One of those rare spring mornings with a perfect calm, a sea of burnished silver. Ideal conditions for spotting whale sharks on the surface. We decided to see if we could find one as MT had been complaining that she was the only person left in La Paz who had not filmed or ridden a whale shark.
It was an official rest day, we had just begun depth training and this would have been the 4th consecutive day, something we try not to do. (Nitric oxide depletion and psychological stress). It was the very beginning of training and although the depths were not great 50+mts, multiple descents both CTW and FIM in a session take their toll.
Alina had already done an unofficial Israeli female record in training ,38.5 mts and was on her way to 40+mts.
In shallow water 20 mins after leaving the port we saw in the distance an extraordinary sight. Whales breaching and eye hopping. I quickly identified them as Humpbacks from the acrobatics, but there was something unusual at first it looked like a spout that hung much too long in the air (or like sails ?). There we are, humpbacks had taken up sailing !!
As we got nearer – the answer became apparent they were swimming on their backs and� what we were seeing was the early sunlight flashing of the white underside of their giant pectoral fins .
They were swimming on their backs and rolling together in a beautiful dance, this looked to our untutored eye like a mating behavior but perhaps they were just enjoying the morning.
We followed them for a while but not wanting to push them, broke off the encounter, and shortly thereafter we spotted a large fin not 20mts from the boat and MT had her whale shark.