Travel: Maderan greets whale sharks underwater


Courtesy of Manuel Rios

Madera traveler Manuel Rios photographs a whale shark, which he said was estimated to be about 10 tons.

Manuel Rios of Madera, a retiree from Madera County employment who enjoys traveling the world, recently returned from a trip to North Cabos, in the Mexican State of Baja, California.

“We went down to do some Marlin fishing,” Rios said, but the highlight of the trip was swimming in the open waters with whale sharks. Three boatloads of swimmers were brought up alongside the whale sharks, Rios said, and swimmers rolled into the water, where they swam with the sharks and took photos. According to the Web site Bing, whale sharks are believed to be the largest-known fish species. The whale shark holds many records for size among nonmammal vertebrates, the largest individual having a length of 62 feet. Another specimen, found off the coast of Pakistan, was estimated to weigh about 33,000 pounds.

Rios said that while the whale sharks may appear dangerous, they aren’t, particularly. Although they are large.

“They haven’t lost anybody yet,“ Rios said.

“We had guys with us who told us when it was safe to jump in. They recommend you spend only about eight minutes in the water.”

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