April 23, 2004

In Search of Whale Sharks

It's whale shark season in Thailand and Sugar and I, having missed them in Burma, decided it was worth $100 US to try again. Whale Sharks are the largest shark in the sea, with some reports indicating a length of up to 18 METERS (over 30 feet!). They are plankton feeders, completely harmless to humans. Their size and beauty make them the holy grail for many divers.

We hit Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, 80 KM south of Phi Phi (1.5 hours by speed boat). Daeng was not too exciting but we still saw a few eels, etc at depths of over 90 ft.

Hin Muang was one of the best dives I've done -- amazing colors (tons of purple coral), no fewer than 10 moray eels and, BEST OF ALL, a 4M (12 feet!) manta ray:

The ray was easliy the largest thing I've seen in the ocean. Even with its size, it swam with surprising grace, hovering in and out of divers for 5 minutes (but seemed so much longer). An amazing dive....needless to say i'm glad we rented a digital camera :-)

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