This past month we were lucky enough to receive a visit from one of our favourite divers Angela Schmidt. When Angela arrived at our dive shop in Cozumel she was determined to see the whale sharks and booked her trip right away. Angela believes that the, “whale sharks are one of the most spectacular animals in the ocean”, and seeing these amazing creatures was on her diving bucket list.
We wanted to get Angela’s opinion about our Whale Shark Safari and asked her to answer a few questions about her adventure. Angela took the Whale Shark Safari with her mother and good friend Greg, and although Angela’s mother does not dive she was still able to enjoy the experience. It is only possible to snorkel next to the whale sharks, which means our Whale Shark Safari available to everyone, not just divers. The most memorable part of Angela’s trip was, “being able to share the experience with [her] mom”.
One piece of advice Angela would give to others going on the Whale Shark Safari would be to, “bring a dry bag and especially some snacks if you do not eat fish”. Most importantly, Angela says to take “lots of Dramamine!” The boat must travel into the open ocean to find the whale sharks and it is recommended to take medication (Gravol or Dramamine) if you experience motion sickness.
When asked if she would go to see the whale sharks again Angela said, “absolutely, hands down yes.” Cozumel is Angela’s, “favorite location” to dive and she says she enjoys, “being a part of a community of people who are tuned in and care about conservation.” Compared to diving in Cozumel Angela says swimming with the whale sharks is different because, “you are fighting the surface current and the whale sharks swim very fast so you have to hustle to keep up with them”. Although swimming with the whale sharks takes a little extra work, Angela believes it is, “well worth the extra exertion”.
As a passionate environmentalist who loves nature, Angela enjoys scuba diving the most because, “it is one of the few sports where the slowest wins the race. There is so much life on the reef and if you don’t take your time you will never see the little things like nudibranchs and seahorses”. We hope to see Angela again soon in Cozumel and are sending her our best wishes on her next diving adventure!
Article written by: Alex Grgas-Sorge
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Read Angela’s full interview below
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- Questions about your W.S Safari:
- Why was swimming with the whale sharks on your bucket list? Is there something special about the whale sharks that made you want to see them?
Whale sharks are one of the most spectacular animals in the ocean. Aside from being the largest fish, their docile behavior and migration make them quite interesting to me.
- What is your most memorable moment from swimming with the whale sharks?
Being able to share the experience with my mom.
- I remember your mother joined you for the whale shark trip, as a non-diver did she also enjoy her experience?
She’s a snorkeler and a lover of the ocean. She was trained as a marine biologist actually and she has always inspired my love of water.
- If you could go back, would you change anything about that day?
I would have taken Dramamine when we arrived in Playa haha
- What is one piece of advice you would give to someone that is planning on going to swim with the whale sharks?
Bring a dry bag and especially some snacks if you do not eat fish. And lots of Dramamine!
- If someone offered you a free trip to go swim with the whale sharks, would you do it again?
Absolutely, hands down yes
- How does swimming with the whale sharks compare to the diving you have done in Mexico / Cozumel?
Because you are snorkeling the experience is different. You are fighting the surface current and the whale sharks swim very fast so you have to hustle to keep up with them. Well worth the extra exertion though. Additionally, they take you through an underwater sculpture garden which is quite nice for photo opportunities.
- Will you come back to Cozumel to dive in the future?
Always. It is my favorite location.
- As an avid diver, what’s next on your bucket list? Is there something special you really want to see, or a specific diving destination you’re aiming to travel to?
There’s an abandoned mine called Bonne Terre in Missouri that I’m dying to dive.
- Finally, why do you love scuba diving? What is your favorite part about the sport and the animal you love to see most under the water?
I most enjoy that it is one of the few sports where the slowest wins the race. There is so much life on the reef and if you don’t take your time you will never see the little things like nudibranchs and seahorses. Additionally, I enjoy being a part of a community of people who are tuned in and care about conservation. After dives you chat with other divers about what you saw and tell stories of animal behavior and those of us who come back year after year can tell you the specific changes we have seen in the reef like less and less green moray for example. It’s fascinating and I love that COR is engaging divers in their research. There needs to be more opportunities like that world wide.