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Whale Shark Encounters in Mexico
Tiger Beach tiger shark diving
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giant manta dive at Isla Socorro
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Dive with Great Whites, Sevengill Sharks, Makos, Blue Sharks, 5 species of Catsharks and Spotted Gully Sharks in False Bay, South Africa.
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Salmon shark diving in Alaska
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SOCORRO ISLAND 2015 TRIP REPORT

After four years in Socorro, I have learned two things: firstly, every trip delivers completely different encounters. And secondly, although it always feels like it couldn't possibly get any better than last time, it frequently does!

This year, the humpback whales stole the show. There were humpies everywhere we went. In fact, it was rare to look around from the deck of the liveaboard and not be able to spot a whale or two swimming by or breaching or tail slapping. More importantly, we were lucky enough to have multiple underwater encounters.

 

Humpback mom and calf at socorro island

 

A couple of times, our divers saw humpies randomly swimming past the dive sites that we were exploring, twice mothers brought their calves over to see our divers on their safety stops, and on a number of occasions we managed to slip in on snorkel to capture images of families of humpbacks on the move. Each encounter was an unforgettable experience!

 

Diver with Humpback mom and calf at socorro island

 

This year's trip started as usual with a quick dive at the Canyon on San Benedicto with a small group of scalloped hammerheads and a brief encounter with a tiger shark. That night we sailed onward to Roca Partida; usually the highlight of any trip to the Revillagigedo Archipelago because of all the sharks that hunt there. This year the action at the rock was relatively slow but the resident whitetip sharks were still tightly packed on their volcanic ledges, Galapagos sharks, silkies and giant tunas still made random appearances and we saw huge schools of fish and some sizable schools of scalloped hammerheads off in the blue. We also had our first in-water humpy encounter there, but still we decided to move on after one day at Roca to see what Socorro Island had on offer.

 

Roca Partida

 

Roca Partida Whiite Tip SHarks

 

Socorro was where we had our best humpback encounters including a snorkel with two adult whales escorting a very small calf along with two bottlenose dolphins riding the pressure waves in front of the adult whales. We also enjoyed some great reef diving at Punta Tosca and Rock Oneil. The latter was a new site for me with great topography, racing currents and our first giant mantas of the trip.

 

 

Although there was much more we could have explored around Socorro, we ran overnight back to San Benedicto to rendezvous with another liveaboard because we had a broken compressor - normally a showstopper on a liveaboard but fortunately we were able to fill tanks with the help of 3 other boats so we barely lost any dives during the week. Moving to San Benedicto was a very good decision because  'The Boiler' (a world famous site for manta action) was on fire this year!

 

Manta Ray Diving

 

Manta Ray Diving

 

Manta Ray Diving

 

We had huge pods of dolphins, we had 11 different mantas at the same time, we had amazing visibility and we even saw a few hammerheads. For three days we conducted dive after dive inside a huge cloud of megafauna. We also managed to do a couple more dives at the Canyon (including one dive that was very sharky) but the boiler was just too good to leave alone for very long.

 

 

 

Way too soon it was all over. Will next year be even better than this year? I cannot imagine that would be possible (again) but I'm looking forward to coming back to find out!

 

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO JOIN US IN SOCORRO IN 2016

 

 

Group photo of our Socorro Guests on the bow of the Sea Escape

16 Happy Guests from this year's Socorro Manta and Humpback Adventure.

 

 

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