As an avid diver snorkelling is not always as much fun, but I always enjoy looking at all the underwater life. And there is more chance of seeing sharks at Surin snorkelling than diving.
As the Blacktip reefsharks are really shallow where divers normally do not come and they are scared of sounds so they tend to swim away before a diver can see them.
This day was there for a good day as I sighted 2 blacktip sharks on the 1st snorkel session.
In total we run 3 snorkel sessions on our Surin Day Trip. The last one should finish around 3pm.
This time I decided to go snorkelling on a different location then where the divers were going.
Just a few minutes before 3pm I started to call back the snorkelers and start heading for the diveboat.
the trip to the boat took a bit longer than expected and we arrived 5min later than we agreed, which turned out to be a good thing
another snorkeltour from GreenView was still snorkelling on Hin Pae on the moment we met up with the diveboat and all the snorkelers started to shoot “WHALESHARK!!!”
so I jump in to verify what they said
and YES!!! A WHALESHARK!!!!
I started to race back to get my camera and got all our customers to jump in the water and check it out.
we spend a lovely 15-30min swim with this beautiful creature.
it was a young animal of around 3m long
having had 5-10min swimming alone with this magnificient animal made my season until now already awesome
For Surin it is a quite rare sighting as the normal sightings of Whalesharks normally are made at Richelieu Rock
I took a lot of images and made a video and entered this data, with the Blue Guru Course Director, on the different projects website that we support as Sharkguardians eShark, SharkTrust and Ecocean
all these organisations keep track of sightings and keep photo libraries to recognize the whalesharks to record sightings, swimming routes, number of sightings, etc.
Let’s hope it is a good omen for the start of the really season for whalesharks and manta ray sightings around Richelieu Rock and Surin, and of course the rest of the Andaman ocean in Thailand
The whale shark inhabits all tropical and warm-temperate seas.
As a filter feeder it has a capacious mouth which can be up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide and contains 10 filter pads and between 300 and 350 rows of tiny teeth. It has five large pairs of gills. Two small eyes are located towards the front of the shark's wide, flat head. The body is mostly grey with a white belly; three prominent ridges run along each side of the animal and the skin is marked with a checkerboard of pale yellow spots and stripes. These spots are unique to each individual and are useful for counting populations. Its skin can be up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) thick. The shark has a pair each of dorsal fins and pectoral fins. Juveniles' tails have a larger upper than lower fin while the adult tail becomes semi-lunate (crescent-shaped). Spiracles are just behind the eyes.
The whale shark is a filter feeder – one of only three known filter feeding shark species (along with the basking shark and the megamouth shark). It feeds on macro-algae, plankton, krill, Christmas Island red crab larvae  and small nektonic life such as small squid or vertebrates. It also feeds on small fish and the clouds of eggs and sperm during mass spawning of fish shoals. The many rows of vestigial teeth play no role in feeding.
the whale shark does not pose significant danger to humans. Although massive, whale sharks are docile fish