Whale Sharks of Isla Mujeres - 2014 Trip Report
Backscatter Expedition Trip Report
By: Jennifer Penner
Witnessing and Encountering the Largest Fish in the Sea
ver since the movie The Bucket List graced theaters in 2007, the term 'bucket list' has become a part of our everyday vocabulary – things we want to do and see before we die. For countless, swimming with whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, ranks high on their bucket list. And for good reason! It's one of the few wild life encounters where you can get up-close and personal with an animal in its real environment. Swimming alongside something of that magnitude – adult whale sharks can weigh 25+ tons, and grow to 40+ feet in length – can be scary at first. "Will it eat me?!" is often the first question uttered by the uninitiated. Humans are not on the bill of fare for whale sharks. In fact, whale sharks are slow moving (relatively), docile, filter feeders. During the Isla Mujeres aggregation, they are only concerned about the bonito eggs in the water, and will gracefully change course to avoid a collision with another sea creature or human. It doesn't take long for your trepidation to disappear, as you witness and encounter these magnificent, gentle giants in their natural element.
Five days on the water with Keen M International
gives photographers the highest probability for the most keepers from their memory cards given that Mother Nature doesn't always agree with best laid plans. Leaving the dock by 7:00AM and returning after 2:00PM is not a three-hour tour, nor is it an excursion for those who do not love the water. Even avid swimmers have mentioned that they'd never swum so much in their lives!
Backscatter's owner, Berkley White, has fostered relationships with owners of the most highly regarded operators in the industry, whether live-aboards or land-based dive resorts, over the last 20 years. Weather and dive conditions permitting, the travel itineraries and dive site selection will always give you the best possible photographic opportunities for the region. Traveling with a Backscatter Pro will give you direct access to their knowledge of techniques for better shooting, experience to make in-the-field repairs that are sometimes necessary, spare camera systems and parts to keep you shooting for the entire trip and even workshops to learn post processing image editing.
Backscatter offers two types of trips: workshops and expeditions. Workshops are learning trips where there is great diving, but the focus is honing your skills (photography, videography, post processing and editing). All diving and shooting skill levels are welcomed for our underwater photography workshops. Expeditions focus on diving and shooting in some of the planet's most sought after locales. Advanced divers and shooters are best suited to these expeditions. Join us for an upcoming workshop or expedition! We hope to see you under the waves!