Thursday, April 28, 2011

Snorkeling with whale sharks, Palawan

Date: 28.4.2011
Place: Philippines, Palawan, Puerto Princesa, Honda Bay area
Sea Temperature: +30C

Equipment: Mask, snorkel, boots, angle weights, fins, camera with housing
Today was first whale shark trip on this season here in Puerto Princesa. Last year I did four whale shark trips here in Puerto, so I already knew this today what will happened. Boat left from Bay Walk about 8am and direction from Puerto Princesa Bay to open sea. Just before bay opens group of dolphins came to swim near the boat.
After dolphins we continued to search whale sharks. Boat rode long way and we didn't see any sign from whale sharks. Finally we saw birds in the surface taking small fishes. It was almost lunch time and it was very hot day everybody went to snorkeling and refreshing. When snorkeling there was big school of small fishes. Guys on the boat told whale sharks eat plankton, but also these same small fishes.
Nice reflection in the surface.
Same group closer.
Here sun is in the different angle.
Visibility was very good, but no whale sharks. Sun rays.
After snorkeling we had a lunch on the boat. Fresh fish, rice, mango and so on. Good lunch.

After lunch it was time to continue searching. Many customer already though no whale sharks today. So did I. Then I heard tour operator, Mr Whale Shark, Toto's wonderful words. "Whale shark, whale shark..."! Fins, mask, snorkel and camera quickly and jump to the water. Whale shark was very near me. It was young and small...or small for whale sharks. About 5 meters.
I tried to go as near as possible, but I couldn't go any closer.
Finally it dived and disappeared to deep blue.

So, on first trip of the season we had luck and also bad luck. Luck, we saw whale shark. Bad luck, we saw only one. Anyway it was great to see these majestic creatures again!!



  1. Hi,

    Thank you for your amazing blog!
    I will be in Palawan next week and would love to experience snorkeling with whale sharks!

    Did you go there with a company? How far is it from Puerto Princesa?


  2. In Puerto Princesa in practice there is only one company and guy who runs the whale shark trips. His name is "Toto". You will find his contact details in the comments of this story:

    In Puerto Princesa you can ask about whale shark trips in Moana Hotel which is in the main street in Rizal Avenue near airport. You can ask Paolo in Moana who runs the dive center. He will book also whale shark trip, but the Toto is anyway who organize also those trips. Here is very local guy. I have done five whale shark trips with him.

    Boat leaves always almost in the city center from the place called Bay Walk. It's only like 2min by car from heart of Puerto Princesa. From the Bay Walk takes about 45min to the area where the whale sharks are. In fact nobody know where the whale sharks are, because it's open sea and the depth is about 100m/300ft. First have to find the sharks and then jump to the water and enjoy and swim.

    Hopefully whale shark trips have already started in Puerto Princesa area. I would like to do also my first trip for this year. Those days are always so exiting. Ones we saw on the area also pilot whales and swam with them. Everything is possible on that area. :)

    You can say to Toto or to Paolo in Moana you found the trips because of my blogs. Both guys knows me well.


  3. This photos are really amazing. This is awesome.