MEXICAN CROCODILES 2017 TRIP REPORT
Our 2017 Mexican
Crocodile Expedition in a Nutshell: Spectacular!
Great diving and consistent, world class crocodile encounters
all day, everyday.
We nailed it again this year in Mexico.
Before the trip, I was concerned about Hurricane Harvey.
That enormous low pressure system threatened to tear right
through the Yucatan, dashing any hopes we had of reaching
Playing it safe, the Mexican coast guard sent
an evacuation order to the fishermen in Chinchorro so they
all raced back to the mainland. But, on our first scheduled
crocodile day, the weather seemed fine so the port captain
told us we could go over to Chinchorro as long as we
remained ready to run if the weather deteriorated.
Immediately, we eagerly set sail for the deserted fishing
The lack of fishermen for a few days meant
that the crocodiles were extra hungry; they normally eat the
scraps when the fishermen clean their catch. So, as soon as
we arrived the crocs came swimming out of the mangrove to
our little hut on stilts. And they were ready to pose
whenever we jumped in the water for the whole three days
that we were there.
On that first day, the edge of Harvey did
start to look a little menacing but other than a lot of rain
that day, we didn't have any serious issues. The rain kept
the bugs at bay and the overcast skies made for some
interesting moody shots that I haven't been able to get
We split into three groups and rotated every
twenty minutes so that everyone got lots of croc time. By
the time each group of two dried off and had a drink, it was
time to get back in so no one had a chance to get bored.
Plus, it was fun just watching the action from the surface.
Each morning, we went diving on Chinchorro's
pristine reefs. We did this partly because it would be a
crime to miss such lush diving and partly so that our dive
masters could collect lionfish; invasive fishes that cause
havoc to local ecosystems but are considered rather tasty
by humans and crocodiles alike!
After the morning dip, we went back to our
main task of snorkeling with crocodiles. We only had
three at most at the same time, a good thing when you have
to keep your eyes on all of them at once.
Once I had nailed some nice split shots of
crocodiles, I asked each guest in turn to join me in the
water for a souvenir shot that they could remember the trip
by. The crocs sat patiently in position while I photographed
each guest in turn.
Once the sun started to set we retired to the
safety and comfort of the luxurious Chateau Chinchorro! :)
The fishermen's shack may be a little
primitive but the food and company were both excellent!
As usual, I was looking for a new
photographic angle that I hadn't seen before. When the
encounters are consistent, thats great for everyone to get
their shots but it doesn't lead to creativity. Fortunately,
this year our croc wranglers provided me with some awesome
opportunities to photograph the crocs lunging out of the
water. Luckily, I didn't screw up the shoot as you can see
from this dynamic shot of a breaching 8ft long American
After three days it was time to head back to the mainland
but our trip was not over. We always schedule a day of
diving in Xcalak as a contingency against bad weather. So on
our last day, we dove on some lovely reefs with
schooling tarpon and looked long and hard for manatees. We
did find one rather shy manatee and briefly snorkeled with
it between dives. Good fun if only for a few seconds :)
Before we knew it, it was time for a final
group shot and the ride back to Cancun. Personally, I was
sad it had ended but I am looking forward to coming back
next August for another season with the crocodiles. If you'd
like to join us on next year's adventure, follow this link:
Mexican Crocodile Diving 2018
We all came home with epic tails (or tales)
to tell :)