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Basking Sharks. Mustard. Scotland.


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:25 AM

I am running a photo trip (for a very small group) to return to Mull in Scotland to photograph basking sharks at the end of June. This trip was full (in fact it is listed as fully booked on my website), but because of cancellations I have one or possibly two spaces available. Cost is 800. Let me know if you are interested.

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.

Alex

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#2 yahsemtough

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:43 AM

I wish I could but will one day. I will be up in the arctic then.

Cheers

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#3 Timmoranuk

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:53 PM

I'll be there in August but the sharks probably won't... It's a lovely place to dive from boat or shore and I'll be hanging out at Lochaline if anyone is around?
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#4 DeanB

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:29 PM

Getting married this year so trips will be limited... Would love to go tho, maybe you should pay for that lucky git Spear to go he has the luck of the devil :drink:

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#5 MikeVeitch

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:35 PM

Oban... good single malt around there, major bonus!

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#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:09 AM

@ Todd - yeah you are always in the Arctic at the time that there is interesting stuff to do in the UK. Actually June is such a hot month in so many locations for wildlife. I hope that you get the luck you deserve up there this year.

@ 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!

Alex
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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:49 AM

One of the two spaces is filled. The other is now confirmed as being available. Contact me for more info (or just watch the videos above)!

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#8 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:01 AM

This is worth watching too:

http://www.ted.com/t...hing_about.html

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:

Posted Image

This one had been tagged in Ireland a few weeks earlier.

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#9 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:29 AM

UPDATE - in the end it was two spaces I had to fill - both now filled.

Mark (Acuatours) does have a few spots on other charter weeks if anyone is interested.

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#10 JKrumsick

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:51 AM

Hey Alex -
If I had* signed up for it would I have been able to borrow that massive dome you have?

#11 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:12 AM

I regularly lend out kit to people on workshops, but only to those who prove trustworthy :lol:

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!

Alex

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#12 tdpriest

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:06 AM

We really need to figure out a way to bait baskers!

Alex


What happens downstream of fish farms? Do filter-feeders feed in the plume of muck?

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