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Information for 2016/2017 season and 2015 season report. 2015 was an incredible wildlife year for us in the Hebrides, with over 700 basking shark sightings along with 1000's of dolphins (commons/bottlenose/white-beaked) 100's of minke whale & porpoises and of course the grey & harbour have been very playful in excellent visibility. We even had a leatherback turtle which was a first for us and very exciting along with a handful of oceanic sunfish over the season. In addition we had regular white tailed eagle sightings, and a wealth of seabirds including our regular puffin trips, gannets, fulmars, manx shearwaters, terns guillemots, razorbills etc etc. Our diving has also been going well with us continuing with our black water night diving and floodlit dives, both of which providing excellent results. This is addition to the excellent muck and nudibranch diving, stunning temperature reefs and plentiful wrecks in the area. Our basking shark weeks which are geared towards enthusiasts are full for 2016 but we do have spaces for 2017, however generally our three day trips which include basking sharks, seals, evening dive, puffins, fingals cave and whale & dolphins are good for a quick photo tour. Please have a look at our excellent film cut by our head guide Luke Saddler and filmed by Luke and I over the season. https://youtu.be/GKpn0qLJaWM In addition to our Hebrides tours, our other cold water wildlife spectacular had also had incredible results. Our tours to the Arctic Circle for the orca migration was hugely successful this year. Along with the hundreds of orca we also had spectacular encounters with humpback and fin whales in the water. In addition to wonderful surface light and behaviours such as lunge feeding humpbacks and spy-hopping orca next to the boat! We are running three weeks next year with specific logistics for free-divers and photographers. Again please have a look at our video from the trip for an example of some of the encounters. https://youtu.be/S8WQdefImIg For details on all of these encounters please see www.baskingsharkscotland.co.uk and feel free to contact us directly for any questions you might have. Safe Diving Shane
Hey Everyone. Just an update on what we're doing up in the Hebrides and also overseas with our wildlife and travel company Basking Shark Scotland (www.baskingsharkscotland.co.uk). Along with Dive Oban & Argyll which diving specific (www.diveobanandargyll.co.uk) Although 2014 wasn't a classic year for sharks and despite the media sensationalising things all over the UK, we still bucked the national trend which confirms that the Hebrides is the best place in the world for these sharks. We had around 150 sharks over the season which ranged from May-Aug this year. We also had excellent encounters with common & bottlenose dolphins, minke whales and sunfish. Our Grey & Harbour Seal trips have been running really well and are generally a great addition to our trips. Add this to the excellent marine life and visibility here there is fantastic diving and free diving opportunities, as well as the surface experiences such as the stunning Fingals cave. We really have a unique and diverse area, which combining the amazing pelagic life and diving opportunities results in an world class area. We also run a specific diving business - Dive Oban & Argyll which is diving charters and expeditions out of Oban. This can be booked for general diving year round and we have lots of very interesting photographic subjects nearby including the sepulid reefs, northern sea fans & fireworks anemones. For our basking shark & wildlife trips, check out some of the highlights of the year on the video below. We've been having good success with our drone and put together a video at the end of the year to showcase some of this. We'll be following up with more underwater footage but it always takes so long to work on all the media. [video=youtube;o4jH4JFo33Y] We have a variety of trips running over summer 2015 which range from day trips to week long expeditions. For serious underwater photographers who want specific time with the sharks and less distractions of mixed groups then we would recommend our week long trips which will focus on the sharks specifically. We have a lot of time to have great interactions with them, but also for other large pelagic and a fun one below from this year. We are running two specific shark week trips over the following dates next year and places are limited to 10 on each trip; 25th July - 1st August 2015 1st August - 8th August 2015 Our trip are based in the heart of the Hebrides and will include 6 full days at sea. Our trips are based aboard our Redbay Cabin RIB's, both having a 11m passenger style which is used for the sharks and a dive specific version. They are highly seaworthy, comfortable and fast, however the bonus is we have the speed to cover lots of ground but also have shore based for comfort. Very different to chugging around on a liveaboard in each others pockets. Price is from £980 based on a twin share, we do also have double ensuites, which cost a little extra as to be expected. In addition to our Hebrides trips following on from two great years in Iceland, we are continuing on with the short breaks there for 2015 too. Generally we visit in October which is after all the crowds have left but is also a good time for Aurora. Diving or Snorkelling is at the famous visiblity of the Silfra lagoon, volcanic ake, with additional trips to the geysers, waterfalls & hot springs in the area. They are 3 & 4 day trips based on UK flights but we do have other people internationally flying in to meet us with the good connections. More information can be found here, with pics and videos from the last couple of trips. http://baskingsharkscotland.co.uk/diving-swimming-in-iceland/ We also have a couple of last minute spaces on our Orca/Killer Whale trip in January 2015. We are taking a small group this year to Norway and only recently finished bashing out the details after our 2014 trip. Dates are 22nd- 29th Jan 2015. See here for more info and more details available via email if interested. http://baskingsharkscotland.co.uk/swim-with-killer-whales/ Thanks for your interest and very happy to chat via email and phone about any of our trips. Kind Regards Shane Wasik Basking Shark Scotland Dive Oban & Argyll Shane Wasik Photography
Hi Everyone, We had a great season this year with over 170 sharks and a 75% trip hit rate - pretty good for unpredictable migratory sharks! Along with the sharks we had some amazing diving and photography opportunities along with really cool adventures all over the Hebridean islands. For a taste of what we get up please see our 2013 season video! Below. We have a number of trips planned over 2014 including; 3 Day Sharks, Seals & Adventures - June & July - See here. 1 Day Shark Trips - August - See here. Coll Shark Festival as featured on the BBC ONE show - see here. Week long adventures - best of tour. This is a small group and is photography focussed with a group booked 5 of the 8 spaces. See here. We also have a few overseas trips in the planning along with lots of diving throughout Scotland so please feel free to get in touch. Safe Diving. Shane
Hi Everyone, Just wanted to let you all know about our new business focussed on snorkelling with Basking Sharks from Oban in Scotland. We are gearing up to start in May and are using a brand new vessel which has just arrived (this weekend) on the west coast. We are offering single, two and three day trips where we will explore all round the Argyll coastline looking for the sharks. The boat we are using is a brand new 12m cabin RIB, 760hp and has 14 suspension seats. Although this isn't a dive boat, it's a very comfortable way to travel by sea having a nice toilet and galley, combining a cruising speed of 28knots. The benefits of travelling to Scotland to see the sharks is that the seasonal population has been shown to be one of the most consistent in terms of sightings and also numbers. In addition to the sharks we have an abundance of marine life such as seal colonies which you will also be able to snorkel with. Along with whales & dolphins, eagles, puffins and now good consistant sightings of otters. Not to mention the stunning Scottish scenery, historic landscape and options for island exploration. On our longer tours we will be stopping in Tobermory and Iona which are awesome places to explore along with sampling our friendly island hospitality. Our start base in Oban makes travel far easier for everyone, with direct train links not far from the boat and only being a few hours drive from the central belt and the major Scottish airports. It also makes the car journey from further south in the UK a bit more bearable too. We would be happy to arrange for transport for larger groups. You may notice that this makes a longer journey to the known shark 'hotspot' but what sets us apart is that as soon as your are on the boat in Oban we are looking for sharks and other wildlife straight away! With an unpredictable animal this means we have the best chance of seeing them by covering the most ground! Although we are not a dive boat, we can cater for a small amount of divers and as underwater photographers and videographers i'm sure you will be keen to take advantage of our wonderful Scottish marine life. We can arrange custom dive trips for you, please see this link as a sample of some of the image opportunities open to you. http://baskingsharkscotland.co.uk/scuba-diving/ My own background is that I was born and grew up in Scotland and starting diving in 1996. I qualified as a commercial and scientific diver in 2001 and completed my marine biology degree in 2003. I am a BSAC First Class Diver and Advanced Instructor, along having technical and rebreather qualifications and my own underwater photography is well published. Just to give you some comfort as to our professionalism and understanding of both the animals, our area and you as specialised customers. We would welcome enquires from groups and can offer discount on these types of bookings however we can equally accommodate individuals booking on trips. Please visit our website at www.baskingsharkscotland.co.uk and follow our news on facebook at www.facebook.com/baskingsharkscotland and please feel free to contact us with any query. We look forward to giving you amazing experiences at Basking Shark Scotland. Safe Diving Shane