Whale shark

I was beginning to think that whale sharks were a myth, like the lochness monster and Australia’s drop bears. Ive had many times when the whale shark has been spotted at dive sites the same time I have been there.


The most frustrating being the other day when I was leading divers at Sail Rock, a well known whale shark dive site between Koh Tao and K0h Phangnam.I heard this continuous tapping on someones dive tank. This is what the instructors and dive masters do in the big dive schools when they have large groups to try and get attention. It personally annoys the hell out of me, as there is nothing more annoying when you’re in the peaceful underwater surroundings and there’s a tapping sound. Its like when you’re trying to get to sleep and there’s a mosquito buzzing around your room.


Anyway, whilst leading my divers, there was a continuous tapping sound, I’m thinking to myself, “my god I hate that sound, I wish they would shut up”. It just so happens that when I get back on the boat, one of the other dive masters comes up to me and says, “Hap, did you see the whale shark?”, “no”, “I was tapping on my tank, you were diving with your group below me, all you had to do was look up and you would of seen it!”  Talk about frustrating. That will teach me for being a grumpy old barstard, but I still hate that tapping sound!


Anyway, that’s all in the past, as the very next day I had the privilege of diving with this gentle giant of the ocean, not just once, but twice. I didn’t think I would be that blown away by it, but it was definitely a special diving moment. Although it was only a baby whale shark, measuring 4 metres it was still amazing to see it moving through the crystal clear waters so effortlessly.


Despite being named after a shark, they are not dangerous. Whale sharks feed on plankton and are the largest known fish, growing to lengths of 12 – 20 metres depending on what source you believe.

So now I can cross the whale shark off my list, only the Manta Ray and Lochness monster to go.