MORE WILDLY SUCCESSFUL BIG ANIMAL EXPEDITIONS!
'Wildly Successful' pretty much sums up this year so far. Our 2014
expeditions have been wildly successful! As I mentioned in
my last update, we found the
Killer Whales we were looking for in
Norway, we had two amazing
weeks in the Bahamas and we swam with hunting
Sailfish and False Killer
Whales in Mexico. Since then. we've added two more great
expeditions to our list of successes. Read on to find out more:
SOCORRO & ROCA PARTIDA
We enjoyed a great
week of world class encounters at Socorro Island and Roca Partida
aboard the MV Southern Sport.
Not only did we
see Giant mantas, Galapagos sharks, scalloped hammerheads,
silvertips and whitetips in abundance, this year we had an
(out of season) whale shark circling Roca Partida to the
delight of everyone on the liveaboard. All the action and
some great images can be seen here:
Socorro and Roca Partida
INSANE TIGER SHARK ACTION AT TIGER BEACH
This was our best
year ever for tiger sharks at that infamous sand bank in the
northern Bahamas that has come to be known as Tiger Beach.
There were so many sharks that it was impossible to keep
track of them all but at one point I counted at least 5
tiger sharks, a handful of nurse sharks, more than a dozen
lemon sharks and countless Caribbean reef sharks. If you
want to see the images of that crazy adventure, please
follow this link:
Tiger Beach 2014 Trip
PERIL BAJA 2014
After Tiger Beach
we headed down to California and San Felipe in Northern Baja, Mexico.
This was partly a scouting trip for California shark species
and partly an opportunity for me to take more shark fishing
pictures for the Predators in Peril Project.
While in Long
Beach, California, I went out chasing makos with expert
shark tagger Keith Poe and Captain Chris Wade who will be
our host for our California mako shark trip this September.
The water was amazingly clear compared to other places where
you can sometimes see makos and we saw at least ten
different shortfin mako sharks in a single day. It was great
trip and I'm looking forward to coming back for our
Big Fish Expeditions
California Mako Shark Adventure. Join us in Long
Beach this September!
we continued into Baja. Mexican shark fishermen head out of sleepy San
Felipe to gill net for a number of different food fish.
Unfortunately they inadvertently pull up a number of
different sharks that they
collectively refer to as Cazon or Tollos. The bycatch
generally includes a
number of smoothhound shark species plus Pacific sharpnose
sharks, mall blacktips, juvenile hammerheads and tope (soupfin) sharks.
Some of these
species are heavily fished and are in danger of depletion in
parts of their range. Our intention was to find out what
species they were catching and at what times of year. There
is virtually no accessible catch data available so a field
trip was the only way to gather this kind of information.
As I have come to
expect, the fishermen were cautious but approachable and I
managed to talk my way onto one of the fishing boats to get
a broader understanding of their efforts. While I was
onboard I saw a number of grey smoothhound sharks come up in
the nets. Sadly only one was still swimming and after a
quick negotiation with the Captain I returned it to the
ocean and took a few images as it swam off into the jade
green waters of the northern gulf.
We left San Felipe
with the intel and contacts we needed to plan a second trip
that will hopefully result in some images of new species and
the release of far more sharks.
A BUSY SUMMER
May will be a busy
month at Big Fish Expeditions HQ on Vancouver Island because
at the beginning of June we launch into an insane summer
season of back to back shark trips. Here is the run down if
you are looking for a great adventure:
FALSE BAY SHARK SAFARI
June 1-8. 1 SPOT
Whites, Sevengill Sharks, Catsharks and Blues and Makos!
THE SOUTH AFRICAN
June 8-18 4 SPOTS AVAILABLE
action with Bronze Whalers, Blacktips, dolphins, feeding
Brydes Whales and diving birds.
SHARKS June 22-28 SOLD OUT
basking sharks around the Isle of Mull, Scotland.
ALASKAN SALMON SHARKS July 6-12. 1 SPOT LEFT,
July 12-18 2 SPOTS LEFT.
Bear watching, Salmon dives and exploratory reef diving
in pristine Alaska.
MEXICAN WHALE SHARKS July 20-25 5 SPOTS
AVAILABLE. July 25-30 SOLD OUT
aggregation of Whale Sharks on Planet Earth.
WHALES August 3-9 2 SPOTS AVAILABLE
with thousands of friendly Beluga Whales in Hudson Bay.
MEXICAN CROCODILES August 17-23, 24-30. SOLD
with American Crocodile at Chinchorro Banks, Mexico.
CALIFORNIA MAKOS AND BLUES
August 31 -
September 4. 6 SPOTS AVAILABLE
Sharks, Angel Sharks, Horn Sharks and More.
THRESHER SHARKS OF MALAPSCUA
As soon as the
exhaustion has worn off from our summer expeditions, it'll
be time to head to marvelous Malapascua Island in the
Philippines. Monad Shoal (a 10min boat ride from tiny
Malapascua) is the best location in the world to dive with
you can also find whitespotted bamboo sharks, banded bamboo
sharks, coral catsharks and all manner of crazy macro
critters like pygmy seahorses, blue ringed octopuses, mating
mandarinfish and reefs ablaze with beautiful orange soft
As I write this, we
have four spot left on the expedition. Join us there!
Thresher Shark Expedition.
LOOKING FAR, FAR AHEAD...
In 2015 we'll be back at many of these great locations,
starting with another chance to
swim with orcas in
Norway, cavort with
Melonheaded Whales in
French Polynesia and enjoy two back to back
Great Hammerhead trips
in the Bahamas. All of these are either full or
almost full so please email us if you'd like to snag one of
the last spots.
There are opportunities to enjoy world class big animal
dives with us throughout the year as we now have 20
expeditions on the schedule and more in the planning stages!
To see what you can join and when, please visit our schedule
BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS
INTRODUCING THE HUMPBACK WHALES OF THE SILVER
I am very excited
to announce that in March 2016 we'll be spending a week
swimming with humpback whales and their playful calves at
the world famous Silver Banks in the Dominican Republic.
News of the trip
has already got out so if you would like to enjoy a world
class adventure in the company of whales, please let us know
as soon as possible:
That's it from me.
Time to break out my drysuit and enjoy some great Vancouver
Island kelp forest diving while the visibility is still
See you down there,
Andy Murch is a professional big animal photographer
and the founder of
READ MORE BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS BLOG POSTS:
Extreme Shark and Whale
Unexpected Big Animal
Diving with Africa's
Sharks and Canada's Belugas
Are Crocodiles the new
Diving with Swords and
Nothing But Shark Diving
All Year Long!