Tuesday, October 10, 2006



I saw something today that many divers wait a lifetime to see. I was about 10 meters deep and a whale shark swam by me very slowly within about 5 meters. It was incredible. I didn't know what it was at the time, but I knew it was huge. It was 5 meters in length.

After my buddy (the diver I was paired with) and I saw it we made our way to the surface (after a 3 minute safety stop at 5 meters). When we surfaced we yelled back to the dive boat and within 30 seconds about 40 divers were jumping from the 1st and 2nd floors of the boat with their masks in hand. Everybody was going crazy and fortunately almost everybody got to see it. It was hanging out near the chumpon pinnacle about 20 km northwest of koh tao. My instructor said it was 5 meters in length and the first he had ever seen. Some people have been diving everyday for more than five years here and haven't seen one. It was truly special.

*the above photograph is not the actual whale shark I saw, rather it is an image I found online. There were several people that had cameras and did get pictures today and I will try to get one from them.

Before the whale shark I swam with many smaller reef sharks. Most were about 1.5 meters in length. I have to say sharks are the most incredible creature I have ever seen. It was incredible and I can't wait to see more in the future. Today was an incredible day of diving with visibility nearly 30 meters.

6 comments:

Alane said...

You must feel like you are living in another universe. Diving takes you to a different dimension and when you surface, the language and culture are new to you as well. Traveling in Japan made me aware of how difficult life must be for those who are illiterate. I hope you get a picture of "your" shark!

Anonymous said...

holy shitballs. it is abundantly clear by your laquacious blogging that you have yet to meet another english speaker.

just kidding. keep it coming!

am on the phone now with aaron, who is uber excited about the upcoming trip and has made it his mission to pack even less than you did.

let the games begin!

safe travels,
miranda

Anonymous said...

Thats really awesome john, I think I can speak for most people reading your blog, that I'm incredibly jealous of you. While Boston's cold autumn, and the piles of homework are very exhillerating(sp?) for me, I don't think they can hold a torch to diving with whale sharks in the warm SE Asian waters. My renewed desire to visit Thailand is becoming even more urgent with each of your posts. -Aaron (buds ranf)

lisa said...

What a fantastic blog, John! Last time I saw a photo of you, you were "flying" on Seely Lake and now you're galavanting around the globe and zipping through other waters amongst the whale sharks. I'm glad Aaron told me about this and I'm looking forward to reading future posts. What's up with the coup? Are you and Aaron planning to take over? Now that will make a kickass blog. Writing from the thin line between east and west...Berlin

nate said...

Meters John? You need to come back here immediately or you run the risk of forgetting how to measure in furlongs.

John Harrington said...

yes, meters.. It is embarrassing being American when it comes to measuring things. Everybody automatically assumes I'm an idiot. I tried to assure everybody that there is not a single American who doesn't prefer the metric system... at least I can't imagine that there is.

A foreigner said to me the other day, "It must be hard being American". They feel so sorry for us.. No health care, a stumbling economy, no metric system, and no friends.

Fortunately most Europeans understand that the majority of Americans do not support the policies of our president. They know we are not all terrorists.

If anything Americans are treated with sympathy, not anger. Many Europeans believe the most dangerous regime on the planet is our president and his cronies.