Diving in the Raja Ampat area is a priviledge. I can’t remember having witnessed that many schooling/shoaling fish in other areas. Sweetlips, barracudas, snappers, fusiliers, batfish, trevallies, surgeonfish and bigeyes all gather into one fantastic underwater symphony!
I have never experienced winning the lottery. But this encounter with a whaleshark might get really close to the feelings of winning something big! Whalesharks are seldom seen in the narrow bay of Palu. I still remember my conversation with our dive guide Nasrun.
Me : I might go wide-angle on the housereef dive.
Nasrun : Naaw, housereef is only macro. I’ll show you some pygmy seahorses and ghostpipefish. Wide angle is not good on the housereef.
Me : ok, then, let’s do macro.
After roughly 30 minutes diving Nasrun looks at me and points to the sand below us. I didn’t understand. There was nothing to see. Then he lifted his head to the surface above us. So did I…and almost lost my regulator! A whaleshark just swam over our heads following our bubbles. Nasrun was actually pointing at the giant’s shadow in the sand below us.. My first thought was : Dammit, I’m on macro! Then I rembered my GoPro Camera attached to my housing. The gentle giant of about 5-6 meters cruised around us for more than 10 minutes, searching for the bubbles we expelled, a bit faster than usually, I have to admit.
Visibiltiy was not at it’s best, but here are the images of my big win!