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Whale Shark Ahead!

Whale Shark Ahead!
Photo Information
Copyright: Margo Cavis (margocavis) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 48] (172)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07
Categories: Fish
Camera: Olympus C-5060WZ
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Underwater World #2, Selen's Favorites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-10-19 12:08
Viewed: 9179
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
While doing marine conservation work on the island of Mahe we came up from a working dive to the boat captain telling us he had spotted Whale Shark fins. After we were all on board we drove around in search of those massive fins piercing the surface. It wasn't long before we spotted one. We all threw our mask,fins, snorkels back on & slipped into the water as fast as possible & took off over towards the last sighting. I headed a little further over, hoping to head it of, when all of a sudden out of the blue where I couldn't see much - this huge open mouth is headed straight for me. I hesitate for a moment, trying to decide if I should swim left or right to try to get out of it's way. Just as I decide to go left, it seems to veer a little in the same direction - that gets me moving a little faster. I got off to the side - snapping a couple photos on the way & was able to swim along with it for a good bit until it dove down & I could no longer see it. We all then got back into the boat .... then shortly after, we saw 2 more fins poke up.... we threw our fins & masks back on & hopped back into the water. At one point after swimming with one, I head back closer to the boat & looked down to see 2 swimming up - I had to do some quick maneuvering in order to not be caught between them - one of the 2 was the really big one that was longer than our dive boat! Our dive group couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the evening. This was so amazing, I almost forgot about the nice big octopus I saw right before that!

The Seychelles is a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) east of Kenya. The number of islands in the archipelago is often given as 115 but the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155.

I stayed on the island of Mahé for most of the summer of 2006, doing marine conservation work. But also stayed on Curieuse for a week & visited Praslin The scenery was beautiful & the diving was incredible!

Leace, manyee, NellyD, SelenE, alfhwa, meyerd, caroze, sranjan, zeca has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Leace Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 0 N: 61] (292)
  • [2007-10-19 13:19]

fascinating story! what an experience that must have been - and to have been able to capture a great picture too.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-10-19 23:57]

Hello Margo,
First of all, a warm welcome to TN. : )
What an amazing adventure you have had with all those whale sharks.
They have always fascinated me with their huge size and peaceful demeanor.
This is an amazing and rare shot of this gigantic shark coming at you,
with all those smaller fish swimming in front.
Looking forward to seeing more of your fascinating images.
Thank you for sharing.

Hi Margo,

That's a very good picture and a really interesting story to read. It's great to see sharks like this here, so thanks for sharing both the picture and story and welcome to TN!

Greetings, Nel

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-10-25 23:19]

Hi Margo,
Whale sharks are amazing creatures. I had a chance to swim with a young one in Galapagos Islands. I approached him from above and held his first dorsal fin, and we swam together for a couple of minutes.
I liked the photo a lot. TFS
Best wishes,


Really like your shot, specially while reading your comments. I can't imagine how amazing was to encounter such creatures swimming very next to you (I can tell you I once met a Tarpon, and was amazed by its size, but nothing compared to the whale shark monstruosity).

Question: what are the other fishes swimming around the whale shark?

Congratulations for the picture and for having such an amazing experience.


  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-01-05 11:09]

Hi Margo,
what an incredible picture you treat us with, Margo. It's not just the Shark, it's all the many pilot fishes that riveted me to the screen. The picture is well composed, the big animal's tail disappears into darkness, this gives a good idea about its tremendous size. Well done, Margo and thanks for sharing.
I wonder why you attributed only 80 kB to the JPG picture when you are allowed by TN to go to 200kB. The contrast could be somewhat improved in PS.
My best regards to you,

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2008-11-06 22:30]

wow! great shot! unbelievable!

very well done.


Thrilling story+pic,love to see and hear more about your adventures! Take care, CarOze

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2009-02-09 6:56]

Hello Margo!
I saw this nice picture in the TN's first page and as a amateur u/w photographer I couldn´t resist to write you some words. The photo is very nice, with lots of remoras helping the composition where we see the entire whale-shark. Very lucky you to dive with such a wonderful animal. Congratulations for this great capture!

Hello Margo,
Excellent rare shot of this handsome whale shark. These incredible creatures were caught close to Gujarat till recently by local fishermen & killed ruthlessly for their blubber & flesh. Thanks to the WWF & campaign, run by the Wildlife Trust of India and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, with support from the Tata Chemicals Ltd and the Gujarat Forest Department has resulted in 56 documented releases of whale sharks on the western Indian Gujarat coast where they migrate in winters from Africa. TFS.
PS: Refer http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/environmental-services/2008070610879.htm

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