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And on the 4th day… They came!

by Steve Rudge – Maldives Tour Leader

Whale Shark in the Maldives by Steve RudgeOn the 4th day of the Maldives Trip we all woke to a beautiful morning as usual sailing up and down the West side of the North Ari atoll. This was the day we had all been waiting for as it was the day we were going to dive with the whale sharks. Arti our Maldivian Divemaster assured us all that at some time between 1pm and 3pm everyday, a Whale shark would show up. So we filled the rest of the day with 2 other dives between breakfast and lunch and laying on the sun lounges watching the beautiful islands of the Maldives drift by. At around 2.30pm excitement saturated our yacht as word came out that a whale shark has been spotted not far from our location. We all hastily got into our snorkeling gear and grabbed our cameras as our yacht made its way over to the whale sharks position. As we neared the spot the Whale shark started to dive, so our expert local Divemaster  Arti quickly told us to get into our Scuba Gear! I have never seen a group of divers get into their gear and do their buddy checks so fast, if only my students  could do that haha. Our yacht quickly made its way about 1km in front of the Whale sharks last known location and we all made a quick entry into the water and on to the pristine coral reef that surrounded one of the many beautiful tropical islands in the area. We spent the first ten minutes filming and photographing this wonderful reef and marine life when  I heard an array of underwater audible alarms going off as well as muffled shouts into regulators. I was sitting at around 15m when i looked up, about 5m right above me, majestically making its way along the wall was a baby 8m whale shark. What a awesome sight and for a moment I forgot I had a video camera in my hands that wasn’t recording. I quickly  hit the record button and moved up and behind this wonderful creature, after following it for several minutes it started to dive and I had a quick decision to make. Do I wave bye bye or go after it? Confidently knowing that I had the best fins  and reg in the business on my feet and in my mouth (Novas and A700) there was only ever one answer. As I yelled at the back of the shark “Not today” I propelled myself into action. For what appears to be a slow moving creature they sure motor along but I eventually managed to get alongside and start filming. When my computer started beaming 35m at me i knew that one of the best diving experiences of my life would have to come to an end, this time that is. Because I knew I was coming back to once again dive with the whale sharks of the Maldives. Will I see the baby Whale shark again next time only a little bit bigger or would mum or dad turn up. Why don’t you come along with me and we can all find out! 

For more information on our exciting Maldives Holiday click here!

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