Basking Sharks are HERE!!

Happy Birthday AbbyHappy Crew after Atlantic Diving "Swimming with Basking Sharks"Up Close and Personal....Shark swims right passed Atlantic Diving SnorkellersHuge Dorsal Fin of the Basking Shark seen from" Atlantic Diver"

We  had an unbelievably fantastic day yesterday aboard "Atlantic Diver"..Chris, myself , Cornwall Wildlife Trust friends, and Newquay College Students made up a great crew of would-be Basking Shark Snorkellers and left Newquay harbour full of excitement in anticipation of the amazing journey we were about to embark to swim with the World's second largest Shark..the "Basking Shark"!!!

With no guarantee of a sighting but lots of reports from Newquay harbour's commercial potting fishermen and angling boats who had spotted 8-10 and a further 2 sharks earlier in the day. ( thanks Guys)  Basking Sharks feed on Zoo Plankton...which if you are lucky lifts to the top surface layer of the sea so that the sharks feed at surface and are visible to us as Dorsal, Caudal fins and Snout break ing water surface. The sea was deadly calm and we could see for vast distances in all directions. beautiful Gannets with their brilliant yellow heads sat on the sea surface and dived down to catch fish but after an agonizing one and a half hours searching the crew began to loose hope of seeing a shark...when....a black object surfaced and a mackerel jumped out of the sea....everyone ran in quiet excitement to kit up for the swim ..when...it was a SEAL!!!...now don't get me wrong ..I love seals BUT not just at that particular moment...the search continued but Chris was determined and after a few more agonizing minutes declared to Abby that her birthday wish had come true ...there was a fantastic 3-4m Basking Shark feeding in the sea infront of us...Engines cut and team 2 watched for a while while team 1 threw together their kit in the fastest time ever. All snorkellers were advised of the basking shark code of conduct and the legal protection that these superb creatures thankfully have.

The tail lift was quietly lowered and excited yet apprehensive snorkellers began to enter the sea without splash ahead of this gentle giant..then sit and WAIT..searching through the merk of the plankton...when suddenly a huge dark shadow approaches from the left and there...... an unbelievably beautiful Basker sliding slowly past us concentrating on feeding, its great Caudal Fin lashing from side to side propelling this huge filtering machine through the soup of Plankton..WOW!! Its markings were very distinct and slight damage to its upper side behind its dorsal fin hopefully will help the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Shark trust photo Id it so that we can monitor its journey around the world. All sighting can be sent to http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/NR/exeres/3A054313-937D-4C20-BD9B-EF7176B7676B

or the Shark Trust http://www.sharktrust.org/sd/sd_newsighting1.asp?isedit=1&sid=2099

 The second team had an even more amazing encounter..check out the you tube footage

http://www.facebook.com/atlantic.diving it really doesn't get much better than this. We are so privileged to see these sharks which were hunted to commercial extinction only less than 13 years ago. now with the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 they are protected in uk waters but sadly elsewhere in the world they are still hunted and finned sometimes alive for the shark fin to make "Shark Fin Soup"....We should all think about our impact on these awesome creatures when ordering at restaurants or buying beauty /health products ...Protect these majestic giants and refuse to trade in any way in shark products and consider using marine friendly laundry/cleaning products as we do......"Save our beautiful Sharks!"

 

Caudal and Dorsal Fin visible as Basking Shark feeds at SurfaceBasking Shark approaching Snorkellers on Atlantic Diving "Snorkelling with Basking Shark Trip"