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Wetpixel Whale sharks 2014

wetpixel whale sharks 2014 trip report

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#1 adamhanlon

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 02:04 PM

This is to serve as a place holder for the 2014 Wetpixel Whale sharks trip. We will be posting regular updates from Isla Mujeres here, so please check back often.
 
Caron and I actually arrived late last night having here travelled from UK via Montreal! 
 
Even the welcoming placard for our transfer at Cancun airport had a whale shark on it....
 
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The rest of the team for the first week will be arriving today, and we set sail for sharks early tomorrow morning. Getting very excited now!
 
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We will be hopefully be posting lots of pictures of real sharks tomorrow night! 
 
Adam
 

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#2 adamhanlon

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 03:24 PM

Day 1 of the Wetpixel Whale Sharks Expedition started early, with us aiming to be on the water by 7am. In truth, this did not materialise, but we did leave the jetty by 7.30. Wetpixel (and ULCS's Terry Schuller and Dave Reid) are running three boats this year and I was on the smaller (but very fast) panga.

 

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After cruising North from Isla Mujeres for around an hour, we found a really tight group of around 50 sharks feeding on the eggs in the water. We were pretty much the first boat there, so it was a target rich environment! 

 

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The action was pretty fast and furious, and everyone got some great photographic opportunities.

 

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This went on for around 2 hours, but as the boat traffic built up, the sharks seemed to disperse. There was still lots of action, but it tended to be with two or three at a time, rather than with a large group.

 

We got back on shore for around 2pm, and were able to watch a pod of dolphins playing in the surf just in front of the hotel pool!

 

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We aim to set out earlier tomorrow to catch the amazing first few hours here. I'll report back on how it went tomorrow...

 

Adam

 

 


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#3 adamhanlon

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:25 PM

Well our early start plan worked perfectly!  We were on our way at 7am.

 

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The sharks today were a bait more scattered. Still lots of them, and everyone was enjoying great encounters, you just had to work a little harder to get them!

 

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Virginia and Art working a shark!

 

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Our skippers were really goos at getting us in the water in just the right place.

 

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We noticed yesterday that there were less eggs in the water than there have been in previous years. The good news is that this afternoon, we were all emerging covered in them!

 

More tomorrow, and i am hoping that others in the group will start adding their images soon too.

 

Adam


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#4 tomeyer

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:47 PM

Thought I should add a pic so Adam doesn't feel so lonely in here! Trip is going great so far and to those coming next week you are in for a treat. Sorry the picture is weird looking, I'm sending from a tablet.

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#5 JasonBradley

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:59 PM

We should all post with the intention of preventing Adam from being lonely.  Right Tom?  : )

So glad to be back in Isla.  I do love this place!!

Here are a few sharkies from day one and two.  More to come...

 

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#6 fotosea

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:21 PM

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#7 ulcs

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:09 PM

Just a few of mine to add to the group.  Sharks are fewer this year than last; Still lots of fun.  Calm seas, warm water and more eggs showing up,  Maybe more
sharks tomorrow.

Terry_2 (1 of 1)small.jpg Terry_1 (1 of 1)small.jpg

That is  Laura in the first picture

Terry Schuller


Edited by ulcs, 29 July 2014 - 07:10 PM.


#8 adamhanlon

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:24 PM

My apologies for the delayed report on day 3 of the Wetpixel Whale Sharks trip. Jason and I held a short image review session (more later) last night which prevented me from posting.

 

Day 3 started off with lots of great whale shark action:

 

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However, by early afternoon, the number of sharks had dropped off significantly. Our boat crews patrolled the whole area, but for some reason, the sharks had all gone deep and there were none around.

 

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Andy Lerner helping the skipper search for sharks! 

 

It was still a great day, and everyone got some stunning images.

 

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This was borne out at the image review session we held last evening. We used the top floor of the Jax Bar (thanks to owner Michael), and it was great to see so many fantastic images on show.

 

As always, we set out at 7.00 this morning, but to our surprise, the sharks have stayed deep and we were unable to find any. Chatting to Anthony (the boats') owner, this is not abnormal behaviour and they will be back soon. We will keep you posted...

 

So we went off in search of.....iguanas!

 

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We will set out tomorrow as planned and I will update you again tomorrow evening.

 

Adam


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#9 vincentkneefel

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:29 PM

No Manta Rays this year?


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#10 adamhanlon

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 09:43 AM

The universe righted itself! Normal service was resumed at Isla Mujeres.

 

Lots and lots of sharks, as well as a sighting of mantas! Let's hope for lots more next week.

 

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I have been testing an RX100 II as well as the the D810, so it seemed apt to take a selfie!

 

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Ray Misterio the wrestler put in an appearance too!

 

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Jason and I say goodbye to our first group today, and hello to our next one!

 

Team shot (although sadly missing Andy Lerner).

 

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Travel safely team and thank you for a great week. We had a blast!

 

Adam


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#11 adamhanlon

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 05:44 PM

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Saturday dawned fine and clear with no wind and after a brief chat at the hotel about the do and don'ts of interacting with the whale sharks here on Isla Mujeres, we set out with the second Wetpixel team to visit the island.

 

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I was on the Andrea M and, after an hour's steaming, skipper David had found us a large group of whale sharks.

 

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The action continued all the way though to early afternoon, with us leaving the sharks more because we were exhausted rather than a lack of action!

 

The other group, led by Jason, claimed to have been "close" to a pod of dolphins. However they also claimed to have seen a mermaid....

 

More tomorrow!

 

Adam

 

 


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#12 korn

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 12:02 PM

How about some video?  

 

Jason photographing a passing shark

 

 

Whale shark feeding with a close up of its gills

 

 

Whale shark swim by

 

 

Whale shark feeding-first one , then another

 

 

Whale sharks swimming two by two

 

 

Videos embedded-admin.


Edited by adamhanlon, 04 August 2014 - 05:53 PM.


#13 korn

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 02:09 PM

Photos from my first day, August 2nd:

 

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Sunrise

 

 

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Big mouth!

 

 

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Jason after his quarry

 

 

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Doreen putting her GoPro to good use

 

 

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Twin tails

 

 

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Bye bye!



#14 JasonBradley

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 07:13 PM

Hey Guys, I'm way behind on posting, but here are a few from the first leg of the trip.  Boy that last day of the first trip was spectacular, wasn't it?!  I've tried a few silhouettes this year, but the one in this post is my most successful.  They definitely don't like swimming straight over you this year.  Anyway, looking forward to hopefully another shark filled day tomorrow morning.

 

P.S. The swimmer is Bobby, AKA the shark whisperer.

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Edited by JasonBradley, 03 August 2014 - 07:14 PM.


#15 schwer

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 11:40 AM

whale shark video taken yesterday: 

 

 

Video embedded-admin.



#16 adamhanlon

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:02 PM

So, I'm catching up a day...

 

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Our skipper, Ruis soon found us loads of whale shark action:

 

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This is a composite image!

 

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We also "hit the town" for our group meal:

 

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#17 adamhanlon

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:10 PM

OK, so we've had some good days here in Isla Mujeres, but today REALLY delivered.

 

We got in early into a really dense formation of feeding sharks, and very soon found large numbers of mantas (including the largest one that I have ever seen). The action was so frantic that you would get run into by the sharks while you were watching/photographing the mantas. In a word-awesome!

 

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The mantas were doing feeding loops, and were very approachable.

 

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We also has mobulas, sailfish (!) and dolphins on the boat rides.

 

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Jason and I ran an image review session this evening and the images submitted were awesome! Well done team....  

 

Let's hope for more of the same tomorrow.


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#18 bmyates

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:52 PM

Sorry I'm late in getting some things posted, but here are a few from the past 4 days!

 

I used a Canon 8-15mm circular fisheye for this.  Luke (my dive buddy) thinks it is symbolic (of the world, seas, sky, sun, human and animal...).  I just thought it would be interesting to try.
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I guess it's appropriate that I get a grinning whale shark shot...

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Inspired by Adam's selfie, I did my own version!

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The first or second morning, one of the crew taking a photo of a whale shark.

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And last - for now - this is how you photobomb a whale shark!

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#19 adamhanlon

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:27 AM

On Tuesday, Isla Mujeres lived up to its fickle relationships with the sharks this year. The wind was blowing (for the first time in 4 weeks) and it seemed that the huge number of sharks that we saw yesterday had dived deep. Despite this, there were still photo opportunities, albeit they were not as frequent as before!

 

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I just love hanging around under whale sharks...

 

Carol Anne instructing the skipper, Nacho, on where the sharks may be:

 

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Isla Mujeres sunrises are pretty special.

 

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Thursday proved to be very productive. There were lots of sharks, although there was so much food in the water that they were quite spread out. Nevertheless, they nearly ran us all over several times during the day!

 

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Peter Korn chasing a shark!

 

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Sometimes "parts" of the sharks are really interesting;

 

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Here is a group picture of our amazing group:

 

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I'm sure that others will be posting on here soon, but to say thank you to all the participants. Wetpixel Whale Sharks 2014 has been awesome!

 

We will be releasing dates for 2015 soon. If you are interested, please be sure to get in contact. These trips sell out so fast!

 

Adam

 

 

 

 

 


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#20 schwer

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

We ran into some beautiful Mantas that did not disappoint and turned on the acrobatics.

 

Video embedded-admin