Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Day 4: Whale Sharks

We knew that whale sharks were a possibility on this trip, hey the cover photo for the trip is of a whale shark! But we were supposed to see them in the Maldives last year and didn't, so I wasn't counting on it. 
Well today was the day. We're at Garantolo What I didn't  realize is that they feed them here, just like the shark dives in the Bahamas, so it is pretty well guaranteed that we will see one of them.
This morning we saw not one, but two, majestic whale sharks. They obviously are accustomed to divers. There were 15 of us in the water and they paid us no never mind whatsoever. In fact, you had to work at it to stay out of their way. Their eyes are on the sides of their head, so when you're right in front of them, they can't see you. If you don't get out of the way they'll bump right into you. They are not scary at all. They are more like whales than sharks. They were being fed buckets of little shrimp. We could get close enough to see the whole process. They opened their huge mouths and let the ocean water pour in like a waterfall, or a whirlpool. Then you see their bodies flutter s the water is pushed out thru their gills while filtering the shrimp.

That's me!

Second dive was another gorgeous wall and reef. More of the rose coral. Lots of sweet pyramid butterfly fish, anemones with their Nemo's and other pretty tropicals in this 83 degree water. I figured mom would have loved these dives, so I scattered some ashes here and added a photo to her album.

Garantolo whale sharks and nice reef - Mom should like it here.

What we don't see is any bigger fish. No snapper, no grouper, no sharks, no barracuda. Overfishing has depleted the area.
I skipped the third dive and got a massage from Anita. She did a great job. The memorable part was being outside, on the top sun deck with a warm ocean breeze.

I'm in Heaven. I'm sure Anita wishes for a proper massage table - but she did sit down much of the time on the adjacent lounge. 

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