Voice from the field, Jul 15, 2013 – Pez Maya
Though life at Pez Maya is amazing, like everybody else on earth, we volunteers look forward to the weekend, which for us is Thursday and Friday. Whatever we do this weekend, our adventure last Thursday can’t be topped.
At almost 4.30 in the morning, myself and around 12 others made our way to Cancun in order to swim with one of the largest creatures in the seas, the whale shark.
The tour took us about 4km off the Cancun and past the coasts of Isla Mujeres, where we found a pod of whale sharks making their annual migration routes. Travelling from South America, the whale sharks migrate past the shores of Mexico between June and September and bring great numbers of excited travellers and marine fanatics with them. For us, the experience was a once in a lifetime.
The group was divided in two and travell\ed out on two boats. When we were on the water, each group sent two people at a time, who were accompanied by an instructor, to swim with these incredible animals. Keeping our numbers small kept the whale sharks comfortable and enabled us to spend more time with them. Equipped with fins, a mask and a snorkel, each volunteer spent time being immersed in a world that almost seemed make-believe. At the end of our allocated time we were given the option to snorkel at a different Isla Mujeres site or to spend more time with the whale sharks. Of course we chose the latter and no one regrets it!
As if the whale sharks weren’t enough, we can’t forget about the manta rays that were migrating along with the whale sharks! Reaching almost 2.5m wide, these rays glided right next to the whale sharks and even below some of us volunteers.
The rays really made an impression when they leapt out of the water to heights of about one metre and came crashing down not far from our boat. After snorkelling with such amazing animals it’s hard to think anything will top this experience. But I guess that just means we have to look out for something just as great to do this weekend.