jUmping in

'Twas still dark when I woke up. The sun wasn't up yet. The sea so calm and peaceful. The beach so quiet and devoid of human activity. Call time was 7am but we're late as expected. Someone kept hitting the snooze button. Harhar.. Good thing we packed brekky, a good excuse! ☻ First thing was registering at the local tourism office (200 PhP), which we should've done the day before as it's crowded with tourists! Or we could've arrived earlier than 7 and avoided the throng. Good thing we rented our fins for 150 bucks each the night before...saved more time! Besides our boat-mates were starting to get annoyed. lol Sorry naman. 

the spotter

Our guide, kuya Henry, started with the brief orientation and the dos & don'ts the moment we moved out. We're told to always be ready with our fins and snorkels on and wait for the signal to jump in when a butanding is sighted...we gotta position ourselves on the right (whichever it is) side of the bangka...and to not touch the whalesharks. Ever. But some tourists, being tourists, do NFI. There are always exceptions. lol We were pretty excited and nervous at the same time. We've never done this before, 'ya know! Jumping into deep water without life vests! My mom'll definitely kill me. ☻

getting ready to jump in
The first dip wasn't successful. The shark got shy and dove deep. I was the last one to hit the water ( I knew I'm the least capable swimmer in the group) and I ran out of breath in such a short time! OMG. The waves are bigger when you're actually down there, I discovered. Hehe.. Back in the safety of the bangka, we were agreeing to not go back anymore. Hahaha..We weren't physically prepared for it. But upon second thought, we eventually did.. realizing that we paid over a thousand bucks (for the both of us) for the experience. We gotta see even just one!

Since we made up our minds about going back into the water, we asked kuya Henry if he can help us out. And help us out he did! He offered to drag us via buoy. lol Third dip.... Finally! ☺ It wasn't huge statistically, 'round 9 ft, but 'twas still big for me. These creatures swim pretty fast for their size though. One moment, the left side of it's face was right under me. I just came up for air and next thing, I can only see it's tail from 4m away. (photos courtesy of the diver from Israel)

look me in the eye!

eat my dust

All in all our boat made a total of 15 sightings...very lucky day! Of the 13 dives that the group made, only joined in 3, my cousin in more, and the others, every each one. They were fantastic swimmers, even chased the gentle giants. I payed the price for staying on the bangka most.. uneven painfully red sun-burnt skin all over. But captured memories in digital ink! So.

wait up!
Open wide.

The experience was once in a lifetime. I'd definitely want to go back. Just have to prep myself up for it... build stamina, most importantly. Maybe take some swimming lessons even. Haha.. And never ever forget to put on tons of sunblock!

happy day ☺

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