Published on August 24th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
Cancun Celebrates Third International Whale Shark Day
|Now is the time to swim with the sharks in Cancun. Photo: Beto Friscione, www.solobuceo.com|
For most of us, August 30 means nothing more than the end of the month and the countdown toward the end of summer. But in Cancun, it’s a day to swim with the sharks.
For the third year in a year, the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau is celebrating International Whale Shark Day on August 30, bringing to a head the whale shark season and highlighting local efforts to better understand and document these enormous creatures, which are sometimes called “Domino” because of their white dots. Since 2003, the Domino Project has worked to monitor their behavioral patterns and take note of population trends.
The season — which runs from May 15 through September — also brings exciting opportunities for visitors, who may swim with the world’s largest fish, with a bit of professional guidance. Only two people at a time may swim with a whale shark, along with a guide, and it’s forbidden to touch them. But just to be this close to such magnificent beasts — which can grow up to nearly 50 feet in length, with mouths that extend nearly five feet — has got to be an unforgettable vacation experience. I missed my chance this year, but have it in my plans for 2011 — so stay tuned for more photographs and video!