Shark diving and big animal adventures


big animal and wildlife adventures


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Dive with Great Whites, Sevengill Sharks, Makos, Blue Sharks, 5 species of Catsharks and Spotted Gully Sharks in False Bay, South Africa.
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Basking shark diving


Success!!! We brought two groups to bonnie Scotland this year and each week we were able to locate and swim with basking sharks!!!



Picturesque Tobermory on the Isle of Mull


When we arrived in sunny Tobermory, the news was mixed. The basking sharks were definitely around so we had timed our expedition perfectly but the sharks were much further from shore than expected. Normally you can find them in the Inner Hebrides within 20 miles from Tobermory but this week they were feeding around St Kilda; a beautiful, rugged and extremely remote archipelago 120 miles from our base camp.


A rocky peak in St Kilda

A soaring shark fin shaped pinnacle in the St Kilda group.


Undaunted we waited on Mull for a good weather window and then headed west and camped on Hirta, the largest island in the St Kilda group.


Our basking shark diving boat in Hirta Island

Common Dolphins in the Outer Hebrides

On route to the island we were accompanied by minke whales and playful common dolphins!


Hirta could not have been a more picture perfect Scottish isle to visit. A haldful of weathered buildings hugged the coast below a sweeping green valley studded with traditional stone storage huts abandoned by the ancient Kildans.


A stone hut on Hirta Island, St Kilda


After a fitful night's sleep, we began weaving between the islands until we finally spotted the unmistakable slate grey fins of basking sharks. Minutes later we were in the water among them. The water was surprisingly clear and after a short period of trial and error, we figured out how best to approach them and spend the daylight hours trying our best to keep pace as they loped past.


Diver with a basking shark


Eventually the wind picked up and drove us back to more sheltered waters but our expedition was officially a success!


Week Two

At the beginning of our second week, the wind was a too strong to return to Kilda so we played with the puffins on the sheltered Isle of Lunga. This was my first trip to lunga but now that I know how amazing the bird encounters are, I will make an effort to bring the guests there on each expedition. There are thousands upon thousands of nesting puffins and razorbills that have no fear at all of humans. We were able to sit on the cliffs and watch them hop around us within touching distance. It was a great distraction while we waited for the sharks.


Puffins on the Isle of Lunga

Curious puffins on Lunga


Razorbills on the Isle of Lunga

Razorbills on Lunga


While we were preparing for another long run through the Outer Hebrides, the word came in that basking sharks had been spotted much closer to shore where they are normally encountered. This was great news, but frustrating for me personally as I had an unavoidable scheduling issue and had to miss the boat - argh!!!!

More importantly, my guests got to experience some of the best basking shark encounters of the season.


A basking shark diving in Scotland


Meanwhile in the Deep

As is usual on our basking shark trips, we didn't manage a lot of scuba-diving. But while we were hunting for basking sharks around Coll and Tyree I did try to drop the deep cam now and then (my remote underwater SLR that can be deployed in 425ft of water). On one drop, this Norwegian lobster found the bait and guarded it against all comers. That included a coule of catsharks that I would have liked to watch attacking the bait but even this guy was a nice find :)


Diving in Scotland


The basking shark diving continued right through the end of week two. The encounters we had this year in Scotland I will remember forever. If you missed out on this extraordinary event, we'll be back in Tobermory in July 2016 to see if we can top this year's adventures. So please join us for our 2016 Basking Shark Diving Adventure


A basking shark swimming below a diver in Scotland









American crocodile diving

Snorkel with Japanese Giant Salamanders



2018 Japanese Giant Salamander
Trip Report


Andy Murch Trip Leader

Andy Murch


Andy Murch is a fanatical big animal diver.

He has photographed and dived with more sharks than most people on this planet and he's very good at it.

Andy's images and shark stories have appeared in hundreds of books and magazines around the world from titles as varied as Canadian Geographic, Scuba Diving, FHM, Digital Photography,  and the Journal of Zoology.

Andy is the Creator of the ever expanding Shark and Ray Field Guide on Elasmodiver


When not running big animal expeditions or on photographic assignments, Andy lives and dives on Vancouver Island, Canada


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Predators in Peril

Andy is also the driving force behind the PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT which shines a spotlight on many endangered species of sharks and rays that are largely overlooked by mainstream conservation groups. Predators In Peril is entirely funded by Big Fish Expeditions.


Find out more here:


Predators in Peril Project