Sperm Whale Adventure in Dominica

Written by Amos Nachoum

I’m about to embark on an adventure to the Caribbean island of Dominica. I’ll be there with a few new guests and old friends to photograph what was once one of the world’s most hunted animals – the Sperm whale in Dominica. These whales have made an amazing comeback from near extinction. We’ve sold three departures with four guests to each team. I’ll be there until February 9th … and always pleased to be working with my camera with guests and friends among the Ocean Giants

island of Dominica. I’ll be there with some guests and old friends to photograph what was once one of the world’s most hunted animals – the Sperm whale. These whales have made an amazing comeback from near extinction. We’ve sold three departures with four guests to each team. I’ll be there until February 9th … and always pleased to be working with my camera with guests and friends among the Ocean Giants.

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Blue Whales and Kayaks Go Together Well

Written by Amos Nachoum

I just posted a Blue Whale Album on Facebook – take a look.  You’ll see that I’ve found an innovative way to get close to shy Blue whales by using a kayak.  The kayak permits us to get face to face with the Blues, even some that are 60 feet long simply pass before my eyes (and lens.)  Blue whales are the largest animal ever to live on our planet.  I hope you enjoy the album.

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Croc Album from the Okavango Delta

Written by Amos Nachoum

I’ve posted a Facebook album of croc images from my recent expedition to the Okavango Delta in Botswana.  We saw crocs every day, four to five times a day, anywhere from seven feet long and up to 12 feet long. I had a great experience with my ace guide Brad Bestelink, who is also an extraordinary filmmaker. The expedition was such a  great success that Brad and I have created two new croc adventures – the first of their kind anywhere in the world.

Croc Expedition Departures

The initial departure, during the third week of July 2012, will be seven days of croc encounters for just two diver/photographers. The second departure, during the last week of July 2012, will combine five days of croc expedition with an eight-day Big Cat Safari (encountering lions, cheetah and leopards), and is also for only two diver/photographers.

If you are interested, contact me right away, because these spots will fill up fast.

Click to see the album posted on Facebook.

Sardine Run – Latest Update

Written by Amos Nachoum

An update on the Sardine Run. In the overall scheme of things – this year was an “off year” for seeing the classic Sardine run – and by that I mean a big bait ball of sardines attacked by hundreds of Common dolphins, sharks and also Brutus whales. Sardines need cold water, between 15 – 17 C or 59F – 64F, and this year the water temperature ranged from 19C – 21C or 69F – 72F – a bit warmer than they prefer!

There were a few reports of people seeing smaller bait balls, but even those were not necessarily sardines, but probably Red Eye – another type of small fish that frequents these waters close to shore. Other teams out on the water saw Red Eye consumed by birds and dolphins, but not sharks or whales.

My two weeks here were pure adventure, all search but no encounters, and only with the Red Eye.  Everyone had a good time, simply because the local operator, Ivan from Extraordinary Expeditions, and I did our level best to get our people to sea everyday.  We covered a great distance, really  about 80 to 100 miles per day, on 8 meter Zodiacs, with plenty of extra fuel and with a helicopter with us almost every day.

We did have few amazing in-water encounters with migrating Humpback whales, and rare encounters with the Mola Mola…here are the images.

For this adventure, we had plans to operate the first live-on-board dive boat.  However the vessel had a major mechanical failure that could not be fixed in time. Therefore we offered our people a land-based operation, and a refund on the difference between the two styles of operation and a chance to join us next year. All eight guests on the first departure joined me on the first trip and six of them are returning next year. On the second departure eight guests decided to stay put or made other travel arrangements and we are refunding them the full trip price.

Here are some of the images from this season…

Field Report: Sardine Run

Written by Amos Nachoum

It’s been a very quiet year for the Sardine Run. Though some sardines have been seen, there’s been nothing of the magnitude and epic scale you’ve perhaps seen on National Geographic or BBC, and nothing like what I saw here in the early years of 2000.

My guests and I have ten more days here along the wild coast of South Africa. We have moved south to Port Edward with the hope that the last of the Run or the shoal is still to come through and we will intercept and engage the shoal together with the classic predators…the Gannets, common dolphins, sharks and the Brutus whales.  We will see!  For now, here are four images that summarize our wait, and show the high morale everyone has kept up for the past week.

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10 Top Ocean Predators

Written by Amos Nachoum

In my journey around the world I have seen the world’s greatest predators through my viewfinder. I like to write about them here for you, and I’d like to start out with an unlikely predator: the Humboldt squid, known as the “red devil.’ On May 20th, National Geographic is featuring these giant predators in its series called “Hooked,’ and they are subtitling the episode “Squid Invasion.” They promise to show you, “Marauding mobs of huge Humboldt squid are spreading northward along the Pacific coastline, devouring salmon stocks already diminished by other threats.”

World’s Greatest Predators

I can tell you from experience that the Humboldt squid is very impressive. These big animals can move very quickly (as quickly 15 miles per hour) and are capable of large migratory patterns. The adaptability of the Humboldt squid means they are able to explore and take advantage of new environments. The name ‘jumbo squid’ is well-earned, as these creatures reach six feet in length and can weigh as much as 110 pounds. Their Spanish name, ‘diablo roja’ comes from fisherman off the coast of Mexico who report seeing a color change – a flash of red and white – when they attack other fish.

Would you like to see this for yourself? On August 6-13, 2011 and also on August 14-21, 2011 I’m leading BigAnimals Humboldt Squid expedition to Mexico to experience these ocean giants, swim with them, and photograph them. The BBC and National Geographic have documented the Humboldt squid, but they used noisy fishing vessels to do it, and dove only at night. I’ll offer you a lot more.

Following our own protocol that I have designed for you, we will start out of La Paz on a live-aboard dive boat and follow along the coast of Baja north toward Santa Rosalia (the Humboldt capital). Long the way, we’ll have the opportunity to dive with hammerhead sharks and the sea lions. Our aim will be to dive for three days, taking advantage of early night, midnight, and early morning, which is typically more successful time to see “red devil.’ I’m also going to launch test day-time dives. Will you join me? This PDF has all the details.

Swim with the Humboldt

Recently, as the National Geographic TV special shows, there has been new interest in these mysterious creatures. Some of their behavior will be documented in the National Geographic series Hooked: Squid Invasion airing on May 20. I invite you to see for yourself in August!