August 17, 2011
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.
February 16, 2011
Written by Amos Nachoum
The Galapagos, one of the world’s great adventure travel destinations, just got more accessible. But before I tell you about the special deal I’ve made for you to go there, I want to tell you about the journey. Your trip includes BigAnimals encounters with massive 35-foot-long Whale sharks, schooling Hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, Manta Eagle and squadron of Mobula rays. You’ll not only explore Darwin Island and Wolf Island, but your itinerary includes a rare visit and dive to Isabela and Fernandina Islands to see feeding Marine Iguana (only found on the Galapagos Islands) and the elusive Batfish. Because of a special arrangement I’ve made for you, I am able to reduce the price of this unforgettable trip by $2,000 for each spot. Book now and take advantage of this deal because there are only a few spaces left. Departures on Sept 17 – Oct 3.
The region has become ecologically healthier also, according to scientists. There’s no better time to go! If you feel anything of the ocean conservation movement in your soul, you have to go there. Here are some details about the ecological health of the area.
The BBC, in an article titled Have the Galapagos Been Saved, recently wrote that the United National Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to remove the Galapagos Island from the list of endangered World Heritage sites. It’s good news, but some are cautious, because of the importance of the Galapagos.
“I think many folks in the conservation community felt concerned that this action would give the impression that all the issues had been resolved,” said Johannah Barry, president of the Galapagos Conservancy, according to the article.
The Galapagos area should be treated with respect – always. There’s no chance anything will ever be “resolved” there because it’s unlike anywhere else in the world and will always be studied by scientists and visited by adventurers. But it’s also fair to say that tourism is a big part of contributing to the income levels in the Galapagos. It’s a fact that people make a living from adventure tourism. The bottom line is that we all want to be careful about the way we travel there, in the way we make our imprint on the land and sea, and they that we respect this habitat which is unlike anywhere else in the world. How do we do that?
I work with an adventure/excursion company called Ecoventura, which has been certified as ecologically sound by the UN. They are the first Galapagos cruise ship company to offset carbon emissions and to install alternative energy sources on their watercraft. Working with Ecoventura, you can travel with me on the M/V Galapagos Sky, a custom-built dive vessel, and our expedition is scheduled to take place during prime time for encounters with Whale sharks, schooling Hammerhead sharks and maybe some free diving.We have a special permit to spend eight to ten days at one of the world’s most exciting and unique locations – the islands of Darwin and Wolf, and we’ll get to explore the most western islands in the archipelago. That’s a total of two weeks of Whale shark diving and other events on Wolf, Darwin, Isabella and Fernandia Islands. You’ll never forget what you see and experience in the Galapagos. I keep returning and I find something fresh and inspiring every time.
This is a rare dive trip to the Galapagos, since it is for a full two weeks and i have adjusted my price by not less than the awesome amount of $2,000. Last year’s prices were $13,900 for the Master cabin and $13,500 for the Deluxe. Now we’re offering them at $11,900 and $11,500. This includes the domestic flight to Galapagos and other local taxes!
Join me in the Galapagos for my whale shark expedition. The departure is September 17th, the perfect time to see BigAnimals as they were really meant to be seen.
February 9, 2011
Written by Amos Nachoum
Underwater explorers like me owe a lot to the novelist Jules Verne, who was born 183 years ago this week. Google honored him with one of their “doodles,” but in that doodle is a clue to Verne’s greatness – it’s an image that reminds you of the electric submarine, the Nautilus, from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
When Verne’s words were published in 1869, electric submarines didn’t exist – they were just something out of his imagination. As National Geographic wrote, Verne also predicted that news wouldn’t just come from newspapers, but would be “spoken to subscribers,” in the way that radio and television news happens today. He thought of that in a story that was published nearly thirty years before the first radio broadcast.
The Verne list of firsts goes on. In 1865, in From the Earth the Moon, he thought there could be such a thing as a solar-powered spacecraft, and of course he wrote about traveling to the moon long before the first astronaut got there. He even thought of skywriting, videoconferencing, the Taser, and landing a spaceship in the ocean for a “splashdown.”
The mention of water brings us back to the ocean, and the visionary thoughts of Verne make it possible for me to do what I do today – explore the hidden depths and the distant lands that I want to share with you. Verne didn’t have any engineering training at all, just a lot of imagination. That’s all you need to come along on an adventure with me. My polar bear expedition to the high arctic has an April 17 departure and there are just two spaces left. Will you join me?
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November 17, 2010
Written by Amos Nachoum
I am very excited to be here in Marrakech. It is exotic and truly a different marketplace for a business convention. A business convention in Morocco? Let me explain.
Pure Life Experiences
This year, after 30 years in the diving business, I am not attending the annual meeting of the dive industry in Las Vegas. That’s the show known as DEMA – the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association. This year is different because I was invited to join the Pure life Experiences gathering, known as PURE. This is a special convention, by invitation only, that is all about brainstorming and networking on definitions of the new face of travel. It’s exclusive for exhibitors like myself, and for travel agents and others who do what is known as experiential travel.
Experiential travel goes well beyond offerings like eco-tourism. It is all about creating a new experience for higher-income clients worldwide. People who are looking for a higher level of experience in life, rather than experiences that are driven by price bargains. These experiences include retreats and unique hotels the world over, and – most importantly to me – discovery journeys, wilderness experiences and explorative adventures. Since I am providing you these adventures, I was invited to network with others who are working at this level.
NYC Explorers Club
Next, I’m on my way to New York, to speak on November 20th at the Explorers Club. This event is open to the public, so please come by. My talk is part of a day-long event called Sea Stories, and it features scientists, explorers, a videographer, a historian or two, and talking about the fragile regions of the underwater realm that I’ve visited. I’ll be showing some of the hundreds of images I’ve created for National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, and Der Spiegel. I hope to see you there! Tickets are not sold at the door, so you do have to call first: 212-628-8383. Here are a few more images from Morocco.
October 20, 2010
Written by Amos Nachoum
Great White Shark Diving Field Report: Guadalupe Island
Here’s a field report from Baja California, Mexico as I wrap up part one of this year’s shark diving adventure. I’m getting this out to you before the next group of guests arrive.
Under my leadership, nine people just had the trip of a lifetime. They gathered from across the USA, South Africa, Australia and Germany to encounter the Great White Shark as only as biganimals.com expedition can deliver it. For five of them, “once was not enough.” They had been with me already on as many as six other trips – and, amazingly, one was back for the second time for an adventure with the Great Whites. It’s always gratifying for me to reconnect with people with a passion for adventure. This trip was no exception.
Cage-Free Diving with Great Whites
Shark dives off Guadalupe Island are usually done inside a protective shark cage. But with through preparation and very close supervision, it is possible to have the “cageless sensation” for a select few. On this trip I carefully chose five divers to join me, one at a time, for a cage-free experience, described by some as the “Everest of Diving experiences.” Here’s one guest as he’s getting ready to leave the cage.
I go about this very carefully. I started everyone in the surface cage at first. As you can see from the picture below, when guests leave the cage, they are always escorted by a safety diver. Though we saw sharks during the whole five day-trip ranging in size from 12 feet up to 15, the pace of shark visits on the first and second days was slow. But then, on the third day, the pace of the sharks frequenting our cages picked up and on the last day and last dive out of the cage we had four Great Whites circling the cage while we were swimming with them…carefully yes, and very much aware. Everyone returned home safely this morning, and now I’m waiting for the second team of this year’s Great White shark expedition.
The weather was calm and sunny, the sea was flat, and the team — they were an extraordinary group of adults who clearly understood what is at stake, the risk, and the adventure. All of the guests did a great job, and know very well how to work as a team, and take part in my know-how to manage risks as I lead them to experience the Great White in this dramatic way. Together we were able to dispel the myth of the “mindless predator” the Great White is so often made out to be. But the myth can only be dispelled when it is done thoughtfully, with responsibility and respect for these magnificent animals.
The water temp was a chilly 66-degrees F at 40 feet and at 80 feet, even cooler at 64 F. The semi drysuit by Bare was very helpful! A good thing, because the lower we took the cage obviously the colder the water got – but also more and more sharks were around us. We even recognized a few from last year. (We named them Lucy and Schroeder.) The year before as well as saw and ID’d some newcomers. One of them we called Noreiga. Once you see a Great White up close, like in the picture below, you’ll never forget it.
Next year’s Great White trip is scheduled for October 9 – 16, 2011, and only five spaces remain open. I suggest that you reserve your spot to see the great white shark for yourself as soon as you can.
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