tired and out of breath, bobbing in the water, waiting for the boat to pick you up and then to go catch up to the shark again. The 2nd shark that we saw, was still a juvenile but, larger than the first at about 6 meters. Apparently only the young sharks hang out in the bay, the adults (reaching up to 12 meters) hang out by Isla Espiritu Santo. In all we saw 4 different sharks that afternoon, each distinct in size, colour and pattern on its back. Each one leaving its mark on the swimmers in our group including myself… It was a truly unique experience.”
If you would like to go swimming with whale sharks, contact Patrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at: USA Toll Free: 888-264-1827, USA: 619-819-6178, or Mexico: 624-105-9100. We’d be happy to organize this amazing experience of a lifetime for you!