Why do some people love scuba diving? There are a variety of reasons, for example the peace and tranquility underwater. Another aspect is the chance for exploration you get when penetrating wrecks and caves. For the majority of divers however, one reason which everyone agrees on is the abundance of marine life. Recently around Koh Tao there have been whale shark sightings. Having the opportunity to swim with some of these creatures is an amazing experience. Getting this close to nature in it’s own habitat can be humbling and overwhelming.
So this is what happened…
Roll back a few days to an Open Water course that DJL instructors Shaun and Thibault were teaching. The boat was heading to South West Pinnacles off the coast of Koh Tao. After arriving and mooring up the final dives of the course would be completed. As is the norm we had a videographer from Koh Tao Provideo with us to put a film together for the Open Water students. Today it was Jake who is also taking his Divemaster internship at Davy Jones Locker.
At DJL customers often ask what the chances are of seeing a whale shark. Famous for being natures largest fish, divers who can say they have seen one really do have something to brag about. Koh Tao does attract whale sharks but diving with them isn’t a common occurence.
An inquisitive whale shark
What made the dives at South West Pinnacles so special wasn’t just the fact that a whale shark made an appearance. The dive site was quiet with only the DJL boat in the area. Usually if divers spot a whale shark in the area everyone swarms around trying to get a good look. However, only our team of staff and students were in the water. As a result this particuar whale shark decided to spend most of the dive as a companion to the divers. Swimming near the boat while the guys had snorkels on and then joining them during the dive.
What an experience!
It’s fair to say something like this is a pretty mind blowing experience for everyone involved. The students and staff got to relive & celebrate the experience during the video showing that evening. In all honesty however, it’s hard to believe it even comes close to actually spending time in the ocean with such a beautiful creature.
Thanks to Jake for providing the awesome of footage of the dive. Also thanks to instructors Shaun and Thibault and the rest of the DJL staff for taking care of students Nikolaj, Lasse, Oliver, Jakob, Ozan, Lilo and Alessandra. This is a truly memorable dive for everyone involved. No-one gave the whale shark a name but a special thanks goes out to the star of the show for keeping everyone company!