The McCormick family has traveled to the Crown Paradise Club in Cancun almost every year for at least the last ten years. We normally visit around Thanksgiving, but we decided to shake things up and visit in July for the boy's birthday (which is on the 31st). Last year the Jamrok family joined us, but this time only Taylor and Cameron were with us.
The reason for visiting in the heat of the summer? Swimming with whale sharks! Taylor and I went to Cozumel with Manta Divers--- an American owned and operated company--- on a dive trip last year, and decided to book a whale shark charter trip with them just before we went on our cruise.
We all rented wetsuits and hopped onto a teeny tiny boat and drove about 25 miles away from shore. They made us wear lifevests on the way out, but didn't care if we wore them on the way back in. I guess they guarantee you'll see a whale shark, but after that, you're on your own!
Mom handled the boat ride surprisingly well (things were a bit bumpy!), but poor Kirby was holding on for dear life. We drove for around an hour before we saw the tell-tale signs of sharks. A few other boats, snorkelers, and giant fins. There were at least two whale sharks, but it was a little hard to keep track.
Mom and Dad were the first to jump in the water. Things were pretty chaotic. While they might look slow and graceful, these beasts move pretty fast. We each got to jump in with the sharks three times (except mom, Shaughn, and Kirby, who only went in once), but the first time it was pretty difficult to figure out where to swim, how fast, and when. You either didn't see the shark, or got WAY to close.
By our third swim, we all managed to figure it out. We gave the guide our camera, and he managed to snag a pretty awesome video of my dad and I swimming with one of the animals.
After lunch we visited Isla Mujeres for an authentic Mexican lunch. Our guides whipped up a delicious ceviche---- shrimp, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime----- while we took a dip in the crystal clear water.
We were so exhausted that night, but it was definitely a memorable experience!