A Travellerspoint blog

A Whale Shark Tale

A fishy Story

Imagine, if you would, a goldfish- all gold and fish like, nonchalantly floating around in his bowl minding his own business. Perhaps he's marveling at the multi-coloured stones at the bottom or attempting to befriend his reflection or perhaps even pondering the likelihood of his bowl being cleaned any time soon to save him from swimmingaround in his own excretions any longer.

Now if you would imagine that this goldfish is actually 23 feet long by 5 feet wide and doesn't snack on the occasional dry flake that is dropped into his bowl but instead eats a ton of goldfish sized krill a day in the iridescent turquoise of the Indian Ocean.

Having come this far please continue to join me along the twists and turn of this cerebral roller coaster and imagine that this fish is in fact not a goldfish at all but is actually a whale shark- You are now imagining the inspiration for this blog -the Whale Shark and more accurately the day Jana and I had a close encounter of the big fish kind.

Several years ago I bungy jumped for the first time. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time and as i climbed up the bungy platform I was 100% confident that it wasn't going to faze me at all. It was only when I was stood with the bungy rope tied around my ankles and was staring into the wide mouth of the abyss that i felt the chords of fear being tugged in the pit of my stomach.

The reason I mention this is the feelings felt that day atop the bungy platform were not too dissimilar to the feelings i felt having fought my way through the forrest of flippers and past the other 10 shark seeking hopefuls who jumped in the water with me and found myself suddenly faced by the 3 feet wide mouth of the largest fish in the ocean.

Now I must apologise for I have got ahead of myself a little, so let me back up.

When Jana and I started planning our world trip we discovered that Western Australia is the only place in the world that you can go swimming with Whale Sharks in their natural environment. So needless to say, we were chomping at the bit to try it for ourselves. When the time finally arrived for us to don our snorkel and fins and we were stood on the back of the dive boat awaiting the signal to jump in alongside this gentle giant of the deep, we knew we were about to embark upon a once in a life time experience.
The emotions felt as I swam frantically in the direction of the Whale Shark were excitement coupled with a slight sense of fear as I found myself staring down the throat of a colossus fish. It had been explained to us that there was no danger of being eaten by these timid creatures as they only feed on tiny fish. However, it quickly became apparent that a human could, in true Jonah style, be swallowed into the whales abyss and just like I knew the bungy chord would keep my safe, you can't help think 'what if...'.


Posted by davekrohne 02:34 Archived in Australia Tagged animal

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