A young swimmer next to me- (who later revealed himself as being and expert white water rafter expert, no less!)- helped me calm down, re-adjust my mask and snorkel and, when I was ready he took me by the hand and we continued snorkeling and looking at the whale shark.
It was at this stage that I recovered my resourceful state, started enjoying breathing rhythmically through the mouth and the silence underwater: this moment of acceptance and surrender to the larger element, the ocean, brought about a feeling of communion and oneness.
Even then, I was aware that it was not courage, but acceptance and surrender which was delighting me and allowing me to stay calm in the ocean, and to appreciate the magnificent “show” The whale shark was moving fast, yet, I could see the details of its spots, its gills and the chunk missing on its tail: it seems to go on forever!
Later, I learned that this whale shark, we swum with for about ten minutes was a juvenile, around six meters long! Six meters, it looked as big as a tram, moving graciously and silently but quite fast past our group.