Archive for the ‘crocodile diving’ Tag

PREDATOR HEAVEN   1 comment

 A KILLER START TO 2014!

Our first Norwegian Orca Expedition was a resounding success! We spent the first half of the trip scuba diving in the fiords while a storm raged offshore but as soon as the wind dropped we headed out to sea and found multiple pods of killer whales feeding on huge balls of herring. It was an experience I will never forget! Follow this link to the 2014 Killer Whale Expedition Trip Report

 

HAMMERED IN BIMINI

Great hammerheads on a dive

As soon as we made landfall in Kristiansund at the end of the Killer Whale Expedition, I flew straight to the Bahamas to meet our first group of hammerhead shark divers. For two glorious weeks we dove with Great Hammerheads, Bull Sharks, Nurse Sharks and even snuck in a reef dive with Caribbean Reef Sharks and Blacknose Sharks. The hammer action was world class. With thousands of great hammerhead images to choose from and some amazing videos submitted our guests, this trip report will definitely make you drool! Plus, you have to see what showed up on the Big Fish Deep Cam at 800ft!2014 Great Hammerhead Expedition Trip Report

 

ALLIGATOR SNAPS

On the way home from the Bahamas we stopped in South Florida for a couple of days to decompress. What better way to do that, than to spend some time playing in the swamp with alligators 🙂 It was also a great warm up for our American Crocodile Expedition in Chinchorro Mexico later this summer

 

SAILFISH SURPRISE!

After only three days back in Canada I was back on a plane for our Sailfish Expedition in Cancun, Mexico. After a slow start, the sailfish finally showed themselves and we spent many hours finning manically after sardine bait balls being decimated by sailfish.

A large group of hunting sailfish

It was great to see so many healthy predators hunting in the wild but on our last day we also encountered a large aggregation of feeding mantas and mobulas and then a completely unexpected super pod of False Killer Whales appeared. It doesn’t get much better than that! Read the trip report here: 2014 Sailfish Expedition Trip Report.

Swimming with false killer whales

 

 

INTRODUCING THE MIDRIFF ISLANDS – A GREAT NEW EVENT ON THE BIG FISH SCHEDULE!

In September 2015, join us aboard the Rocio Del Mar for a week long expedition to the Midriff Islands in the northern Sea of Cortez. The Midriffs are a seldom visited group of islands with dramatic reefscapes, numerous whale species and schooling humboldt squid. Get ready for adventure!

Not only is this a world class destination, it is also affordable and extremely easy for North Americans to get to: Whale and Humboldt Squid Adventure

Humboldt Squid Diving

 

LAST MINUTE SUMMER OPENINGS:

 

SOCORRO

If you’re reeeeeally quick, we have one cancellation on our yearly Socorro Trip. The boat leaves Cabo San Lucas on March 19th… Socorro Manta Adventure

 

THE SARDINE RUN

We have a few spots left if you’d like to join us in South Africa this June. The yearly Sardine Run is one of the most spectacular events in the sea. If you haven’t done this epic adventure. Join us! Sardine Run and Wild Coast Shark Safari.

Blacktips hunting on the sardine run

 

SALMON SHARKS

Just a couple of spots open on our Salmon Shark Adventure in Prince William Sound, Alaska. As well as chasing salmon sharks, we’ll be diving Alaska’s pristine reefs and bear watching along the shores of Fidalgo Inlet. Join us for an adventure on a grand scale! Salmon Shark Adventure

Salmon Shark Diving

 

ISLA MUJERES GREAT WHALE SHARK ADVENTURE

Nowhere in the world can you see this many enormous whale sharks in one place. So if you have time in the summer, don’t miss this epic event: The Great Whale Shark Fiesta

 

BELUGAS IN CANADA

Just four spots open on our Beluga Whale Expedition. Plunge into Hudson Bay among thousands of friendly Beluga Whales: Beluga Whale Expedition

 

MAKO MADNESS

Join us in September aboard the Sea Watch and dive with mako and blue sharks in the crystal clear waters of Southern California. Then drift along a reef with angel sharks and other Pacific shark species:Mako Shark Adventure

 

SWIM WITH THRESHER SHARKS

Then in November join us on beautiful Malapascua Island in the Philippines to dive with Pelagic Thresher Sharks. Malapascua is a real tropical paradise and the diving (both big animal and macro) is extraordinary. Don’t miss this amazing trip: Thresher Shark Diving Malapascua.

thresher shark diving

 

NO MORE BULL SHARKS

To be candid, we had a Bull Shark Expedition scheduled for November but there were so many bulls on our Bimini Hammerhead Trip that we feel a dedicated bull shark trip would be redundant. So, if you want to see bull sharks up close and personal, join us in Bimini next February!

diving with a bull shark

 

I guess that’s enough temptation for now. If like me you live in the northern hemisphere, enjoy the spring and get ready for a long hot summer. If you live down south and its starting feel kinda cold in your neck of the woods, maybe you should fly up here and join one of our action-packed big animal adventures.

 

Never hang up your fins,

Andy

 

 

Andy Murch is a professional big animal photographer and the founder of Big Fish Expeditions.

CROCS ARE THE NEW SHARKS   Leave a comment

ARE CROCS THE NEW SHARKS?

diving with american crocodiles

It was inevitable that sooner or later I would start running crocodile trips. Collectively, crocs, alligators, caimans and gharials have that same primal allure as sharks, and what they lack in sleekness they make up for in sheer prehistoric gnarliness!

Our first crocodilian trip will be next August to Chinchorro, Quintana Roo, Mexico to encounter American Crocodiles. Chinchorro is part of a marine biosphere. Consequently, it is one of the few places in North America where there is still a relatively abundant population of crocs. Because the islands are 20 miles off shore, there is no river run off so the water in the lagoon where the crocodiles live is clear enough for in-water encounters. And, its not just going to be crocs. The expedition includes a mangrove to find and dive with West Indian manatees and we’re even planning a morning chumming for sharks. For more pics, a  great video by Pelagic Life and all the logistical info, follow this link:American Crocodiles of Chinchorro Banks

 

THREE AWESOME BACK TO BACK TO BACK EXPEDITIONS

Over the last few weeks I have led trips to Socorro Island, Tiger Beach and Cat Island. All three trips were hugely successful. Read on for all the highlights:

 

SOCORRO AND ROCA PARTIDA EXPEDITION

whitetip reef sharks at Roca Partida.

At Socorro we had manta encounters and more sharks than I have ever seen in the Revillagigedo Archipelago. This year the weather cooperated and we were able to dive Roca Partida. The schools of hammers, ledges filled with photogenic whietip sharks and enormous yellowfin tuna schools swimming around that lonely monolith made this trip extremely special. Read the Socorro 2013 Trip Report for more images and reports from the trip.

 

ANOTHER AWESOME TIGER BEACH EXPEDITION

Diving with a big tiger shark

Tiger Beach was full of sharks from start to finish with countless lemon sharks and four tigers at once on the most memorable dive. We also had a pod of 20+ spotted and bottlenose dolphins come and play with us for hours and some great opportunities for killer split frame shots at the back of the boat. Follow this link for all the good stuff: Tiger Beach Trip Report.

 

A RECORD BREAKING OCEANIC WHITETIP EXPEDITION

diving with oceanic whitetip sharks

The oceanic whitetip shark expedition to Cat Island was so sharky that against all I have said about trying to run new trips, I am going back again next year 🙂

We had somewhere around 15 oceanics on our best dive plus we saw a blue marlin, some mahi mahi, and dusky and silky sharks. Cool pictures and more about the trip here: Oceanic Whitetips 2013 Trip Report

 

 

ONWARD TO AFRICA

Next week, Big Fish Expeditions is heading to South Africa. This is my first shark safari in southern Africa and I couldn’t be more excited. We have the possibility to see around 14 species of sharks. Some of these I have not photographed before so if all goes well there should be some new species pages added to the shark and ray database on Elasmodiver.com over the next few months.

This is a land based trip so assuming I can find a wifi connection, I’ll try to load a new shark onto the Big Fish Facebook Page everyday of the trip. If you want the images to show up in your Facebook Feed, please go here:  BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS ON FACEBOOK  and give us a like!

 

 

BASKING SHARKS, WHALE SHARKS THEN BLUES AND MAKOS.

diving with whale sharks and basking sharks

After two weeks in South Africa I’ll have just enough time to get home to Canada before heading off again to swim with Basking Sharks in the Inner Hebredes in western Scotland. This is another exciting new trip that should result in some great opportunities for big animal images. I’m hoping for encounters with puffins and gray seals underwater too so expect a full report when I blog again (probably in July) or come with me on the trip! There are two spots left on the basking shark trip if any tropical divers out there think they can handle donning a 7mm in order to swim with the second biggest fish in the world. Go to the basking shark expedition page or email me for details!

 

After that, we’re in Isla Mujeres for an entire month of whale sharks. Only three spots left now so please jump on those quickly if you want to swim with an even bigger fish than a basking shark: whale shark diving adventure

 

And finishing up our summer season we’re heading to Rhode Island to shoot makos and blue sharks before the Gulf Stream moves away from the coast taking the sharks along with it. This will be another experimental trip that includes a day of chumming for dogfish sharks on the inshore wrecks. As always, I’ll let everyone know how we do!

 

ONTO WHATS BUBBLING:

 

BACK TO THE BEACH!

In October I’m leading yet another great trip to dive with Tiger Sharks at Tiger Beach. Join me on theTiger Beach Shark Safari for more epic tiger shark encounters.

Tiger Shark diving with Andy Murch

 

STRIPED MARLIN ACTION
And then in December I have a brand new striped marlin expedition to Baja. This is another great billfish encounter that everyone should try before they hang up their fins. Join me this December for a unique Striped Marlin Expedition.

diving with striped marlin

 

A NEW PREDATORS IN PERIL EXPEDITION IS IN THE WORKS

Then at the end of the year, there’s blue whales in Sri LankaOrcas in Norway and Great Hammerheads in Bimini. But, before I run those guest trips, its time to put some of my air miles to good use. In November I’m flying all the way down to Punta Arenas to look for another new catshark species. This one is called a narrowmouth catshark and (like most small deepwater sharks) there are virtually no images of it. So, I’m meeting up with Eduardo Sorensen from Oceana Chile to see if we can find and document one or two while there are still some left. It will be a complicated trip involving us flying tanks and weights all the way to the end of the Americas and then braving the Humboldt Current for as long as time and finances permit.

After the catshark dives in Southern Chile, I’ll be traveling with my partner Laura up the coast of Argentina to record as many endemic Argentinean elasmobranches (sharks and rays) as we can find. I’m sure that it will be as exhausting as it is rewarding. More on this expedition as it approaches.

 

2014

Next year get ready for more new trips as well as some of the classics from years past. Apart from the American crocodile trip to Chinchorro, there are at least two more exciting new big animal trips that I am working on. Please keep an eye on the website for more info but for starters, how would you like to swim through an emerald ocean filled with friendly white whales?

 

See you down there,

Andy Murch