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Whale Sharks in Quintana Roo


Pierson has been fascinated with whale sharks as long as he can remember. “Growing up, I was obsessed with National Geographic magazine. One particular issue was all about whale sharks. I became completely obsessed with whale sharks. Swimming with whale sharks became a dream of mine.”

Pierson was staying in Tulum, the small coastal city on the eastern side of the Yucatán Peninsula in southeastern Mexico, when he found out about whale shark encounters only an hour or so north of where they were staying.

“I contacted the tour operator, and there had been only three sightings that day, but I had a really good feeling. We scheduled the cruise for the next day. It was a full moon the night before, and the next morning there were about 150 whale sharks surrounding us, and 50 or 60 giant manta rays as well. It was the most amazing magical experience ever. I shot for about an hour, but spent another three hours just swimming and interacting with the whale sharks.

“It was my childhood dream come true. The feeling of being able to say I’ve checked off not only whale sharks but manta rays on the same day is beyond what my wildest dreams could ever imagine.”

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Pierson Oglesby


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