Atlanta Stories and Tips

Swimming with Gentle Giants

Swim with Whale Shark Photo, Atlanta, Georgia

We had no more than showered and dried off and again we stood before the guide that would take us and two employees for an experience with the whale the shark. Back into wet suits we were escorted to a much larger tank. This was the tank tourist came to view from below. Whale shark, sting rays, barracuda and a host of others were swimming all around. Obviously everyone has been fed earlier so I'm not in danger of being dinner I hope. We sit on the edge of the pool, getting our mask, and fins on while a brief overview of how the tank on our chest works. Regulators in, we slip into the water one at time keeping relatively close to each other, not for safety, so as to appear schooling and non-threatening.

We had been advised, not to attempt touching any creatures and that being bumped by one of the whale sharks is considered a bonus. Although huge, these whales are not only graceful but keenly aware of where each and every body part is in relation to everything nearby. Case in point, all three of them came within inches of me literally. So close in fact, I stretched my leg with the additional length of the fin in an effort to feel a tinge of resistance, in other words trying to get bumped, to no avail. Whether my intentions were being sensed or felt via the water or simply seen, I do not know.

As the shark would pass under me, having come head on my direction, I would swivel my head to follow breathing out with a "wow" sound. I would barely have time to enjoy other fish, particularly the one with the chain saw for a nose, and another whale shark would glide near.

Just as we finished the last circle and proceed to the exit station, I clung to the outer most part of the pool, lagging a bit as I didn't want the experience to end. Apparently feeling emotions, I received the lightest tap as a whale shark continued his pattern and I floated away.

We all got out excitedly speaking as fast as we could to each other while slowly heading to the locker rooms. We had managed to remain beyond closing time and had to exit with the employees out the on remaining unlocked door. It was so very worth the $225 price tag as your chances of it the wild are, well you know.

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