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Swimming with Giant Whale Sharks

Isla Holbox, Mexico - July 12 - 15, 2007

Isla Holbox (pronounced Hol-Bosh) is a small island off the Yucatan peninsula where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea. Every summer, huge numbers of whale sharks converge here to feed on the plentiful plankton at the water's surface. I had the incredible opportunity to get in the water and swim right up beside these incredible creatures. From the surface, they tend to not look that big but when you're in the water with them, it becomes very clear that these sharks are true behemoths. The town of Holbox is a small fishing village with no paved roads, just hard packed sand streets and everyone gets around town in beat up golf carts, there are very few cars on the island.

Underwater pictures to come...

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Whale sharks are the largest of all fish species.

At one point, we were able to spot 8 sharks at once.

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A closer look at these gentle giants from the boat.

Some of the bigger ones were 35-40 feet long.

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It was like swimming beside a bus in the water.

Their huge mouths draw in the plankton laced water.

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A whale shark and dolphin together.

Several Manta rays were enjoying the feast too.

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These rays literally fly through the water.

This one was probably about one ton.