A recent guest of Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa had an amazing once in a lifetime experience while out fishing with local Marlin Queen Fishing Charters off Rarotonga. The keen Australian fisherman and his fellow anglers were in the process of reeling in Tuna when a Whale Shark approached their boat. The 8-10 metre shark then nudged it's head against the outboard motor, only to return to butt the motor again, before disappearing back into the deep.
Our guest managed to get some incredible video footage of the inquisitive creature, who whale experts say was probably just being curious rather than aggressive.
The Cook Island News spoke to Ali Haible, daughter of whale researcher Nan Hauser, who said whale sharks are fairly common in Rarotongan waters and are known for their curiosity. "Humpback whales here wont usually come up to the boat but whale sharks are pretty brave and friendly," she said.
Whale sharks live for between 70 and 100 years and the average adult is 41 feet long and weighs 21 tonnes. Haible said the enormous fish tend to hang out around the FADs (fish aggregation devices) and tuna schools. The exciting day was topped off by one of the fishermen landing an 85kg marlin!