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Dive Review of Whale Shark Daddy in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Whale Shark Daddy, Aug, 2008,

by Jim Entry, FL, USA ( 1 report). Report 4438.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments [None]Holbox is a 43 km (24 miles) long by 2 km (1.5 mile) wide island located in the northern point of Yucatan Peninsula, where the turquoise Caribbean sea join with the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Holbox Island is part of the Yumbalam Reserve, that was formed to protect the jaguar. From June through September whale sharks congregate off the Holbox coast for the large concentration of plankton found at the tip of the Yucatan. It is most likely the world's best site to snorkel and swim with whale sharks. The whale shark area is a 90 minute ride from the Holbox pier. The boat operators enforce the rules: two snorkelers in the water at a time with a guide, no touching the sharks, no diving beneath them and no flash pictures. Visibility is only 8-15 feet due to the plankton. Strobe light isnít useful due to the plankton that create backscatter. Swimming with these whale sharks is mostly a fly by, as the whale sharks are busy feeding and two swimmers with a guide generally swim as fast as possible for a short distance trying to keep up. We brought short wetsuits so we were not required to wear life jackets. Often we would see several whale sharks in the water at once. I found that the best method was to watch the whale sharks circling pattern and attempt to intersect them. They will usually turn away a few meters from the swimmer. The boat operators put 2 swimmers and a guide in the water for approximately 10 minutes of swimming. After swimming 25 to 50 meters as fast as possible to keep up with the whale sharks the swimmers are tired and want a rest. Each day we were in the midst of as many as 10 whale sharks in a 200 meter area with many more in the distance. It was not uncommon to see several sharks in the water. We also saw manta rays feeding on the plankton blooms. Dolphins and sea turtles are common on the way to the site. We spent at least 3 hours traveling to and from the site and 2-3 hours with the sharks. The island is worth exploring with long expanses of pristine white sand beaches.

A van met us at the Cancun Airport and transported us to Chiquila (2 ½ hour ride), where we caught a ferry for the 6 mile trip to Holbox. From there, golf cart "taxis" moved people and luggage over the sand streets to the beach front hotel. Leaving was the reverse. Holbox is a town of approximately 2,000. It is a tourist destination, but it is still Mexico, complete with garbage on the streets. The locals keep their white sand beaches clean and there is a renewed effort to reduce litter in town. There are numerous restaurants and mini-markets, but we did not see a grocery store. Holbox does not have a currency exchange, so the nearest one is probably at the Cancun airport. Some restaurants will accept dollars, but the mini-markets will not. Holbox Whale Shark tours will exchange dollars for pesos. The pharmacy was not open for the entire week we were on the island. We could not find contact lense solution. The people are friendly and helpful. Spanish is not necessary to get around, but is helpful and appreciated by the locals. The food on the island is excellent and inexpensive.

Rodriggo, owner of Holbox Whale Shark tours, took care of all transportation for one fee. Lunch and drinks on the boat were included in the price. Clean, A/C in the bedrooms, TV, no bugs, sand courtyard & porch on 1st floor rooms. We all were very happy with the accommodations. Land based activities are hiking along the beaches, kayaking, fly fishing, biking, snorkeling, and kite surfing.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]Australia, Florida, Fiji, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Texas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-40 Ft/ 9-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]snorkling
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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