Another early rise, we meet at the equipment room as usual at 5:45am ready for our bi-weekly Sail Rock trip. Everyone was in high spirits albeit still being a little bit sleepy. We get our things together, do a roll call and we are on our way. It’s a 1hr 30 minute journey to get there, but our boat is one of the best on the island for comfort, so we enjoyed a light breakfast of fruit and toast whilst cruising the Gulf of Thailand in the glorious morning sunshine. After breakfast everyone starts coming to life and the boat is a busy little hive of open water fun divers, divers finishing their advanced course and local professionals on a day out getting ready for the first dive of the day at Sail Rock.
We had heard there were whale sharks in the area, but you never know with nature. I always look at it this way: look at the size of a whale shark, then look at how far you can see under water, then look at the size of the ocean and this gives you an indication of the chances you have of seeing one of these magnificent beasts. The biggest fish in the ocean of course. Anyway, we were keeping our fingers crossed with mild anticipation.
About half an hour from our destination we get some radio communication from a boat captain already on the dive site with confirmation that there is a whale shark circling Sail Rock. I let everyone know that today is their best chance. The volume on the boat rises considerably with excited mutterings.
Not long after we arrive at our destination. No need to tell anyone to get ready, they are already in their equipment ready to jump. Sure enough about 20m from our boat we spot a grey fin penetrating the surface. Dive one was sure to be an experience not to forget.
With everyone in the water we descended into the blue, not far mind, just about 4m. This whale shark wanted to stay on the surface. It seemed to enjoy the attention because it stayed with us throughout the dive gently cruising back and forth with its entourage of Cobia and Remora fish. What a majestic animal.
Back on board (well just to get our dive equipment off so we could safely off gas our nitrogen levels and join our friend in the water with our fins and snorkels), we enjoyed an active surface interval. Then we got ready for dive two. There was some disappointment when we thought the whale shark had left the area so we descended on dive two a little deflated (pardon the pun), but it turns out it was just taking a break from its many admirers because around 10 minutes into the dive at around 24m like a cruising bomber the biggest fish in the ocean swooped over our heads.
It would have been a great dive anyway because Sail Rock never disappoints even the most seasoned divers. Huge schools of Barracuda, Spotted Snapper, Giant Grouper to name but a few, but the fact that we were graced by the presence of this gigantic beauty it made it a once in a lifetime experience and that was not all. As if to say goodbye, just as we were ascending to our safety stop, one more sighting literally just above our heads.
Join us for Koh Tao’s best dive site at Sail Rock trip with Mojo Divers and don’t miss your chance to dive with the majestic whale shark. Leaving every Wednesday and Saturday just ask our friendly team for more details or check out the website page.