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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Butanding Spotting

I've learned from Paolo yesterday afternoon that there are four Butandings or whale sharks feeding at Calayo cove. We immediately drove there to see them. But the we failed to see any Butandings. The locals said that we should have come early morning to mid-afternoon because this is when they usually see the gentle giants breaching.

So this morning we took another shot. We prepared for the experience, we were early, we hired a boat and camped at a nearby beach where these creatures were usually sighted. We even grilled some freshly caught fish and squid for lunch. But after a whole day of waiting and a sunburned back (I ran out of suncreen) there were no sign of the Butandings. sad.gif We even mistook a school (is this the right term?) of manta rays for the Butandings. Paolo's team are lucky because they were diving nearby and saw them up close.

Paolo informed us that the smallest Butanding is the only one left feeding in the area. He said that the locals try to ride on the back of Butandings. They probably scared these creatures away. dry.gif Also they say one was sighted wounded maybe due to a boat propeller. sad.gif Poor creature. A local told us that the krill (alamang) that these creatures feed on is depleted. Paolo even divulged to us that Henry Sy, yep the SM tycoon, is willing to spend a lot of money to import live krill to feed on these Butandings so they won't leave the area and still there when his Hamilo Coast opens. Anyway, I hope it's the latter why these creatures fled the area. I'm hoping to see them next year or maybe sooner when they are again on feeding season. Maybe by that time I'll get the experience of seeing them up close. happy.gif

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