THESE stunning photographs of basking sharks in waters off Contrary Head were taken by Manx Independent reader Ian Judd.
The 43-year-old Spanish teacher, who works at Ramsey Grammar School, was out kayaking on Sunday when he noticed the creatures feeding.
‘It was a sublime Sunday morning with no wind and no boats out when about three-quarters-of-a-mile off Contrary Head I noticed a fin of a basking shark,’ said Mr Judd, who lives in Peel with his wife and baby daughter.
‘Within an hour I was lucky to be in the middle of six sharks which were nonchalantly feeding between a mile and a mile-and-a-half off Contrary Head along with a solitary harbour porpoise whose gasps of air when it surfaced broke the ghostly silence.
‘In addition I was lucky enough to see two medium sized sharks swimming nose to tail and in circles as if displaying a courtship ritual.’
It was a memorable encounter for the keen diver and kayaker, who has a strong interest in marine life and has spent a lot of time diving with great whites to hammerheads worldwide.
‘I have seen many, many basking sharks over the last seven years but I was extremely made up as basking sharks have been few and far between this summer,’ he said.
‘The previous day I had seen a shark breach full out of the water just 30m from me – I have never witnessed this so close and it’s a memory that will always live with me.’
Ian submitted a report on the sighting to www.manxbaskingsharkwatch.com