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DIVING WITH MEXICAN CROCODILES 2018 TRIP REPORT

 

Diving with crocodiles

 

Our 2018 Mexican Crocodile Expedition in a Nutshell: So far, on all of our crocodile snorkelling trips, we have been really lucky with weather and great encounters. This one was another awesome crocodile trip :)

 

American crocodile at the surface

 

There were lots of crocodiles around but Gambit (a rather friendly 11ft croc) stole the show.

 

Diving with crocodiles in Mexico

 

On our last day at the atoll, the crocs were very difficult to lure close to the shack where we snorkel with them but prior to that, the action was very consistent.

At the end of the day when the light was dropping, I took some shots in partial darkness. I think the result is a nice effect.

 

Swimming with crocodiles at night.

 

While at the atoll we enjoyed the usual great reef diving. Chinchorro continues to have healthy reefs due to strict fishing controls that the fishermen themselves have put in place to avoid depleting the reefs.

 

Chinchorro Reef

 

We squeeze in a reef dive each morning before we start wrangling crocodiles. The diving would be worth doing just for fun but we also collect invasive lionfish which keeps the reef healthy and gives us a supply of crocodile food.

Lionfish diving

The nurse sharks around Chinchorro have wised up to the lionfish hunters. They know that when a lionfish is speared, there is a chance they may get a free meal if they move in quickly enough. Mostly, they go hungry but its fun watching them swim along with the dive group.

 

Nurse Shark diving and Diving with crocodiles.

 

We visited the ranger station and photographed the crocs in the lagoon.

 

American crocodile in Chinchorro Lagoon.

 

The enormous resident iguanas are always a favorite photo subject too.

 

Green Iguana

 

This year, as a special treat, the rangers let us handle some baby crocodiles that they had rescued from an exposed nest. When the bulk of the crocs hatch, any stragglers are left for scavengers to eat but these three little runts got lucky. They were only a couple of days old but aready capable of biting anything that came close to their pint-sized jaws.

 

Baby American crocodile.

 

I tried to get shots of as many guests as possible swimming with the crocs.

 

Diving with American crocodiles in Mexico.

 

I also tried to nail a few split frame shots

 

Crocodile split

 

And some shots from the surface.

 

Snorkelling with crocodiles.

 

Of course I have to mention the luxurious Chateau Chinchorro! Our scruffy but quaint fishing hut where we stay while snorkeling with crocodiles :)

 

Chinchorro accommodation.

 

The shack is on stilts at the edge of the atoll, far from any light polution. So, in the evening we had a beautiful view of the Milky Way.

 

Milky Way in Mexico

 

Once back from Chinchorro we spent a night relaxing at our hotel and then enjoyed a day of diving around Xcalak.

On our first dive we ran into a friendly manatee that came back twice during the dive to get better look at us.

 

Diving with manatees in Mexico.

 

We also dove among a huge school of resident tarpon, some of which must have been 1.5m long!

 

Diving with tarpon.

 

Before we knew it we were on our way back to Cancun for the flight home. Another great croc trip successfully concluded.

Join us next August for our 2019 Crocodile Snorkelling Expedition. If you like adventure, this is a trip you'll never forget.
 

2018 Diving with crocodiles group shot.

 

 

A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS FUNDS

THE PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT

predatorsinperil.org

 

 

 

 

American crocodile diving

Snorkel with Japanese Giant Salamanders

 

 

READ THE LATEST:

2018 Japan Shark Safari
Trip Report

 

Andy Murch Trip Leader

Andy Murch

EXPEDITION LEADER

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:

 

pip.org

 

Predators in Peril Project