6:00 in the morning, the day of our scheduled check out from the hotel, we got ready for this amazing experience.
We walked up the endless flight of stairs of the Seafari Resort to take our service to the Whale Watching Area.
It’s only about 5 minutes drive (We got on a Jeepney), and the moment you get off the ride, you’ll see lots of other tourists waiting to be seated for the short orientation.
They basically just explained the do’s and dont’s swimming with the Whale Sharks. Some of the things that I remember were:
1. You’re not allowed to touch it.
2. You shouldn’t wear any tanning or sunblock lotion to avoid contaminating the water.
3. Do not make splashes. It attracts them and may cause them to be a little bit playful with you.
That’s about it. lol. Some other things, I no longer remember as it’s been about a year since I’ve done it.
So after the short orientation, we head to the counter to pay the fee. PHP 500 for locals and PHP 1,000 for foreigners. The guides will then hand snorkeling gears and life vests, then you have to wait til your boat is available for the “attraction”.
TIME TO GET ON THE BOAT! 🙂
We finally were able to get on our boat and not even a few minutes of the guide paddling, I immediately saw the mouth of one of the Whale Sharks trying to catch the food that other guide has been throwing in the water. Ohhhh.. I got super excited!
We then got to our spot. The guides have tied the boats together to form a circle around the Whale Sharks. Then there’s one boat staying in the middle, feeding them so they’d stay in the shallows of the water and so that people can watch them swim in circles.
They all got settled and it was time for us to dive in. I was very scared at first but then, I heard this most amazing sound one of the whales made. It’s kinda hard to describe, but the closest word I could find is… mystical.
That’s when I had the courage to jump in (slowly ofcourse – didn’t want to make any splashes) ^_^
Then I came face to face with one of the Whalesharks.
I’ve done some Island Hoppings before, and been on some beaches snorkeling. But when the water gets too deep, I never even dared looking down, scared of what I might see. Great Whites to be exact. I just have this huge fear with sharks. But the amazing thing with this experience is that… being close to one of the whalesharks made me feel safe for some reason. I kept looking down watching those tiny fish swim underneath me. Ugh… it’s just priceless!
I don’t really know how to swim so I needed this vest to get closer to this amazing creature. Yep, vests are supposed to make us float that’s why one of the guides actually had to push me down the water just so I can get a picture with beside a whaleshark.
A CLOSE ENCOUNTER TO A GENTLE GIANT
Getting to Oslob Cebu is kind of an adventure itself since it’s a few hours from the airport. But this experience actually made it worth while.
An experience that I will never ever forget.