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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
Dive with Great Whites, Sevengill Sharks, Makos, Blue Sharks, 5 species of Catsharks and Spotted Gully Sharks in False Bay, South Africa.
Whale shark and manta encounter
Basking shark diving
sardine run diving
Beluga Whale Diving
humpback whale diving
sailfish diving
Salmon shark diving in Alaska
 
adventure expedition diving schedule
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SOCORRO ISLAND 2013 TRIP REPORT

 

whitetip reef sharks at Roca Partida.

I am always surprised by how much the same adventure can change from one year to the next. Last year's Socorro Expedition was packed with manta's on virtually every dive. This year (2013) turned out to be all about sharks! Although we had manta encounters on probably half of our dives, the highlight was definitely the quantity and diversity of sharks that showed up to entertain us at every site that we went to. From schools of hammerheads out in the deep blue, to ledges piled high with whitetip reef sharks, to shy Galapagos and silvertip sharks that eventually allowed us to close the gap for some excellent shark portraits and a school of parading silky sharks.

Galapagos sharks

One night we also did a little silky shark wrangling off the swim step of the liveaboard. The silky sharks circled the boat every night as we lay at anchor. As soon as we threw some scraps into the water, they became very excited, rushing towards our cameras as they were lowered off the swim step. I ended up with a few scuffs on my camera's dome port, but the unique images of silky sharks framed against the darkness more than made up for it!

Silky sharks at night

The most spectacular location was definitely Roca Partida; a volcanic monolith that breaks the surface miles from any significant land mass. Roca is only diveable in calm seas because it affords no protection from the relentless Pacific swells but when the weather cooperates it is a spectacle you won't want to miss!

Roca Partida

Not only did we see lots of sharks on every dive at Roca Partida including whitetips, hammers, galapagos sharks and silkies, there was also a school of 30 or so gigantic yellowfin tuna that circled the islet tirelessly darting in and out of the thick schools of smaller fishes.

Yellowfin Tuna

Last year the winds were too strong for us to make it to Roca Partida. I'm very glad that this year we were able to go there and uncover a few of its secrets. The life around the island is organized in layers: above water the rock is inhabited in boobies and gulls. Just below the surface, creole fish form large disorganized schools. Below them, tightly packed bigeye jacks swirl around each other in an ever changing twister of fish. Below the bigeyes, giant trevally wander around in groups of five or ten and below those, galapagos and silky sharks cruise slowly against the current. Deeper still, below a subtle thermocline, scalloped hammerheads form polarized schools except when individuals break formation to approach cleaning stations populated by bright orange triggerfish and clarion angelfish. What lives down at 100m where the monolith touches the sand, is anyone's guess. Perhaps next year I'll bring some extra equipment and find out!

Schooling hammerheads

The rock itself is thriving with life. The pounding Pacific surf has carved deep ledges into the sheer walls of volcanic rock. These are filled with whitetip reef sharks that are too numerous to lay side by side so they rest on top of each other, sometimes ten sharks across and two or three sharks high. The ledges reminded me of private boxes in the upper tiers of a sports stadium or an opera house with the sharks peering out at the show.

Whitetip reef sharks on a ledge

Who knows what next year's Socorro Expedition will deliver. Will it be mantas, sharks, whales or something completely unexpected? Join me in March 2014 and find out! Socorro 2014

Manta Ray at Socorro Island

New and old friends from this year's Socorro trip:

 

 

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

Dive with Nile Crocodiles in Botswana.

 

 

READ THE LATEST:

2017 GREAT HAMMERHEAD 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 National 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