We all have dreamt to dive with whale sharks and if you still haven’t accomplished this dream, it is about time. Thailand is a great place to see whale sharks, so we asked one of our customer how it felt like to have such an experience while on board of a Similan island liveaboard and that’s what they said…
The first encounter
It was the first time we encountered a whale shark and the most impressive part when you first see it is its incredibly huge size. This is the largest species of existing fish and the one we saw must have been around 5 metres in length. Although I though it to be extremely large, the divemaster stated it was a fairly small whale shark.
Despite of the size, the fact that they are filter feeders, it makes it look like its movement are very smooth and slow so we did try to keep up with it, with no success. Seeing it feeding near the surface of the water, opening its mouth of more than 1 metre wide to collect plankton,
allowing the salt water past the gills, which open and close in a rhythm lullaby, all this in a serenity to be envied, this was the best feeling that there are (at least for us).
We were told that a group had encountered a whale shark 30 minutes before so there was a great possibility to see it again. Our divemaster was very thorough on how to behave if we see a whale shark including minimum distance and to avoid swimming towards it but the most important part was: do not touch the whale shark!!!
We were all looking forward this trip in a Similan Island liveaboard and everything was going according to plan. The sea was extremely calm with no waves or wind and temperature was hot, so we were in an extra hurry to get in the water. When we jumped in the sea, with the hope we would see this amazing creature, we were so excited and when we realize that it was happening, the sense of tranquility of this magnificent animal gave us so many feeling such as euphoria, excitement, accomplishment and yet, it seemed like it didn’t care about the divers around it and kept on minding its own business. We swam and swam beside it, watching every mouthful of water, each fin movement, back and forth. At one point, we had to back off as the whale shark came so close to us we had to avoid a collision. Everything was pure ecstasy, as if in a field of dreams.
The accomplished mission
What a great trip that was and although our organizers did not want to promise anything as they say: “it is a big ocean out there”, we had way more than we expected. The liveaboard was great, staffed with very professional and friendly people, the food was amazing and the most important, we got to see so many new things that it was the experience of a life time. Thanks Thailand Dive and Sail for providing us with such an unique holiday.