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…