YEAR FOR BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS!
When I last had time to write a newsletter I had just
returned from an action packed trip to Tiger Beach. Since then,
we have enjoyed so many incredible encounters that it is
going to be tricky cramming them all into a few short paragraphs
with enough space left to tell you about our brand new Big Fish
Expeditions. But here goes:
AMAZING SHARK ACTION IN FALSE BAY
first stop on our back-to-back summer schedule was our
annual South African Shark Safari. This year was our best
yet: not only did we see spectacular aerial displays by
multiple great white sharks at Seal Island, we also had intense
activity around the cages, immersed ourselves in a kelp
forest overrun with sevengill sharks and all manner of cat
sharks and spent a day with 25+ blue sharks and four makos.
Check out some of the pictures in the full trip report here:
False Bay Shark Safari 2014 Trip Report
BAIT BALL MAYHEM ON THE
After the False Bay Shark Safari, we drove east with some of our guests that
wanted to experience more of South Africa. It was our first year
on the Wild Coast and after this year's trip I can't wait to get back there.
Between exploratory dives on the reefs, chumming sessions
attended by beefy bronze whaler sharks, snorkeling sessions with
humpbacks and better bait ball action that I could ever have
anticipated, we definitely nailed it! Follow this link to
all the action:
Sardine Run 2014 Trip Report
BASKING SHARK BUST
will always tell it like it is. We got completely skunked on
our Scottish Basking Shark Expedition this summer. Next year
we going a month later when the baskers should be there in
force. Basking sharks are always tricky to find but we have
the right boat, the right crew, the right attitude and the
right intel to find these elusive giants in 2015. Our guests
seem to think so too as we only have
one spot left!
SALMON SHARK SUCCESS!!!
This was a trip that I thought might be difficult but as
soon as we arrived at the lodge we saw salmon sharks
breaking the surface! Follow this link to read what an
amazing adventure it turned out to be, with salmon sharks,
salmon, great reef diving and spectacular topside vistas:
Salmon Sharks 2014 Trip
WHALE SHARK WONDERLAND
July is always a month for big animal encounters in North
America. After just 4 hours back in Canada after our salmon
shark trips, I jumped straight back on a plane to fly to
Mexico for our annual Whale Shark Expedition. From there I
went immediately onto yet another trip so I didn't have time
to write a 2014 Whale Shark Trip Report but as I have come
to expect from Isla Mujeres, the whale sharks showed up in
force and did not disappoint any of our guests!
For two weeks we
had whale sharks every single day. There were also a few
mantas here and there, schooling mobula rays and schooling
cownose rays. Isla Mujeres is the undisputed Whale Shark
Capital of the World! Join us in 2015 for what I am sure
will be another great season:
WORLD CLASS BELUGA WHALE ACTION!
our whale shark guests departed for home, I boarded a plane
bound for Churchill, Canada.
Better known as the 'Polar Bear Capital of the World',
Churchill also has the world's most accessible population of
wild beluga whales. We spent one epic week bobbing around in
Hudson Bay with curious and exceedingly playful white
whales. True to its word, Churchill also delivered great
topside polar bear encounters and we enjoyed surreal
excursions into the tundra in search of other arctic
wildlife. I can't wait to get back there next year for more
time interacting with the 'canaries of the sea'. Read about
our fantastic beluga adventure here:
Beluga Whale and Polar Bear 2014 Trip Report
INTENSE MEXICAN CROCODILE ACTION!
After belugas I flew straight back to Mexico to lead two
back-to-back crocodile expeditions to Chinchorro Atoll. Crocs
are amazing players; as fearless as they are
ferocious, we were able to snorkel right up to them for some
amazing encounters. Plus, we got to see manatees on both
trips. Read all about it:
Mexican Crocodile 2014 Trip Report
BLUES, MAKOS AND LEOPARD SHARKS.
the end of the summer we tried our luck down in California
with the blues and makos. Although we got a mako fly-by and
spent some quality time with a boisterous blue shark, it was
unseasonably warm when we arrived so the action was not
what we had hoped. Fortunately, after the trip, most of our
guests were able to join us in San Diego for some fantastic
encounters with inshore sharks. As it wasn't part of the
trip I didn't write a report about it but if you want to see
more images please follow us on Facebook. Everyday we try to
upload an image or two from our latest adventures:
THRESHER SHARKS ON DEMAND!
After some much needed down time, we headed to magical Malapascua Island in the
Philippines. Monad Shoal (a 15 minute boat ride from tiny Malapascua) is the best location in the world to dive with
six mornings we dove the shoal hoping to see pelagic
threshers and six mornings in a row the threshers showed up
well as threshers, we also found coral catsharks, banded
bamboo sharks and all manner of otherworldly macro critters.
I can't wait to repeat this trip
Check out some of the images from this year's fantastically
Thresher Sharks 2014 Trip Report
NEW TRIPS ON THE
BIG FISH CALENDAR!
NILE CROCODILE EXPEDITION
the end of the summer I finally had a chance to catch my
breath and plan some new adventures. After two great weeks
with American Crocodiles, a Nile Crocodile
Expedition to Botswana was the only way to one-up that
Nile crocs are not a species to be treated casually. Diving
with them in relative safety requires a great deal of skill
and expertise. Consequently, we have partnered with South
African Big Animal Expert Walter Bernardis who has more time
in the water with Nile Crocs that almost anyone alive.
We are taking a very small group of skilled divers that have
racked up plenty of bottom time around big animals. Our
first trip filled almost immediately so please keep an eye
Nile Crocodile Expedition page for
BLUES, MAKOS AND MOBULAS OF THE AZORES
also wanted to add a new location for blues and makos. In
the past we have run trips to Rhode Island and California.
Both of those locations are great for shark action but why
repeat the same trips when there are even more interesting
places to chase these species!
we are heading to the Azores - a remote (but easy to get to)
group of islands in middle of the North Atlantic that belong
the Azores? Firstly, the Azorean island of Pico has a very
healthy population of blue and mako sharks. Secondly, the
Azores also provides access to world famous Princess Alice
Banks - a deep reef far from shore inhabited by huge Pelagic
Mobula Rays. Unlike smaller mobulas that bolt at the sight
of divers, this species is extremely friendly and curious,
allowing divers to swim next to them within touching
distance. I have been looking forward to running a trip to
Princess Alice Banks for many years. Join me there in 2016
on our first one:
Azores Shark Adventure.
THE 2015 LINE UP:
The first half of 2015 is
completely sold out but we have a few spots left if you are
looking for a world class big animal encounter later in the
spots left in on our
False Bay Shark Safari
in June: Ten species of sharks in 5 days
of diving plus a full day game drive to shoot the
great whites, lumbering sevengill sharks, a good
variety of catsharks and blues and makos. You can't
beat this trip!
us for the greatest shoal on earth. We have 4 spots
left on our excellent
East London/Port Saint John
Sardine Run Trip. Between bait
balls, we will also be chumming up bronze whaler
sharks and other Wild Coast sharks that are
attracted to our slick. Last year's expedition was
spot only on our
Scottish Basking Shark
Expedition. If you want to dive
with the second largest shark in the sea. Join us in
the Inner Hebrides next July!
with the largest aggregation of whale sharks on
planet earth in the warm, blue waters of the Mexican
You may also see
mantas, schooling mobula rays, cownose rays and even
the occasional sailfish. You will definitely see
whale sharks! 5 spots left for next July:
Whale Sharks of Isla Mujeres
us on our second year of beluga whales. On our first
trip we had exceptional encounters with both belugas
and polar bears. Next year will be a trip to
Beluga Whales of Churchill.
5 spots left!
spots left on our
Mexican Crocodile Expedition. This
encounter is an amazing opportunity to get up close
to American crocodiles in the wild. If you are
looking for the ultimate in dramatic images, join
our newest trip leader Pro Shooter Terry Steeley in
Mexico next August.
is your chance to enter the water with enormous
Great White Sharks. Join me next
September for a very close encounter that you will
never forget! We leave for Guadalupe Island from
Ensenada - just a few hours south of San Diego. 5
to popular demand, we have added a second week to
Midriff Islands Big Animal Safari.
Expect great reef diving in the Sea of Cortez plus
encounters with pilot whales, baleen whales, whale
sharks, humboldt squid, Mexican horn sharks and much more!
us next December in the
Capital of the World! Plus
experience world class macro diving. Six days of
threshers, bamboo sharks, octos and macro mayhem.
Don't miss this awesome trip!
Overwhelmed? Me too, but life
is too short to procrastinate. Join us in 2015 for a big
animal adventure you will never forget!
See you down there.
Andy Murch is a professional big animal photographer
and the founder of
READ MORE BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS BLOG POSTS:
A Big Year for Big Fish
More Wildly Successful Big Animal Expeditions
Extreme Shark and Whale
Unexpected Big Animal
African Sharks and Canadian Belugas
Crocodiles are the New
Diving with Swords and
Nothing But Shark Diving
All Year Long!