Whale Shark season in Mexican Caribbean

Whale Shark season on Isla Holbox is from May 15th until September 15th.

From a reader: “As scuba divers, we have always wanted to see a whale shark. Having spent a whole week in Roatan without seeing even a glimpse of one, we made it our mission to find one and were pleased to learn that we might get lucky on Isla Holbox. On a sunny day last September, we drove to the coastal town of Chiquilá, parked our car, and took a boat to Isla Holbox. Once there, we easily found a fisherman with a “lancha” (a small motor-powered wooden fishing boat) who used his not-so-quaint GPS locator in order to find the spot where the whale sharks, known locally as Dominos, were feeding the next day. After about an hour of motoring, we found ourselves in the middle of the ocean, with no land in sight. Suddenly, there were four or five whale sharks slowly swimming around us (and three other boats that were there to observe). They were joined by a large manta ray that was also fishing in the area.”

The whale shark is the largest fish on earth, usually measuring between 15 and 50 feet (5 -16 m) in length and weighing as much as 10 tons. These gentle sea creatures range all tropical waters and infrequently stray into temperate ones.

The whale shark’s body is stout but streamlined, like that of a shark. In fact, they probably got their name because they look like a shark with a whale’s head. They are dark brown or grey with white or yellow spots, with a white or yellow underbelly.

The whale shark has nothing in common with whales except for its size and the fact that it only eats minute plankton by scooping it up with an open mouth. Unlike most sharks, the whale shark has its mouth at the front of its head rather than on the underside and unlike other sharks, it does not eat meat. It normally feeds on or just below the surface by literally vacuuming food from the water.

Very little is known about whale shark reproduction, with most information coming from a single egg found in the Gulf of Mexico. It is thought that the young develop in egg cases that are retained in the mother’s body until hatching. Despite their large adult size, whale sharks are very small at birth, probably 40 to 50 centimeters.

The whale shark is a docile fish that will not attack, even on provocation. Despite their impressive appearance, they are harmless to humans. They are mainly solitary in nature, they roam widely, and are often difficult to find. The expedition from Isla Holbox is an exceptional adventure. Being in the presence of these great creatures, with enough time to observe and enjoy them, is a special privilege indeed. Please look, take pictures, enjoy, but as with many of the wonders of the ocean, please do not touch them or harass them in any way!

For several years now, whale sharks have been coming to the northern tip of the Yucatán peninsula to feed and mate during the months of May through September. Tourism based on whale shark watching has increased dramatically in the last few years and government agencies have taken steps to protect these magnificent animals so that the species will not be harmed and so they will continue to return to this area.

For that reason, Isla Holbox has recently been named by the Mexican government as the only port that can offer trips to swim with the whale sharks and there are strict rules against scuba equipment being used to view them in the area. Local guides have been trained to give tours that are as safe for the whale sharks as they are for their human visitors.

At a recent conference, April 2010, Pronatura declared that at least 1000 whale sharks were counted in 2009. This national treasure must be protected. Many whale sharks have been seen with injuries caused by the propellers of passing boats.

If this protection is guaranteed, the whale shark can continue to provide tourism opportunities in the area. Pronatura is doing studies on the impact from tourism on these inoffensive animals, and creating a management plan to determine how many boats and humans can approach these animals so that they don’t feel threatened and migrate to another area.

Aware of the importance of this species and its protection, President Felipe Calderon has decreed a marine reserve of 160,000 hectares added to the reserve of Yum Balam.

Ask around at the docks or downtown for someone to take you to the whale sharks. Be prepared to spend about five to six hours on the water, with all that entails. Most tour guides will provide drinks, but be sure to ask before you go. And don’t forget a hat and sunscreen!

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Oxlajuj: the numbering 13 in Mayan.
Baqtun: a period of 144.000 days long count, to date 13 baqtunes have passed, the first beginning in August about 3.114 B.C.
The Oxlajuj Baqtun is a time that is lapsing and in which mankind will realize the need to change to live and that the transformation of attitudes to achieve harmony is of paramount importance. These changes must be in scale both social, economic, political, technological and climate.
The Oxlajuj Baqtun is an antecedents to the new era that lies ahead for good walking, is the path to guide our lives into balance and harmony.
Is to realize the events that have marked our life and limited prosperity, is the opportunity to change negative thoughts into positive attitudes to grow our capabilities and strengthen coexistence between people. According to the conception in the Maya long count, the December 21, 2012 is the change in the human civilisation. Human beings enter into a new civilisation of change, which has no relation to this.
The cause is still an enigma, but one thing is clear: the last day does not imply any catastrophe, far from this interpretation, transcends to a new cosmic consciousness and spiritual evolution to the new civilisation. In this count over the 21 December 2012 is the last day of the thirteenth long period (Consisting of 400 years). The Mayans recorded this date as By auxiliary counting mechanism based on Maya mathematics is important, namely periods, number of days.
Kin: 1 day. Kinal: 20 days (20 is essential in the Maya count number) Tun: 360 days. Katun: 7.200 days. Baktun: 144.000 days.
This mechanism is the basis for the three types of counting or timing, the spiritual, agriculture and the Long Count, which are coincident in the conference calendar days.
Mayan  considered the number equivalent a day in the Gregorian calendar the date August 11, 3114 BC  and to December 21, 2012.
The Mayan as an experts  astronomers, through the scholars of that civilisation based on this mechanism and theirs study of the sky for the future December 21, 2012 given the bases for the foundation that led to this day as the last of this account.
This day is a day of winter solstice. The sun will overlap exactly with the point of intersection of the eclipsed of the Milky Way and Ecuador.
At this point, the sun will be located in the cleft of the Milky Way. Or sit the Milky Way on Earth. It will be almost like opening a door From Heaven to Earth.
Maya Ceremonies
The ancient Mayans performed ceremonies to give thanks for all the riches they possessed, was an act of religiosity and spirituality.
Today Mayan practices even the meaning of identity and as a sacred act to approach the supreme being, creator of heaven and earth. Also held to celebrate Date Wedding and held as a thank offering for the health, work and wisdom and welfare of the individual to be filled with positive energy.
The Mayan ceremonies are led by a spiritual guide or a Ajquij, who indicated the most appropriate dates for the ceremonies, taking into consideration  the Mayan calendar.
The ceremony will use materials that are used for offerings such as flowers, incense, sugar, colour candles, cinnamon and others deemed important…

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