10/14/04 - Whale Sharks! - aka |
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Another day blessed by good weather, good (new) friends, and above all, swimming with the whale sharks!
We were ready this morning for our ride out into the Bay with Doc, Bill and Maria (Malcolm's cousins). We were delighted to have Greg (who originally hails from Canada) join us. We have watched him para-kite water ski and know him to be an excellent snorkeler.
Greg seems to live most of the time at Camp Gecko. He was the first person we met when we first arrived. And the other member of our group was our new neighbor, Chuck. We all met at the shoreline where Doc invited us to ride his trusty little motorboat out to his larger Gecko boat that took us around the Bay, looking for these largest of fish.
After some searching, we finally found some whale sharks not far from our camp!
Several other little boats were in the area, also enjoying this spectacular sight.
No sooner were we viewing these magnificent creatures than Maria decided she needed to get in the water. Both she and Greg were able to swim very close to the fish. The rule is not to touch them, and it looks like Maria is doing just that. She is not.
The fish are uncommonly friendly, and if they approach a person, that is okay. It is just not okay to go after them. Chuck watched as Bill joined his wife. They both enjoyed swimming with the whale sharks!
Greg, swimmer extraordinaire was able to swim right alongside the creatures, as though he was one of them. What an awesome sight!
Not to miss up on such an opportunity, and even without benefit of a swim suit, Kathleen joined the whale sharks, too!
What a thrill when the female swam right under Kathleen and actually brushed alongside her -- (must have been a momma) for Kathleen swears there was a special feeling when this happened, as though she could imagine the female whale shark express the fact that they were both mothers, and shared something common...
What a morning this was! Chuck ventured into the water and was so moved by his experience.
We headed back to camp, and we were able to catch Bill, Maria and Chuck just before we changed from the larger boat to the little motor boat.
Here is our wonderful Doc (real name: Abraham, but he is a practicing physician).
(He is known by both monikers.) Every person we have met has touted his praises; and we join the ranks. He truly is a man to admire. We were so moved by his love of the whale sharks and his intense efforts to keep them safe. Tales about him (told by so many) need to be captured and put into a book. He is a character to be remembered and cherished. Perhaps some day Mike H will do just that!
We reluctantly left Camp Gecko and headed to town. We spent some time after our morning adventure before we were finally able to get under way and we drove about 5 mph all the way to town, but "Jerry" held up admirably!
For our lunch/supper, we stopped again at the restaurant Costa Del Sol where we met a very interesting couple. Cece and Richy rode into town on their single motorcycle - on the dirt road from San Felipe!
We told them about our experiences this morning and soon they changed their plans and headed off to Camp Gecko and hopefully some whale shark hunting (and swimming) tomorrow! What an interesting couple! Richy climbed El Capitan (in Yosemite) twice! His exploits and their stories would make a wonderful love story!
We are camped for the night at Guillermo's RV campground. We were fortunate to find a site with electricity, so we can work on our computers (with lights) for as long as we need!
Kathleen went outside to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunset
and met a family Patty (the mom) and Michelle her daughter. We did not get the gentleman's name. They have been searching for two days for the whale sharks. We told them about our adventure. Perhaps tomorrow they will take their boat over the Bay to find Doc and see if they can find the fish, too! They spoke highly of the folks here at Guillermo's. They also knew Doc and added more laurels for him.
Here's a parting shot of the whale shark:
Those little white things hanging from the whale shark are little fish who swim under the whale shark's protection from other predators!
Paul, Kathleen & Jerry, Too