Whale Sharks

2017-08-30T09:01:52+00:00 April 29th, 2017|

In July last year we had an incredible experience that many people only dream about to be able to see. Occasionally we can have whale sharks passing through our waters here but they are seen very rarely maybe only 2 or 3 times a year and probably for just a quick visit swimming past on a dive site. Natalie was one of the lucky few to have this visit after only a couple of months diving here when a huge whale shark and its entourage of remoras and cobias passed by her on a dive, needless to say there was no camera out fast enough to capture it. However not long afterwards the morning dive heads out to Dibba Rock with a boat full of our divers and mostly regulars and they come back claiming to have seen 3 or 4 whale sharks on the dive! This of course was seen to be a miracle and would never happen again as no one can be that lucky twice…but just in case we sent the second dive of the day back to Dibba and sure enough all the whale sharks were still there even spotted on the surface as they were mooring the boat! By now word was spreading and even divers from Dubai were rushing down to try to get a dive in just in case they could be lucky enough, but for a 3rd time was it even possible? Although this was all going on and everyone was getting the most amazing pictures and videos, I was in the swimming pool for the whole day introducing someone for the their first time to diving. In the pool we were practicing most of the skills you need to become a competent diver and he was getting on very well with it but we still had a schedule to keep, whale sharks or not. The last dive of the day was meant for 3 rocks as is the norm for the weekend for some turtle spotting. But the manager decided that although its a great dive, the chance of seeing whale sharks again was too tempting so we changed the site to Dibba so my student and I and everyone else can have a try. Its my divers first dive ever in the sea. His swimming positioning was not that bad at all, after the whole day in the pool it seems he’s worked out the basics pretty well. Sure enough within the first 10 minutes there looking to be a massive shadow in front of us and its one of the sharks around 10ms long or so just swimming super chilled at around 5ms depth. First time I had ever seen one and they are incredible animals, very very big, but completely harmless. After swimming on a bit more we had more encounters with smaller ones we think there was about 3 or 4 swimming around us and regularly had 2 at a time beside each other. Also they were not shy and they would swim very close sometimes almost within touching distance, but of course you never would touch one as if they get spooked they might be harmless but they have a very big tail that you do not want flying around that close to you! My diver was loving it, after the dive we were all ecstatic and some of the guys had had all 3 dives with the sharks all day. Everyone told my student that he didn’t know how lucky he was to swim with these sharks on his first ever dive, I think he understood but knowing better the lengths people go to to see these animals I don’t think he will ever truly understand how awesome that day was!