Scuba diving and wildlife photography with the world’s greatest game fish
It’s at the center of the book that won Hemingway his Nobel. It’s a cliché on the wall of every sportsman lodge, a commonplace for journeyman taxidermists, and generally seen hanging upside down, on a pier somewhere, dwarfing the guy grinning next to it, in thousands of badly-taken photographs around the globe.
We intend to show you something very different. Our goal is to wipe your mind clean of what you thought you knew about the marlin, the ocean’s most spectacular big game fish, so you can come to understand it on its own terms.
On this exciting underwater photography expedition, we operate out of sunny and warm Todos Santos, an out-of-the-way Baja Californian artist colony and surfing mecca that time seems to have passed by (in comparison to the massive Mexican resort town down the coast, Cabo San Lucas). The vibrant nightlife of Cabo is not too far away to enjoy if you feel the urge, but our real purpose is to spend a little quality time scuba diving with the subject of the largest sport-fishing tournament in the world. These are the waters where the marlin are, so this is where we go to dive with them.
On a dive boat meant for 24 divers, our small group of five will venture out to secret remote sea mounts where striped marlin gather to feed, and where no wannabe “sportsmen” will spoil our hunt for superb images. Flocking frigatebirds will point us to schooling mackerel, where, down below, a phenomenal feeding frenzy unfolds: groups of twelve or more striped marlin attacking mackerel bait balls with their spear-like bills, their stripes fluorescing brilliantly as they thrash the water and take their dazed prey one at a time. Competing for the mackerel are seals, sea lions, and the large Bryde’s whales (up to 40 feet long), making for a wild display of top-of-the-food-chain predation.
Fortunately, conditions are right at this time of year for lots of mackerel gatherings, so we should have enough time at sea to observe several marlin hunting expeditions. And you’ll be able to go home with the best kind of big game trophy, the one that captures the animal’s spirit, not its life.