April 19th, 2004

The Art of Andy Maluche, Whaleshark Mooning at Donsol, Philippines
Last week, Andy was on vacation:

Whaleshark spotting works like this:

You are on a small boat with about five guys on it. Three are steering the boat (which can get really tricky once you are near the shark), one is sitting on top of the mast to look for the fish and another one is the dive guide.

Once your spotter spotted one, they direct the boat towards it and then at the command of the guide you jump into the water right next to the shark. Now, those babies are big, really, really big. They average 25 ft in length and weight about 15 tons. To put this in perspective, that’s the size of a ten wheeler truck and double it’s legal weight. The first time I jumped in the water it was a little murky. Once I had my mask and vision adjusted I was looking at this huge, grey-brown wall with white dots on it right in front of me. I almost jumped back out of the water and up on the boat again in panic. It does get easier though after the third or fourth one and after seven it’s plain routine. It took me about five sharks before I got brave enough to moon them a little.

That’s how that unfortunate incident happened whereas I unintentionally almost killed our diving guide.

When he saw me mooning the shark he laughed so loud that I could hear him underwater from a few feet away. As you all know you are not suppose to laugh very hard when you are eight feet under water. Fortunately we were able to revive him.

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