Our first agenda for our second day was whale shark watching. Swimming in open water without lifejacket, trying our best to dive deeper. Challenge accepted!
Since our resort was half an hour away from the actual site, we asked the tour guide, Kuya Gabby, to fetch us at around 6AM. The ride was quick because I was busy admiring the view – the sea and the sun, with the wind blowing my hair. Upon reaching the orientation area, there were already tourists in the water, and waiting for the orientation. The orientation was fast. The lecturer was reading the tarp posted in front. You can actually just read the guidelines – it was pretty much the same. After the orientation, we headed to the “departure” area. We were told that we needed to wear the life vest until we reach the interaction site, and we can remove it if we know how to swim. I don’t know how to swim, but I can do a basic survival swim so I removed my lifejacket after I was comfortable.
We had to maximize our time because each bangka was only allowed 30 minutes. Camille, being the swimmer, was the first to jump off the bangka. I followed her after knowing I could trust her to save me just in case. HAHAHA. We took some photos of the gentle giants before taking off our life vests. The water was a little bit smelly and too salty, btw. The waves was a little bit too strong too.
At some point, we were almost freaking out because the whale sharks are too near! We can almost touch it! But of course, we didn’t! We’re afraid of what might it do if we did. There was even a time I pushed a friend because she was an inch away to the tail! We were that close!!! Where is the 4 meters away from the whale shark???
It was so hard to swim calmly when you’re inches away from the whale sharks, or if the waves was getting a little bit stronger than usual. Since Camille was the only swimmer in the group, she was the only one with a very decent looking photo. Mine was fail, because I wasn’t synced with the photographer, or my rash guard was up exposing my tummy, or the shot was late that the whale shark left already, or I was blocking it. Overall, it was a great experience. We just have to be extra careful. No sunblocks, no flash photography and do not touch these gentle giants. Plus, it’s my achievement swimming in open water! Another, #WhenInCebu bucketlist that I was able to check!
For Oslob Packages: (Whaleshark + Tumalog + Sumilon)
Gabby Binggan (South Cebu Travels and Tours) – please say hi for me! and he is super nice!!! PROMISE!