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Whale Shark Encounters in Mexico
Tiger Beach tiger shark diving
Great hammerhead shark diving
Great white shark diving
giant manta dive at Isla Socorro
oceanic whitetip shark diving
killer whale orca encounter
Beluga Whale Diving
Dive with Great Whites, Sevengill Sharks, Makos, Blue Sharks, 5 species of Catsharks and Spotted Gully Sharks in False Bay, South Africa.
humpback whale diving
Salmon shark diving in Alaska
sardine run diving
sailfish diving
 
adventure expedition diving schedule
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A BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS TRIP REPORT

 

oceanic whitetip shark diving on Cat Island, Bahamas

 

Oceanic Whitetip Shark Diving Expedition 2012

 

This year's trip to Cat Island was off the hook! Cat Island is the place for oceanic whitetip shark encounters but I had no idea how good it could be!

For this year's trip I chartered one of Stuart Cove's large dive boats. While myself and 8 guests flew in to the island and settled into Hawks Nest Resort, the crew battled strong winds all the way from Grand Bahama to meet us on the island.

Our first day on the water was very windy but underwater nobody cared because we had 12 oceanics swimming around our group in 3000ft of clear blue Bahamian water. That was an experience that I will never forget! Having a few oceanic whitetips swimming around a group of divers is one thing, but having 12 oceanics surrounding 6 or 7 divers is completely different. They were very bold but not particularly aggressive. While the dive boat circled and dropped a small but steady rain of chum to keep the sharks interested, we got busy with our cameras and video and shot the circling sharks from virtually every direction. What a fantastic experience!

 

oceanic whitetip shark diving on Cat Island, Bahamas

 

Although the wind continued to make surface conditions difficult, we were able to dive on all five days and we had oceanics with us every day.

On a couple of days we came into more sheltered water in the late afternoon and explored Cat Islands pristine reefs. Not that many big fish or sharks but the reefs themselves were beautiful:

 

Cat Island Reef DivingCat Island Reef DivingCat Island Reef Diving

 

Usually we went out to extremely deep water but one day we chummed on a shallower bank which still bought in 5 oceanic whitetips but we also had a bunch of silky sharks show up. Although they ran the risk of ending up as lunch for the oceanics they stuck around all day with their much bigger cousins.

 

silky shark diving cat island bahamas

 

On our third day, Film Maker Mark Rackley successfully put one of the oceanics into tonic immobility. This is a response that has been well documented with various reef sharks but I had never seen anyone manage it with an oceanic whitetip. I caught most of it on video but here is a still shot of what it looked like. The fisheye lens makes the shark look kinda small but in reality it was way bigger than Mark. As you can see, he prefers to free dive (we were all on scuba) and the weight of the limp shark started pulling him down:

 

Tonic immobility in oceanic whitetip shark diving on Cat Island, Bahamas

 

To keep things interesting, we organized a little over/under shoot with the nurse sharks in the marina one evening. I've shot over/unders of lemons, tigers, reef sharks, blues and a few other big animals but this was a first. Great fun and definitely something that we'll do again next year!

 

Nurse shark breaching at Cat Island, Bahamas.

 

Nurse shark over/under Cat Island, Bahamas.

 

Between the fantastic oceanic whitetip action, the nurse shark shoot, the silkies, the occasional reef shark that randomly showed up and a fly by of a blue marlin two days in a row, it really was a spectacular trip which was made even better by a really great group. My thanks to everyone (all my guests and Stuart Cove and his crew) for making the trip what it was. Hopefully next year will be even better!

 

BTW, the boat is half full already. Join me if you can: Oceanic Whitetip Shark Expedition 2013

 

oceanic whitetip shark diving on Cat Island, Bahamas

 

 

 

A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS FUNDS

THE PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT

predatorsinperil.org

 

 

 

 

Snorkel with Japanese Giant Salamanders

American crocodile diving

 

 

READ THE LATEST:

Mexican Crocodile Trip Report 2017

 

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.com

 

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:

PredatorsInPeril.org

 

Predators in Peril Project