Swimming with Whale Sharks – Ningaloo Reef

Swimming with Whale Sharks just outside of the Ningaloo reef…. an amazing experience to be in the water so close to these graceful creatures of the ocean…. We motored out for a day on the boat “Prime” with Exmouth Diving Centre, all these photos were shot by the professional photographer on board the boat – Jess Hadden (just as well as we don’t have an underwater camera and we could concentrate on snorkelling). The water wasn’t too cold but a wet-suit helped keep warm for multiple snorkels and also gave buoyancy. There are a number of charter boats operating whale shark tours. A spotter plane in the sky directs the skippers to the shark when it is about to surface then the boats head over, taking it in turns to drop their passengers into the water to swim. We had 5 swims with the Whale Sharks, the largest we saw was around 8 metres long… we swam along side for 5-10 minutes until the shark dived down to the deep for 20-30 mins before it returned to the surface. Being sharks they don’t breath air (have gills) but they do skim the water just below the surface with their mouth wide open to scoop up krill. We could get really quite close….within a few metres…. but not too close as they are very large creatures with a powerful caudal (tail) fin.

We also sighted Humpback Whales in the distance coming up for air as they migrate North for breeding.

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