We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.
With just the two of us onboard we had to get the routine down. One would steer alongside (about 20m away) a whale shark, the other would be waiting with mask and fins then leap off the side of the boat and start swimming. The sunlight dappling on the light-coloured spots on the dark body had a mesmerizing effect. Or perhaps it was the sheer size! The largest we estimated to be 6-8m (easy comparison since it was over half a boat length). The crescent-shaped tail looked underwater to be over a meter tall. The first time you swim toward one of these beautiful giants your heart seems to skip a beat and you have to consciously remind yourself that they only eat plankton and small fish. Then you have to concentrate on swimming and you realize this fish seems to be travelling fast without actively moving its body. There’s a lot of other small fish and Remora along for the ride. To see this animal in its element was an experience of a lifetime!