Vacation to Oslob, the Philippines to See the Whale Sharks
Nicely, my intrepid better half and myself ultimately produced our way down (up, basically) to Oslob on the island of Cebu to see the whale sharks. We had been scheduling to go for pretty a whilst now – on a Monday morning as that is Sara’s day off – but the temperature has been totally uncooperative. Lastly, we found a crack in the temperature for this earlier Monday so we jumped on it.
And even while it was cloudy and rained on the way home for a little bit, we obtained extremely fortunate as it wasn’t raining through our foray and the clouds blocked most of the sunshine.
We loaded up the YBR on Sunday night time and established the alarm for 4:45 AM. Jumping out of mattress the next morning, we bought ourselves alongside one another, hopped on the bike and “blasted” (it’s only a 10 HP motorbike) up to Sibulan to catch the earliest Roll On-Roll Off ferry. With the motorbike and the two of us, it was only 300 pesos round suggestion – producing this Kuripot Kano incredibly pleased. The ferry journey is only about 30 minutes, and at the time on the other side, we much too time for breakfast. I actually advised Sara it was the best carrendaria I have ever eaten at. (It’s just to the appropriate as you journey out of the port.) There was also an artist someplace all around as two murals had been painted on the wall. One of them – John Lennon, I think – was remarkably excellent.
From the port at Santander, it is only 12 KM to Oslob. We pulled in at a single of the larger websites (Butanding Viewing Center) and joined the currently increasing throngs of travelers. Even while it was only about 7 AM, there were being a fantastic variety of men and women out in the water. One particular of the employees (Sea Wardens) instructed me it is even even worse in the afternoon, as convoys of vans roll in from Cebu Town which is a few several hours to the north.
Very first up was the “interaction briefing.” A younger Filipina recited what we can and cannot do when it comes to remaining close to the sharks. Failure to comply with these policies can consequence in 6 months in jail. (Try out describing that a person to the other fellas in your cellblock….)
When the briefing was above, we zipped about and ponied up our pesos. For foreigner it is 1,000 pesos to swim with the sharks – for a Filipino it is 500 pesos. Some expats get all upset at this value discrepancy, but continue to keep in intellect 3 items: 1) For several individuals, it is a when in a lifetime chance, 2) Foriegn visitors usally have more free dollars than Filipinos, and 3) at Disneyworld, if you are Florida resident you get a significant price reduction – if you are not, you spend a good deal more. All in all, it’s a quite low-cost Philippines journey!
Snorkeling products (mask and snorkel – no fins) ended up section of the cost. I had brought my possess equipment and was happy that I experienced my fins as the sharks are rather durn swift. We both equally got equipped for flotation vests (you can get it off later as soon as you achieve the whales) and Sara obtained her snorkeling gear.
And then it was time to swim with the sharks.
We loaded onto a small banca (outrigger canoe that you see all around the Philippines) and paddled out a limited approaches. Right absent, you could see the sharks feeding together the floor, inhaling shrimp that the Filipino Sea Wardens have been tossing their way. We ended up only permitted 30 minutes in the water, so I shucked on my equipment and dived suitable in.
Bam – wall to wall whales….
Now, continue to keep in mind that whale sharks are the major fish in the world, with reviews of some achieving over 14 meters (46 feet) long. Mix that with a pounds of 30 metric tons (66,000 lbs .), and you’ve received a quite large fish on your fingers. Or, to quote a wonderful movie, “We’re gonna need to have a greater boat……”
Whale sharks can dwell up to 70 years, dwell in warm, tropical waters (like the Philippines!), and feed primarily on plankton and compact shrimp, filtering their evening meal as a result of their great mouths. They are a filter feeder (like some whales) but also have many rows of tiny but sharp tooth. Luckily, they don’t see people today as food items – just (as in Oslob) annoying creatures in the way of their breakfast.
I commenced filming with my trusty GoPro Hero 2 (with particular, dive casing), but I was so caught up in the enjoyment that some of the framing was a tiny off when I eventually obtained home and reviewed it. There ended up a great deal of people swimming close to and far more than a several whale sharks, so you had to pay attention to what was close to you. There had been also a amount of scuba divers down under which gave me the concept to dive down underneath a single of the sharks and obtained some footage of a single of them silhouetted in opposition to the brighter area – that part arrived out good and you can see it in the video. Following a when, I remembered that I had a girlfriend someplace out in this article, so I surfaced and last but not least found her. Soon thereafter it was time to go back again to the boat. I grabbed Sara and started off towing her. A minute afterwards and Sara commenced screaming – I was swimming backwards and did not see the substantial whale shark that we almost smashed into. Phew.
We received back again on the boat and returned to marketed floor. Turning in our gear and using a brief new drinking water shower (modifying rooms and showers are presented), we then shot the ultimate element of the video clip, covering our impressions of the experience, last but not least concluding that it was a quite brilliant experience.
Some conservation groups do not like observing whale sharks being fed for tourism reasons. I see and regard their placement, but when all is mentioned and performed, I continue to savored the expertise. Of course, whale sharks are wild creatures and shouldn’t depend on handouts from humans, but all involved seem to be to be getting a good time.
We were finished with our whale shark experience by 8:30 AM. We had some time to spare, so we resolved to head off to a close by waterfall. We’ll include that aspect journey in our up coming blog site entry.
Ferry (round trip) 300
Viewing Fees 1500
Complete: 1924 pesos / $43 US Bucks