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Snorkeling, Scuba Diving & Wildlife Photography Expedition, Norway
“...There was Anna, the Orca— just like last year. Just five feet away from me, she stood up on her powerful tail, raising her head and blowing bubbles about ten feet under the surface. I couldn’t mistake her. Something about the way she moves had etched itself in my memory, like a favorite ballet that once seen, is never to be forgotten…"
“You’ve seen Orcas in seaquariums. You’ve seen them on National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. You’ve seen Orcas featured in books and films and as plush toys in department stores. Now here is your chance to observe and photograph and dive with Orcas in the wild, underwater in their natural habitat in Norway, as they engage in the unique feeding behavior first documented by Amos Nachoum and Big Animals Photography Expeditions.
At only a few times of the year, killer whales follow migrating herring into the magnificent fjords of Norway. Singling out the spectacular Vestfjord, millions of tons of herring gather and dive deep, where the cold water slows their metabolism and reduces their need to feed. Drawn to this enormous food source, hundreds of Orcas follow, waiting until clouds of herring drift toward the surface before they begin to feed.
Our exclusive group of five divers tracks individual Orca pods, observing the whales at play and feeding until the time is deemed right to attempt a diving encounter. Two guests at a time slip quietly into the water, snorkeling and free diving, to mingle with the killer whales. As conditions permit, the other divers are sent to join them. (Some scuba diving is also used.)
Encounters range from brief check-outs when the Orcas zoom in to observe our diving guests at close range (including mothers with infants), to extended engagements when fortunate snorkeling guests will have the chance to watch the Orcas carouselling, or herding, large schools of herring.
Just when you think you’ve seen the last of these wolves of the sea, in the form of disappearing bodies and fading tail flukes, an Orca will rocket from the deep to pause right alongside you, or go vertical in the water like a patrolling guard inspecting a possible intruder. On none of our expeditions has anyone ever been attacked or otherwise injured by these wondrous creatures, despite the fact that we are often present in their midst during active feeding behavior.
Because of the extreme temperatures we encounter (water 38-42°F, top side 28-40°F with wind chills to 10°F and the possibility of snow), only dry suit diving is allowed. Participants will need to prove their competency in such diving to the satisfaction of the expedition leader. Although equipment is available on board, it is recommended that divers bring their own dry suits in order to ensure a close and comfortable fit before leaving home. This far north, the amount of daylight is limited, but the waters of the Norway fjord are exceedingly clear and afford visibility in the range of 30-40 ft. horizontally.
Many exceedingly rare and exclusive experiences require some extra effort on the part of those involved. The Orcas of Norway are no exception. Offered only by Big Animals Photography Expeditions, this diving adventure is without parallel, and is sure to provide moments and memories that will last for the rest of your life”.
- Amos Nachoum
Photograph by Amos Nahoum