Maldives 2016: Whale Shark!

It was flat calm again, with sea and sky merging into one. As we reached the island of Maamigili, the crew immediately spotted a whale shark. By the time we got in the water, other boats had turned up and within minutes there must have been 50 snorkelers on the surface and divers beneath us. At times you couldn't see anything for the air bubbles from divers.

Sea and sky merge into one

The whale shark circled around for a while and then inexplicably came right to the surface, into the middle of the group of snorkelers. It was chaos, with some people just trying to get photos, while others were trying to keep clear of the shark. Fortunately, they only eat plankton! It went down again and just when I thought it had gone, it doubled back and passed underneath us, to be pursued by divers and snorkelers once again.

The whale shark comes to the surface…

 …straight through the group of snorkelers

 It swims away pursued by divers

We returned to the boat and after 10 minutes another whale shark was spotted. This time it was just our group of snorkelers and we were able to follow the shark for quite some time before it descended into deeper water. We were back on the boat for 15 minutes before another one appeared. By the end of the morning we had been in the water five times, with four different whale sharks.

The fourth whale shark of the day


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