It’s six o’clock in the morning. You’re standing on a dock of a small fishing village in the Philippines. The man in charge goes over the rules. No touching. No riding. No flash photography. No sunscreen. Keep at least 5 meters (16 feet) away from the sharks.

You grab a mask and snorkel. You put on your life jacket and join the other tourists. You hop aboard a large, thin canoe. The captain paddles out from shore, leading a line of canoes.

The boat captains toss handfuls of shrimps from buckets into the sea. Soon you see what you’ve been hoping for. You see them. The biggest fish in the oceanwhale sharks.

Tourists watch whale sharks in the Philippines.

Tourists learn about whale sharks before diving in to swim with them.

You jump in! With your head underwater you can see an immense shark swim past. You pull out your waterproof camera. Click. Click. Click.

Tourists swim and take pictures of a whale shark.