The Best Christmas Present Ever—My Very Own Whale Shark

They said I would never see one.  They said it was not the right time of year.  They said it would be fruitless.  They were wrong.

Two days before Christmas I received my lifelong wish from Santa.  To swim with a whale shark.

My husband and I had decided to travel to Honduras for the holidays this year.  Forget the tree, forget the snow, forget the shopping.   A few planes and taxis and boats left us standing on the front porch of our holiday home staring at the Caribbean Sea.  Where were we?  Utila, Honduras.



We chose Utila after seeing a Groupon of all things.  Although we did not use the Groupon for one of the nearby resorts, we checked out VRBO and found our dream home.  Upon arrival at Casa Verde, we were told by the property manager, Rodger, that whale sharks had been seen the day before.  Would we like to go and see if they were still around?    YES!

Quickly we threw our bags in the rooms and found swim and sun garb.  Fins, masks , and snorkels were located and we jumped in our rented golf cart to meet Rodger’s boat at the local supermarket.  He picked us up in his boat and off we were to the Northside of the island for a look around.  A half an hour later the boat slowed and we were told to look for the birds.  A few minutes later we zoomed to what seemed like nothing.  Until we arrived and saw hundreds of fish jumping on the water’s surface.  Get your gear on, Rodger told us.  We did as we were told and sooner than later we were told to slide in the water and look down.

My first whale shark!

My first whale shark!


I will never forget my first glimpse of this amazing creature underwater.  After the bubbles cleared and my bearings were sorted, I saw the behemouth in front of me, just hovering vertically and sucking in water.  This took place for what seemed like an hour but must have been a few minutes before the giant turned, flicked his tail, and disappeared into the deep.

My heart was pounding, my ears were full of the sound, and my mind was exploding.  We returned to the boat to try again.  Although we did not get another look (many, many boats joined usl) my dream had come true.  Thank you Santa! (and thank you Rodger!).

Laura and Rick-Vermont


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