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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Whale Sharks at Christmas Island

There were two reasons that drew me to Christmas Island. The first was the supposedly spectacular Scuba diving.

After diving there for a week I can say that I enjoyed the diving, but that it might not be for everyone.

We encountered many beautiful and intact hard coral reefs with quite a few smaller fish. Some of them are endemic to Christmas Island such as the Christmas Eviota, as well as special Hybrid Angelfish and Hybrid Triggerfish.

There is also a resident group of Silky Sharks which can be encountered while Snorkeling and Diving at Smith Point, which I did to a great extent :).

The upcoming Crab Migration also signified the appearance of Whale Sharks at Christmas Island. The Whale Sharks wait for the Crabs to spawn to feed on the planktonoid baby crabs. On two days we were lucky enough to encounter Whale Sharks on our way to the dive site and I was able to snorkel with a Whale Shark three times :).

After we lost sight of the last Whale Shark we spotted something else in the water. Swimming closer we detected that it was a huge Purple Crown Jellyfish!

Christmas Island is mainly composed of a coastline of sheer cliffs, in which a fair number of Caves exist as well. The highlight of these was Thunder Cliff Cave. A Cave where we could swim into at the surface and take a look at the spectacular stalactites and rock formations.

What I expected more to see was wall diving. But most walls around Christmas start at 22 meters, with a gently sloping reef leading down to them, and we were often limited to depths of 25 meters, which meant we were just able to glimpse the start of these interesting walls.

Overall it was a very nice dive experience, although not necessarily the best diving I've done so far.

More pictures can be found in my web album.

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  • Great photos. Diving with a Whale Shark should be on everyone's bucket list. Regards. Steve & Dee, NSW, Australia.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 PM  

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