Before taking the plunge, our onboard Marine Biologist educates guests on the nature of these gentle giants, which can grow to 40 feet long and weigh up to five tons. Wetsuits, life jackets, and full-faced snorkel gear is provided for this lifetime adventure. Once whale sharks are located, guests that want to swim with them are transferred to one of Island Cat’s dive boats, in order to get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures.
Whale sharks are most active in the Sea of Cortez from October to April due to a high concentration of food in the area. This is also the official season that the Mexican government has established for swimming with these gentle giants. A Crew Member will scout out the animals as they are feeding near the surface, transporting guests to the general area where they can easily get in the water and swim right beside them.
Easing into the water next to a feeding shark may sound daunting, but there is no danger. The sharks are actually filter feeders, straining tiny food like krill or plankton through about ten filtering pads that cover the entrance of their throats. Two methods of feeding exist - the ram filtration, in which the animal forces water into its mouth as it swims, or suction feeding, in which volumes of water are sucked into the mouth. Both methods utilize the filter pads to separate food from water, expelling the latter through the gills.
Swimming with a whale shark is an experience of a lifetime that you won’t want to miss. And with two meals, an open bar, and a pampering crew, you’ll find even more to make your day special aboard Island Cat. For further information, or to book a Swimming with Whale Sharks Encounter, go to www.BajaWhaleShark.com