August 23rd – 31st 2010
After a week of settling in and training we had our first day out on the boat. We headed out towards Conception Island, and without aerial support we managed to find three whale sharks to swim with, which was lucky and very exciting as it was for some of us our very first whale shark encounter!
After a few swims we were all back on the boat enthralled by these huge spotty sharks, all very excited when Joe said “ Guys, I think you might want to look over here!” and there alongside the boat was a beautiful five meter whale shark on the surface, so we jumped in again.
On Saturday David and Glynis had a big BBQ for us all, where we all met everyone that would be part of the 2010 season, a great night of delicious food and exciting atmosphere.
We had a few more training sessions and then the week started properly where we took out clients on the boat and we all got a taste of things to come…
But nothing could have prepared us for Tuesday; in the morning we had heard from the micro light that there were some big aggregations of sharks just off Conception Island. The time could not go quicker, we organized ourselves and then waited in anticipation to get on the boat! With only three clients on the boat we were all able to go out. As soon as we stepped on the boat the mayhem began.
On the Southern part of Conception Island we found a group of several sharks feeding on the surface, we put snorkelers in the water straight away, with them all very excited. The ‘spotter’ in the water shouting back to the boat “there’s three, four, no, five!” The pilot was telling us there were more sharks around us; we were going back and forth along the southern part of Conception Island with groups of sharks everywhere. As soon as we got back on the boat, we had a moment to pause and then back in on another shark, it was so exhilarating!
Overall we had twenty eight encounters for the day, an awesome landmark for the start of the season!
A great sign of things to come!
Photos courtesy Joe Daniels