Whale Shark Spotted off West Palm Beach
Scuba Schedules: Congratulations on getting some of the best whale shark footage I’ve seen in a while. And in Florida, of all places. You must be absolutely thrilled.
Keith Brock: I really am. News outlets all over the place have been picking it up and I can’t believe the number of views it’s been getting.
Scuba Schedules: So how did this happen?
Keith Brock: It found us! We were drift diving with Pura Vida Divers at a dive site known as “The Trench” just a few hundred yards off the beach in West Palm.
Myself, my wife Brittany and our 13-year-old niece Addie, were at the end of our dive and heading to the surface when I looked off to my right and noticed what looked like a huge cloud. I noticed several cobia around it and so I checked to see where our niece was since I thought the cobia could be with bull sharks and I was afraid she could panic since she’s a fairly new diver. When I looked back, I realized that “the cloud” was actually a massive whale shark!
Keith and Brittany Brock, and their niece Addie Edwards, along with Pura Vida Divers dive guide Craig Buss,
were the last ones in the water when a whale shark graced them with its presence.
Scuba Schedules: Did everyone see it at the same time, or did you have to get their attention?
Keith Brock: I screamed as loud as I could through my regulator (not easy) to get my wife and Addie’s attention, and then the four of us got to spend some time with this incredible, gentle giant.
Scuba Schedules: It looked huge, do you have any idea how big it was?
Keith Brock: Some of the cobia in the video are easily 4 feet in length. Based on that alone, I would say the whale shark is a solid 35 feet or more.
Scuba Schedules: Were you able to keep up? It seemed like it was moving very slowly.
Keith Brock: It seems like it’s moving slowly because it’s so big but it was cruising right along and we only had about a minute with it.
Scuba Schedules: It also seems that part of the video is in slow motion? Perhaps that’s why it seemed to be moving so slowly?
Keith Brock: Yes, the video is in slow motion. I typically keep my Go-Pro recording settings at 1080p @ 120fps.
Scuba Schedules: So was your 13-year old niece afraid? I can’t imagine she’d ever seen anything that large before. And so unexpected.
Keith Brock: Not at all. Her dad is a fishing charter captain in north Florida so she has spent her life on and in the ocean.
Scuba Schedules: Was your camera already running – I mean, were you confident you got the footage?
Keith Brock: No it was actually off! Fumbling to get it going would be an understatement, but yes, I knew I had it because I have a Go-Pro Hero 5 with a built in screen so I could see what I was getting.
Scuba Schedules: Well congrats again. Great job at getting it and great to know they’re in our waters.
Keith Brock: Yes, I have around 250 dives and my wife has close to 200, and although we’ve done some great diving, some of it was in places like Kona, Hawaii, where you almost “expect” to see cool stuff like manta rays. This whale shark encounter was pure, natural and completely unexpected. As scuba divers, we are so lucky to witness the other 70 percent of God’s creation, and I hope this video helps people realize how much incredible stuff there is to see out there!