Published: May 16th 2008May 10th 2008
I remember back in the days of American suburbia when the ice cream trucks would roll through the streets, the tinkling music wafting into every home that conjured images of dancing popsicles and twirling strawberry shortcake bars. Sitting inside watching TMNT (Turtle Power!), my head would twitch up and I could already feel the chocolate goodness covering my mouth and maybe a little shoved up into my nose. I run outside, chasing after that big ice cream truck, running alongside of it as far as I can with quarters jingling. Sometimes the truck stops, other times I feel like the driver must have his headphones on or must be stoned.
I suppose those days are over for me. But that doesn't keep me from chasing after really big things, even if in a different medium.
So OK, maybe the whale shark is about two or three times as big as that ice cream truck. Maybe it isn't colorful and doesn't sing at me, and certainly has no delectable treats for me to nosh. But it's still pretty cool.
The days in Donsol are full of whale shark after whale shark, one guy said 197 but another said 59, all
patrolling in a bay, their huge bodies merely 2 meters below the surface in some cases. You hear the little Filipino men yell "whale shark whale shark!" and they point out the huge bodies of shadows in the water. You sit and contemplate philosophical thoughts about how beautiful and how beyond your own world these creatures are, but that is quickly interrupted as they abruptly push you over the side, you scrambling for your snorkel and trying to not kick somebody in the crotch with your fin as you tumble down. You kind of just swim along side of the biggest fish, hey, no big deal, and once in awhile dive down to look him in the eye at his level - I swear that wisdom just sends shivers down your spine. "You're like a giant Buddha, all covered with [spots] hair!"
This goes on for anywhere from 2 minutes as the shark dives down in to the deep where you can't follow him (you smell) to 15 minutes if its a Prima Donna and just soaking in the attention from the little skinny things with big eyes swmming next to them. You try to take pictures, but lets
what small eyes you have!
face it unless you have some mutant wide-angle lens, the camera just isn't doing the biggest fish in the ocean justice.
Then repeat until you are exhausted or your guide wants a San Miguel back on land.
Life could be worse.
There are more photos below