In 7 years of diving, I’ve missed more whale shark sightings than the average diver — with something like 700 dives completed, I’ve never seen one. I’d stopped believing.

Each season on the Perhentians I’d miss the whale shark, either being on a visa run, taking a morning off, or the boat would be broken - I missed seeing these beautiful creatures time and time again. Now, I believe!

We’d been told that a couple of friendly whale sharks had been seen regularly at one of the dive sites off Tenggol, so we dropped in, and waited.

On Saturday, at 16:30, in the first attempt, a whale shark glides past our boat. On Sunday, at 5 p.m., the 5m whale shark powers by and stays with us 2 minutes and dives deep. 45 minutes later the 5m whale shark returns, then bumps into a 3.5m whale shark covered with Ramorays — the smaller of the pair spends the following 30 minutes with us — rolling around in a diver air bubble bath, maybe enjoying the relief from the constant itching of the ramorays.