DIVING AT SUNSET AND SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS
Under the light of the setting sun, we went for our final dive of the day and were treated to a prodigious shoal of fusiliers that twisted and darted around us, sometimes blocking the sunlight as they swam above our heads. This spectacular shoal enticed a few other species, including black tip reef sharks that broke silently through the mass.
Every morning, before sunrise, fishermen head out in the bay of Teluk Saleh to catch shrimp. These fishermen often attract the attention of the resident filter feeders who can be spotted in the waters around the fishing vessels scooping up krill. Rising before the sun, we tendered to a nearby fishing vessel under the cover of darkness. As we approached, we witnessed the dark water’s surface swirl and break with huge, white spotted pelagics.
Hopping into the glittering black water, we soon realised the sheer number of whale sharks that were teeming beneath us. Equipped with snorkels and fins, we shared the water with approximately ten of these gentle giants. It was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience to be in such close proximity to such a number of whale sharks. I even came away with a few bruises thanks to the occasional slice of a dorsal fin or overenthusiastic thwack of a tail. Once the sun had completely risen, the whale sharks began to disperse as the fishermen prepared to raise their nets.