Tag Archives: Whale Shark

Whale Shark Excursion #2

So today was Don’s birthday and we decided to do whale sharks again! Because how many times are you in Isla Mujeres during Whale Shark Season?? I was definitely hesitant to do this excursion again because it was costly and I thought it couldn’t get much better, but I am so happy we did! First off, it was a deal where we only had to pay for one person (so it was $120). Secondly, it was a really great experience in comparison to the first time.

So we got to the shop where Ocean Adventures Mexico operates out of around 7:20. We waited here for awhile, finally another person showed up his name was Ron and and he was from Israel. Then a couple from New Jersey came, Aoife and Sean. A family of three and another couple were also with us on this excursion. Right from the beginning this group of people was much more fun than the first group we went with. Our guide was awesome, her name was Gretchen. The captain was also very nice but I can’t remember his name.

Even though Gretchen and the captain both spoke limited English they explained how the excursion would go better than the guides we went with on Monday. The ride to the whale sharks was great; the water looked so calm; it was like glass.

When we got to the shark area we could immediately see sharks swimming in the water. It was so cool.


We were the first couple that got to go with Gretchen. It was so much easier to jump off the side of this boat than the one on Monday. The captain also knew exactly when to tell us to jump. It was awesome. Immediately when we jumped in a I saw a whale shark and I swam with it for a good bit. This time was much more relaxing than on Monday also because it didn’t seem there were as many people in the water. Last time we were getting kicked in the face as everyone swam towards the shark, but this time it was really just me, Don, and Gretchen with the shark. We both took great video and here is a still shot of me and the shark from Don’s video.


On our second jump with the shark I got turned around and started swimming the wrong way then by the time I realized the shark was going on the other way I was so tired. I got a small glimpse of the shark but I was too tired to keep going. My adrenaline was up so high, at first I felt like I could do anything to get to a shark but the minute I realized I lost it I was done and really glad I had a life jacket on. Don swam with this shark for a good few minutes though and he got some really great video, here a few screenshots from the video.




The third dive was by far the best for me and Don had a good view too. When I jumped in I was heading straight for the shark. Gretchen was even giving me a little pull to get there faster. I must have got too much force going though because all of the sudden I was almost on top of the shark! Gretchen pulled me back a bit and I got the best video! Hopefully I can get it a link to it here. It was absolutely an incredible experience.

Here are a couple of videos from the day…

On the way back we had sandwiches and some coke. The water and the sky looked amazing.



Once we got back within view of Isla we stopped at Mia Reef for a snorkel. This is along the same beach as ours and we had been wanting to snorkel here so we were happy. While we snorkeled the captain and Gretchen were busy making ceviche. The snorkeling was pretty good here. We saw a good variety of fish and a couple of sting rays. Once we were done we had some beer and ceviche. Now the ceviche is the only part of this excursion I can say was not as good as Monday’s experience, but it was still pretty good. We were all having fun and when we got back to the port Ron had invited Sean, Aoife and us to a party later at the hostel. The party was not until 11 pm. So we decided to meet up with Sean and Aoife at Bobo’s around 5.

From Bobo’s things got kind of crazy. We started with margaritas. Then I think I went to beer. The guys from the other night at Bobo’s showed up also, along with a girl from California, a girl from Australia, and a few others. We all decided to play Cards Against Humanity. The bartender, Julia, made up a bottle of a shot we would have to take if our card was chosen as the best one in each round. I think I had two of these shots and was thinking “why if I am winning at this game am I having to do shots?!” Needless to say we had a lot of fun and before we knew it, it was about time for the party at the hostel. So we all walked over there. The hostel was so weird from what I remember. It was huge! There were people playing different games like ping pong and I don’t even know. There was this weird bar where we got our beers. There was also a band and a dance floor where no one was dancing. So we went to the dance floor to listen to the band…I think one of the band members was Julia’s boyfriend (bartender from Bobo’s). So a group of maybe 4 of us are on the dance floor not really dancing but talking when all of the sudden I see a cat laying on the dance floor. I thought this was hilarious and of course I wanted to pet the cat and I was so intrigued as to why a cat would be on a dance floor. So I started to bend down to get closer to the cat when all of the sudden I dropped by beer and the bottle broke all over. The cat ran away.

Don and the girl from Cali tried to get help to clean up the bottle but no one seemed concern and I think they ended up doing it themselves. After this we had to go outside to a beach bar because the bar inside closed. We sat outside and there was sand but I don’t really remember water. Out here Aoife and I made plans for the four of us to hang out tomorrow. We wanted to rent a golf cart to go to the Southern Point again to check out the secluded beaches there. The guys agreed and so we have plans for tomorrow!

Whale Shark Excursion

So today we woke up super early around 6:15 so we could be at the Eco Divers shop by 7:45. I ate some leftover pizza from last night and took some Dramamine. I really didn’t want to get seasick! So we got to the shop and eventually 4 other couples joined us. One couple from London was very nice. Mostly though people kept to themselves and didn’t seem like they wanted to be friendly. Then we got on the boat and left the island to journey out on the water for about an hour and a half. It was storming all around us on the boat ride. It was pretty cool. I should mention that although we booked with Eco Divers the tour was ran by Ceviche Tours.



After a long time the boat suddenly stopped and the captain was pointing in the water so we thought maybe this is it! But some guy just lost his hat and they retrieved and we moved on. Also on the ride out we saw a couple of dolphins and a ton of flying fish. Flying fish were really cool.

When we finally got to the area with whale sharks there were a ton of other boats. The captain and the guide briefly explained to us how it would work. We were supposed to get all of our snorkeling gear on and sit on the side of the boat and 4 of us would go at once and swim with the shark. Don and I were in the first group so we got all ready and sat on the side of the boat. It was kind of hard to get up on the side. So we jumped and at first I didn’t see a shark. Then one of the guys said “right behind you!” so I looked down and there it was! So close!! So I got my first pictures and video! (Will post the video soon)



It was gone so quickly so then we all just sort of waited in the water for the boat to pick us up. It was so weird being in the open water like that. I would look down into the water and it was so blue and clear, but I couldn’t see the bottom. A couple of times I thought I saw big fish swimming far below us.

Once we got back on the boat we got ready to jump in again. The second swim wasn’t as good for me. I couldn’t find the shark at first, but then I did eventually and I swam behind it for awhile. I think Don had better luck this time. He swam pretty far with it and even managed to get a selfie.




The second and third swims were definitely not as good as the first one for me. Don had some luck. After the last round we were missing one of the girls from our boat. That was a scary few minutes. No one could find her and when the captain contacted other boats no one had an extra person. Fortunately we found her with a group in the water.

The experience was pretty cool. I was just so happy to see one! I was surprised at how tiring it was to keep up with them. All of the pictures you see make it look so easy and graceful. The shark is graceful but 8 snorkelers around it are not. If you were not first to the shark you were pretty much getting kicked in the face. I was surprised by how many people were in the water at once. I was so happy to do this, it was truly a bucket list day.

On the ride back a lot of people slept and rested. When we got near the port the guides gave us the option to snorkel, go to the port, or have ceviche and go to the best beach on Isla. Everyone but us decided to go to the beach. We were very lucky though because the beach happened to be our beach at our hotel. The ceviche was also amazing. It was very nice to sit on the boat, eat ceviche, and drink beer.

Once we were done we swam up to our beach and decided to check out the pool. The pool was great at Ixchel Beach Hotel. The water was so warm. When we were finished it was disappointing to find out that our keys did not work for our new room! Luckily housekeeping was around and let us in. Once we got cleaned up we relaxed and looked at our pictures and videos. It was pretty amazing to see this giant fish we swam with today! And BTW the hotel easily fixed our key this time so looks like we are good.

Someone had mentioned that a place called Bobo’s had great fried chicken and once we looked at the menu I was pumped to go. It’s a bar owned by Canadians and they have fried chicken, chicken sandwiches, and fish and chips. We were pretty much the first customers there and we decided to eat inside at the booth. I got the fish and chips. Don got some wings. The fish and chips were amazing. Don also said his chicken was good. It was the best meal we had so far. After we ate some people had come into the bar and were having conversation so we decided to come up to the bar. We met a guy from Austin, a guy from Chicago, and a guy from Arizona. The bartender was from Wisconsin! She was awesome and made some great drinks. It was a really great night…and we got pretty buzzed.

Once we left for some reason Don wanted to go to a hardware store to look for something. I took a selfie with a cat there.


Then during our walking around we looked at magnets and I was determined to find a whale shark magnet. No one had one! We were also stopping by Island Adventures Mexico to try to book a trip to Contoy Island tomorrow. We found a bar and went up to the second floor. Then I made sure the Contoy trip was a go. From where we were sitting the shop with the whale shark magnets was directly below us. Don thought it would be a good idea for me to go down there and bargain with them. I had about 70 pesos I believe. I picked out 2 magnets and tried to get them. The guy told me that would only get me one magnet. Of course I caved because my buzzed self really wanted the whale shark magnet and I am a terrible negotiator. We had some great nachos, ok drinks, and some fun at this bar, but I can’t remember the name. We also came up with this saying “If I can’t eat it, drink it, or swim in it I don’t want it.” Because that basically refers to what we do on vacation.