Very special sighting

Short story (longer one to follow): I was joined this morning by a fellow powered hang-glider pilot for a sortie from Hout Bay, on the western coast of the Cape Peninsula. Due to my current lack of a PHG, I was flying my PPG while he took to the sky in a Zee PHG trike of South African construction (more on that in a later post). We flew high most of the time to avoid some turbulence from the low-level south-easter, but not too high to notice this in the water near some surfers and kayakers off Long Beach, Noordhoek:

What lies beneath

Closer inspection reveals it to be a small (large = 12m!) Whale Shark – a very rare find in the cold Atlantic.

According to an expert I consulted, it is exceptional to spot a whale shark anywhere on the West Coast, and the specimens that are found are usually dead. One theory is that they drift around in warm eddies of the Mozambique Current and then become “lost” and die when the warm water dissipates. I think they are like my mother, and only dive in warm water.