Archive for the ‘Orca 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.

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Unexpected Big Animal Diving   Leave a comment

UNEXPECTED BIG ANIMAL DIVING

 

WHALE SHARKS AND UNEXPECTED MANTAS

This year’s Whale Shark Expedition to Isla Mujeres was off the chart. On a good day during whale shark season we generally see scores of whale sharks feeding at the surface. This summer except for one slightly slow day, we spent everyday in the presence of hundreds of whale sharks! But that’s not all. This year, mixed in with whale sharks were hundreds of feeding manta rays. Where they came from and why they showed up this season is anyone’s guess but it was wonderful to spend three weeks surrounded by the biggest sharks and the biggest rays on the planet! Lets hope the mantas come back for our Whale Shark Expeditions in 2014. Follow this link to the full trip report and some amazing images: Whale Sharks 2013 Trip Report

 

BETWEEN BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS

After Isla Mujeres, we embarked on a shark diving road trip down to California. We came home with some great new shark pics for Elasmodiver.com including these images of tope sharks. We also tried to find prickly sharks off of Monterey. Night diving in deep, murky, cold water in the red triangle was a little creepy but its the only known place to shoot this deepwater species without using a submersible. Next year we will try again!

 

NEW ENGLAND MAKOS, BLUES AND 50+ SPINY DOGFISH SHARKS!

In September, Big Fish Expeditions went to Rhode Island. The seas were sometimes rough (as you would expect in New England) and we had a few boat problems but we all got to encounter blues and makos. And… our experimental chumming on an inshore wreck was a huge success! We had around 50 spiny dogfish sharks show up to the shark feed and managed to get some great images. Read more here: New England Shark Safari 2013 Trip Report

 

NEXT UP, THE PHILIPPINES!

We are heading off on a scouting trip to the Philippines in October. Hoping this will become a Big Fish Thresher Shark Expedition next year so stay tuned!

 

MARLINS AND MEXICAN HORN SHARKS

In December we have a sold out trip to dive with striped marlin in Baja. It should be an awesome adventure.

Before the guests arrive, I’ll be heading north to Loretto to see if I can find the illusive Mexican horn shark. I’ve seen their eggs on some of the deeper dive sites around that area of the Sea of Cortez so I know they’re around. Perhaps the colder winter water will be the key. Wish me luck!

 

KILLER WHALES

After Striped Marlins, Big Fish is heading to Sri Lanka to chase blue whales (sold out) and then to Norway to swim with Killer Whales. That trip has been so popular that I am running a second trip in 2015. Space is very limited so if you want to swim with these amazing animals and dive on Norway’s pristine reefs, please let me know as soon as possible! KILLER WHALES 2015

 

BIMINI GREAT HAMMERHEADS

One spot has opened up on our Bimini trip so jump in if you relish the thought of close encounters with enormous great hammerhead sharksI am heading to Bimini straight from Norway. I’m sure I’ll get some interesting looks going into The Bahamas in my snow parka and winter boots 🙂

 

MEXICAN SAILFISH

Two spots left on our 2014 Sailfish Trip. Here is a reminder of the epic action you can experience when the sailfish are attacking a bait ball, check out this year’s video:

 

 

 

 

WORLD CLASS DIVING AT SOCORRO

Just three spots left on our Socorro trip next March. Socorro is one of the most well rounded destinations that you’ll ever have the pleasure of diving. And, its a quick hop down to Cabo to catch the boat. Expect mantas, hammerheads, silkies, galapagos sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, octos and more. You’ll probably see ALL of these species in a week at Socorro. Come see for yourself: SOCORRO EXPEDITION 2014

Humpback Whale Diving Socorro

 

TIGER BEACH, SOUTH AFRICA, SCOTLAND AND BEYOND…

 

TIGER BEACH

We have another sold out trip to TIGER BEACH in April. We’re booking spots in 2015 already so if you can plan that far ahead we look forward to hearing from you!

 

SOUTH AFRICAN SHARK SAFARI

Then we fly back to Cape Town to dive with more shark species than you can find on any other dive trip that I know of. One spot just came open so please let me know if you want to dive with great white sharks (cage diving), makos, blue sharks, sevengill sharks, spotted gully sharks, pyjama sharks, leopard catsharks, yellowspotted catsharks, brown shysharks, puffadder shysharks and natal shysharks. Then there’s penguins, fur seals and a game drive to see elephants, cape buffalo, cheatahs, rhinos and all the other terrestrial animals that Africa is famous for. Don’t miss this action packed WEST CAPE SHARK SAFARI

 

Then we have our very unique SOUTH AFRICAN SARDINE RUN AND WILD COAST SHARK SAFARIand then its time to fly back to Scotland to SWIM WITH BASKING SHARKS.

 

SALMON SHARKS

In July we’re going to Alaska to dive with Salmon Sharks and to snorkel with the salmon as they head upriver. One spot left! SALMON SHARK EXPEDITION

salmon snorkeling

 

MEXICAN CROCODILES

And then we head back to Isla Mujeres to SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS. I’ll have my drysuit with me in Mexico so that I can zip up to Churchill, Manitoba to lead our new BELUGA WHALE EXPEDITION and then fly straight back to Cancun to lead the MEXICAN CROCODILE EXPEDITION. My good friend Rodrigo Friscione just came back from Chinchorro Banks with some fantastic shots and reports of great crocodile encounters. I can’t wait to get down there and run this trip!

 

 

TWO KILLER NEW TRIPS ON THE 2014 SCHEDULE!

 

CALIFORNIA MAKO SHARK SAFARI

Don’t get me wrong, New England is a great place to dive with blues and makos but there are lots of other destinations to dive with them too. For a change of pace, next year Big Fish is heading to sunny California where the water is blue and the sharks are plentiful!

As well as free diving with blue and mako sharks we will be scuba diving around some of Southern California’s Channel Islands where we can find Pacific angel sharks, horn sharks and a number of other shark species. This is going to be an amazing adventure: four days on a liveaboard chasing sharks in the sharkiest state in the USA. Join us there! CALIFORNIA MAKO SHARK SAFARI.

 

MEXICAN BULL SHARKS

Each November, many large bull sharks congregate off the beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Many of them are pregnant females that stay in the area until early March and then head into shallow bays to pup before disappearing until the next season. By late November the bulls have reached their maximum strength; sometimes up to 20+ bull sharks on a dive.

This is a thrilling encounter that will impress the most jaded shark diver.  Join us next November in Playa del Carmen; the playground of Mexico: 2014 BULL SHARK EXPEDITION

diving with bull sharks

 

MEET THE TEAM

A few years ago I ran my first trip to Tiger Beach. It was such a fun trip that I decided to run it again the following year and I added a whale shark trip. Three years later, Big Fish Expeditions has 18 different trips on the schedule and there are more on the way!

Its been an amazing adventure and I will continue to lead most of the expeditions but I’m very happy to announce that Big Fish has some new Expedition Leaders to share the fun with. Meet the team: BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS DIVE TEAM

 

See you down there,

Andy Murch