Scuba diving in the Maldives was epic because we spent an entire day snorkelling and diving with WHALE SHARKS! I’d never seen them in the wild before this trip and finally managed to see 3 on this trip. Read on to find out what it was like to snorkel and scuba dive with whale sharks in the Maldives, and don’t forget to check out the video I put together of my whale shark encounters.
Where to find whale sharks in the Maldives
One of the highlights of our scuba diving live on board (LOB) was the prospect of seeing whale sharks. We found our whale sharks at Maamigilli Out Reef in the South Ari Atoll. I was there in November when the waters are plankton-rich, whale sharks favourite food which makes sightings more likely, but also lowers the visibility in the water as it becomes less clear.
Spotting whale sharks
An entire afternoon was dedicated to hunting down these whale sharks after our first morning dive. We were one of many boats out on the water, ready with our snorkels and fins as the eagle-eyed dive guides and boatmen squinted at the sea from the roof of the boat, scouring the waters in search of these gentle giants.
Once there’s a shout, all the boats zip over to the spotted whale shark while everyone on board hastily straps on their fins and masks and gets into position, all ready to jump in the water. The minute the boat stops, it’s all JUMP! GOGOGO! and madness ensues as everyone plunges in and swims frantically towards the direction of the whale shark while the people on the boat shout directions.
Whale sharks really amazing creatures. They are HUGE. The first two whale sharks we saw while snorkelling were not very big by whale shark standards, but the last one we saw while scuba diving was at least 8m in length.
Photographing whale sharks
Getting decent footage of the whale sharks was pretty tough because there were a lot of people blocking the shots. You have to be really quick and position yourself well to get a clear shot.
Also, while it seems like the whale sharks are moving really slowly, their sheer size means that the moment you stop finning, you quickly fall back and lose sight of them. You need a wide angle lens to properly capture this giant creature.
The video footage consists of footage from the Sony Action Cam HDR AS-15 that Sony kindly loaned me and my trusty old Canon S90.