SPECIAL GUIDE ON HOW TO NOT DIVE WITH WHALE SHARKS IN OSLOB

 
Are you looking for a tale of a life-changing, spiritual encounter with the majestic whale sharks of Oslob, Cebu? Keep goddamn looking. 

The bastard that I am did exactly everything wrong during my diving and snorkeling adventure in the town of Tanaw-an, south of Cebu City. 

Jesus motherfucking Christ. What is wrong with me?

 
In the orientation before the whale shark interaction, the golden rule is simple: keep the distance and absolutely no touching. But what do I do? 

I FUCKING RIDE ONE INTO BATTLE. 

Accidentally. The marine biologist on watch wanted to rip my head off! Who can blame him?

See, the boatmen were trying to help me pose for a good underwater picture. But it was pure, concentrated chaos that one man threw me so hard I ended up straddling the giant whale shark. 

 
When I realized where I was, I let out a pterodactyl screech. Oh my fucking God, I felt like such an uncultured swine, as if I desecrated this incredible creature by making contact. Never have I been so sorry in life. 

I should be in jail really. Mind you, from the start, I have always been torn about diving with the whale sharks. The higher part of me suggests I should not support this industry, leave the whale sharks alone and restore the balance of nature. 

But I could not help it. I wanted to experience their magic, and I did… 

 
Possibly along with the greatest whale shark photo of all time. How many times do you fucking see a tourist ride one like a unicorn? 

The shame. Fuck my life. 

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55 thoughts on “SPECIAL GUIDE ON HOW TO NOT DIVE WITH WHALE SHARKS IN OSLOB

      1. Seriously girl… is that a bad thing? I think its flipping awesome… funny… am trying to visualize as you put it … rode it like a unicorn….. so u just straddled it and….. off it went like a jetski or something… (lol)

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        1. these are massive, massive creatures. up close they are not exactly pretty but vaguely threatening! of course it is infinitely cool to ride one off into battle, but ideally, it shouldn’t have happened. also, belated happy birthday!

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              1. Ohhh nooo… i hope u didnt hurt the wrist again… have to say though… i need to move in as ur neighbour so i can experience such (mis)adventures… seem like fun

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  1. Can’t get a picture of you flying though the air just before you hit the water out of my head. I doubt seriously if you hurt the shark; but I’m sure it scared the shit out of you. LOL

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  2. It’s a tough decision to make. I want to see one so badly here in Thailand but most dive shops I go with are along the lines of “pray that we see one” rather than attempting to lure the sharks nearby as in Oslob. It’s very similar to the practice of riding elephants here. The adult in you says “don’t do it” while the kid in you is so enamoured that it says “let’s do it!!!”

    Amazing pictures for sure though.

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    1. there is plenty in oslob. they only lure them closer to where the boats are. they are not herded. i did not ride an elephant in thailand. i am allergic to their skin. but even if that is not the case i don’t think i will ride one. seeing or diving is different with riding animals.

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  3. This is an incredible accidental story, I love it. We went diving with whale sharks off the coast of Mexico (although I stayed firmly in the boat), and my partner was in the water. He’d been snorkelling for a bit and only looked up because he thought someone was shouting on him. When he looked back into the water, apparently he was face to face with this gaping gullet coming up to meet him. I’ve never seen someone jump that high in water.

    My favourite memory was of the man I will forever call Holiday Santa (cropped white hair and beard in nothing by Hawaiian style shorts), who probably had every intention of riding a whale shark. In fact he was so eager that, on our way back to shore, two manta-rays surfaced, and as if that wasn’t enough for him to watch in amazed silence like the rest of us, the boat had barely come to a halt before he lept out the boat in an attempt to swim with them. Manta-rays. Not really known for their lack of speed.

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    1. that’s a good story, thanks for sharing. i have not seen manta rays, bet it would be awesome! thanks for visiting. hope to hear from you again.

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  4. I was imagining how you ended up straddling the whale. Did the boatmen throw you off the boat or were they pushing you towards the whale while you were underwater?

    Even though I felt sorry for you and the whale, that story’s definitely one for the books! Your photos look really cool too! Btw, did the whale’s skin really feel like sandpaper? Coz I heard that it does.

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    1. the boatman threw me close to the whalseshark for a photo. it was all an accident. yes, it is rough but not too rough that it will wound you. touching not recommended.

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