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Blue Tang was pulled out of the water for some TLC and our good friend Randy gave us his boat, the Emerald, for our two trips today. 3-5 foot seas and a nasty swell and surge at depth. We spent the day diving through whale snot and 20-40 foot of visibility.
On the way back to shore. Captain Brandon yelled, "whaleshark!" I yelled, "yeah right!" But indeed, it was a tiny whaleshark right beside the boat. It was around 10-12 feet long and stayed with the boat for several minutes. Just a baby.
Second trip out of the day we decided to dive Tunnels. Visibility was 20 feet at most with more whale snot and thimble jellies you had to clear out of your way. Saw the usual reef sharks and goliaths. About halfway through the dive a big nurse shark swam right up to me off the bottom. Slightly unnerved, I was wondering if it wanted a piece of me. I tapped it on the head with my reef hook and it swam away. Then I saw Chuck pointing furiously ahead of me. First I saw a sandstorm. Then I saw a big mass of white thrashing. As I got closer, I couldn't believe it was 3 large nurse sharks mating. The were entwined and in a vertical position thrashing around. Things finally settled and the three sharks were mildly wrestling on the bottom. The largest was the female. The male had her entire pectoral fin in his mouth and would not let go. His clasper was inside of her. Another smaller male was holding onto another of her fins. The three continued this for 5-7 minutes and we watched. There is video and some stills from the guests. I'll post when I get them. It was one of the most incredible things I have seen underwater. After they were finished, the large male swam away from her and toward me. I told him, I'm not your type, and he went the other way. We had newly certified divers on the boat...first ocean dives. They did great and I wonder if they realize how special that dive was and how rare to see this behavior.
Are you sure it was a Whale Shark and how do you know they were not just playing with each other, LOL. Actually great dives yesterday and you didn't even mention the 5 Spotted Dolphins and 3 Green Turtles (pretty rare) we also observed.
His clasper was inside of her. Another smaller male was holding onto another of her fins. The three continued this for 5-7 minutes and we watched. There is video and some stills from the guests. I'll post when I get them.