So we have been patiently waiting for the sun to go around the earth a few times now – every day bringing hopes of finding those elusive whale sharks. Not that they are supposed to be elusive around these parts. At this stage we have had a very slow season with not just a lack of sharks but also a lack in their food stuff – plankton. The waters have been very clean with water visibility around the 15 meter mark in most places. To make matters worse, the weather has also played its part in the delayed start with strong winds and then rain which hampered our efforts to get flying. Of course on the days we have been able to get airborne the lack of sharks was a painful damper to our initial enthusiasm of just being able to get into the air.
Yesterday was our first day of proper success. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I took Darren up for the previous morning’s survey flight and his enthusiasm might have spilled over into the water – his enthusiasm and talkativeness had no bounds. Darren is a new intern that has just joined the project and along with him, or so it seems, the influx of some plankton rich waters. (He did say he is bringing the sharks with him!). Tuesday afternoon was a myriad of action even if the day started slow. Right of the bat I managed to find a whale shark as the boat was leaving the bay, however after just a few minutes the shark dived before the second group could get a chance of getting into the water with it. For almost one hour nothing happened. I searched a large area from Anse La mouche all the way to South point, being greeted only by crystal clear water all the way. Then I spotted some devil rays doing loops. This was a good sign since this is a known method of feeding for these rays – there must be some plankton in the region! I got the boat into the area and for a while the snorkelers chased these elusive rays all over the show, every one managing to get a good look at the looping and feeding activity. At about the time when we thought it was the end of the day a whale shark surfaced. This meant that the second group got a got look before this one too dived but by this stage, we knew our luck had changed. Two more sharks surfaced and both groups got into the water before I left for the airport and apparently the sharks would not go away.
It sure does seem that sometimes you just have to wait for the sun to go around the earth one more time.
Wish you were here!