Swimming with gentle giants

It's always been a dream of mine to swim with Whalesharks and I was finally able to have that dream realized on Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth, Western Australia. 

We started the morning with an early pick up from my friends at Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo where we began our journey to the Mahi Mahi, our vessel for the day. It was a beautiful morning with clear blue skies and crystal clear and calm waters for our first stop to snorkel and get acclimated with the water. I have snorkeled all over the world, and this was the first time that I saw a sea turtle so it was a great way to start the trip! The waters of Ningaloo Reef are so clear and pristine, I truly felt like I was swimming in a fish bowl. Sharks, rays, clown fish and more were there to greet us!

After our morning leisurely snorkel, the spotter planes were overhead watching for the reason we were here - whalesharks. All dive operators in Ningaloo reef do an incredible job of ensuring the safely of these creatures and give a mandated safety presentation for not only ourselves, but to ensure the safety of the animals. After our briefing, it was go time! Our first shark was spotted and we lined up ready to jump in and swim, swim, swim. 

The experience is fast and furious - despite how slow you think these creatures are, let me tell you, we were swimming at a very quick pace and could not keep up! To look down and see these filter-feed sharks, swimming with their wide mouths open, collecting plankton and small fish was beyond incredible. It may have brought tears to my eyes seeing how majestic they are up close and personal.

We had the great fortune to be able to swim with 3 different whalesharks and were in the water 8 different times. To say we were exhausted by the end of the day was an understatement. After swimming with the sharks, we had a lovely lunch on board with either bubbles, beer or soft drinks to celebrate our great day. 

With a late afternoon stop to watch some frolicking dolphins, we jumped in the water one more time for a last snorkel and were given one last look at the wonder of Ninagloo Reef. 

It was truly one of the most amazing experiences I have had in Australia and would love to talk more about this incredible day and how we can get you in the water with these beautiful creatures! Cheers.

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Victoria, MN