Whale Sharks 2016

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Ralph Capeling

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Each year I report on whale shark sightings during the full moon whale shark seasons in March, April, May and June at Gladden Spit. This year the dates are:
  • March 23rd to April 3rd
  • April 22nd to May 3rd
  • May 21st to June 1st
  • June 20th to July 1st
The best months for whale shark diving are April and May. The encounter success rate is lower in March than in other months so we do not pre-book guests for whale shark diving for the March whale shark moon. We monitor the whale shark zone in March and if whale sharks are there and divers want to go, we will take them. When we did our reconnaissance trip we found lots of mutton snapper but no cuberas, lots of jacks along with black reef tip sharks and bull sharks. We keep in touch with the fishermen who frequent Gladden Spit but no sightings to date.

We do not pre-book guests for June either as while the encounter rate can be very high, June can be windy in Belize – our boats can handle the weather conditions but the boat ride can be rough and getting back onto the boat can be difficult so we may have to cancel or delay trips. That said, we were able to get out almost every day June 2014 and 2015 and saw whale sharks almost every trip.

Regards
Ralph
 

chillyinCanada

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I went on Splash whale shark dives a few years ago in May. I loved it!! Splash is a great dive op too.
 

Downing

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I'll be diving with Splash again in June. Can't wait!

My last dive day will be June 22nd, so there's a chance I might see a Whale Shark. That would be a great way to end the trip.
 
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Ralph Capeling

Ralph Capeling

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We have been our looking for whale sharks for the past two days and no sightings yet. The snapper are there and continue to aggregate. Perhaps any marine biologists who look at this page could advise whether this could be considered snapper foreplay?
Regards
Ralph
 
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Ralph Capeling

Ralph Capeling

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Placencia Belize
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I have been remiss about reporting on the whale shark sightings. We have had sightings each of the past three days and today the encounters were very up close. One guest had to move to get out of the way of a feeding whale shark!

The sightings for the past three days were related to the bait fish rather than the snapper. Usually in April and May we look for the snapper with fish finders and then put the divers in the water above the snapper and then try to stay in a tight group so as to concentrate the divers' bubbles over the snapper expecting the whale sharks to interpret the bubbles as spawn. This year the success stems from watching for the birds that feed on the bait fish as this year the whale sharks seem to be feeding on the bait fish rather than the spawn.

It will be interesting to see what tomorrow and the next few days will bring.

Regards
Ralph
 

chillyinCanada

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Loved my whale shark dives with Splash a couple of years ago in the month of May. Fabulous experience!
 

ScubaJill

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Ralph,

Thanks for the report! I'm currently planning my trip to Belize with days in Placencia to correspond with any potential whale shark dives.
 
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Ralph Capeling

Ralph Capeling

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Hi ScubaJill - make sure you contact us early - those trips fill up fast and as the dives are blue water dives with no visual reference, we have criteria for any divers we take to the whale shark zone.
Regards
Ralph
 

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