Basking Sharks. Mustard. Scotland.
Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:25 AM
Last year, we were pretty unlucky with the weather an conditions, but it was still productive. The nearly nature of that trip left me itching to return. You can see one of my shots from last year here on the Telegraph newspaper's website. Simon Spear, who was there there week before me, shot his beautiful film Solstice there.
This is an amazing trip, but it is not for everyone. It is a wildlife shoot, so if we can't find the critters we won't be getting in the water. We will also camp out on the islands, if weather allows, which is wonderful, but it will be camping on a deserted island. If you are coming from overseas, you would need to be able to get yourself to Oban, which is pretty easy as it is a major tourist destination, but it will mean public transport or car rental.
The price of £800 GBP, which includes 7 nights accommodation (shared room in nice cottage in Mull and camping) and 5 days on the boat sharking. The dates are Sunday 24th to Sunday 1st July 2012 (on water Monday-Friday). Note this is a snorkelling trip only. Plus you wouldn't need to bring strobes. Drysuit will be more comfortable, but it is do-able in a thick wetsuit (Mark used a wetsuit last year and we were all jealous of his manoeuvrability).
Rather than write any more, you can get a very good idea of what the trip is like from Jo Horrocks' excellent film from our trip last year.
This trip will be focused on basking sharks, but we will, of course, make the most of any other subjects that we find...
There is a bit more info on my website.
Anyway, if you are interested, please get in touch.
Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:53 PM
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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:35 PM
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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:09 AM
@ Tim - the sharks stay in Scotland all summer. Its the main difference from Cornwall - where you have a narrower window when they are passing through (and some years, like last year) they don't stop in Cornwall at all. The challenge in Scotland is finding them. It is a much bigger area, but the main problem is that the weather (wind) is worse. And as soon as the surface is choppy the sharks are hard to spot. The reason for doing this trip at the end of June/start of July is that is when the winds are lowest (typically). Later in the summer it is usually much windier, although you still have the chance of spotting sharks in the calmer waters of the Sound of Mull.
The other attraction of Mull are the almost daily sightings of minke whales. Although getting an UW shot is a long shot. One of group did see one (just) underwater last year. There are lots of dolphins too - but they really didn't want to interact with use last year in the water.
@ Dean - I feel I am owed some luck from this destination (and basking sharks in general), so fingers crossed for 2012.
@ Mike - there is a good distillery in Tobermory too. Although for last year's trip I imported beer from France and wine from Sardinia - having recently driven across Europe. One of the bonuses of a snorkelling trip is that you can have a glass or two for lunch!
Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:49 AM
Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:01 AM
Makes a point of how few there are in the world.
Here is one of their Irish tags photographed on a shark in Mull last year:
This one had been tagged in Ireland a few weeks earlier.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:29 AM
Mark (Acuatours) does have a few spots on other charter weeks if anyone is interested.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:51 AM
If I had* signed up for it would I have been able to borrow that massive dome you have?
Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:12 AM
Its certainly not my policy to make my personal cameras available to all. This trip is not a workshop (in fact I am paying to go too), but I will be sharing my experience of both techniques and how to get close to the sharks. We really need to figure out a way to bait baskers!