Almost a year have gone by since we lead a flotilla in Belize (team-up with Sunsail) and it was quite an experience to witness all the excitement and anticipation to cruise on a catamaran for 10 days and to go diving in one of the best scuba diving locations worldwide. At the center of the trip there were 3 days scheduled of whale shark diving.
The best times to interact with the sharks are 3 or 4 days before and after the full and new moons in April and May, they are often sighted through the summer months as well. Unfortunately, since whale sharks are night feeders, there really are no guarantees as to when they show up.
When we arrived we spend countless hours on the diving boat waiting first for our turn to go into the National park (on 36 divers where allowed at a time) and second, waiting for the whale sharks to show up. As many were unaware the Whale Shark will surface to feed from the Black or Cubera snappers eggs, so we went looking for snappers
3 days, 9 dives and no whale sharks showed and when we where just giving up we saw it. It was massive. It has thin white vertical bars and spots all over the body and a lateral keel. The mouth extends across the full width of its flattened head and the little eyes where placed far forward on the head. It was amazing.
You will not regret going even if you only see 1. They are such amazing graceful creatures. A great experience, amazing sailing, we are ready to do it again.
BEST PLACES TO SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS
Tonga is formed by more than 170 islands spread over the South Pacific. It had beautiful beaches and unexplored islands. It is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whales. Every year in the months of July and October, the humpback whales migrate from the cold waters of Antartica to Tonga searching warm waters.
Belize is an independent country on the eastern coast of Central America. Is among the Caribbean's best destinations for swimming with whale sharks. The Whale Shark Season in Belize normally begins about 2 days before the full moon up until 10 days after in the months of March, April, May, and June. However, traditionally April and May has been the best months to come and see them.
The Azores, are an archipelago in the Atlantic, that are characterized by beautiful landscapes, and is also know for being one of the world's largest whale sanctuaries. Whale watching is possible throughout the whole year, there are also the whales that pass through the Azores in their migration routes.
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. From August to October during their annual migration you will able to see and swim with whales. There are unafraid and curious whales, that come by themselves close to boats for an unforgettable experience.