you might get stung by jellyfish.
That's what we learned the day in August that the girls and I swam with whale sharks. Yes, I said sharks. And in addition to their shark-ness, it turns out that they are actually the very largest fishies in the sea!
It was by far the most expensive thing we did while we were on our Baja vacation. And even though in retrospect I know that we went out with one of the most expensive outfits in town, it was worth it.
It was just me and the girls and the panga driver and two guides -- one who stayed in the boat to spot the whale sharks from above, and one who got in the water with us. And when we arrived at the whale shark spot, there was no other boats, or people. Just my family and the sharks....
My older two girls are relatively seasoned snorkelers, so they geared up and jumped right in with those giant fishies. My youngest is still kind-of wee, so we took a bit longer. When we did jump in, it was right next to one of those big boys. She whipped her head back out of that water like she was in a high-speed car accident and screamed loudly. Yeah, it was big, and SO close. She was thoroughly freaked out, so we climbed back up in the boat to take a quick break, and try again later.
The big girls were hanging tough, especially Merrell. She was ahead of the guide half the time. She was intensely focused on those spotted sharks.
Kinda like this:
My oldest was not as successful at staying close to the shark. She complained that everything was blurry. I traded out my mask with her, and it suddenly looked more like this:
The wee one and I ventured back in a few times, and had success seeing the bad boy up close again. But on try three or four there again came a deafening screech. A bloody-murder, I'm hurt sort-of scream, the one that definitely signals pain; and when you're swimming with sharks? Well, let's just say that it can strike some serious fear into a mother, despite the fact that you know full well that whale sharks are vegetarians.
Turns out she got zapped by jelly fish. So we climbed out again, this time for good. She was not interested in getting back in the water with the giant fish and sneaky jellies, so we busied ourselves watching the older girls take in the beauty of those mighty fish.
Anneke climbed out next, also a victim of the jellies, so we three sat in the panga watching Merrell make every minute in the water with those bad boys count.
It went kind-of like this: