FULLY BOOKED. Join Alex Mustard on an expedition style workshop in Norway in winter, to snorkel with and photograph orca in the sheltered waters of the fjords. In northern Norway, from mid October to mid February herring congregate in huge numbers to over winter. This potential feast doesn’t go unnoticed and attracts probably the largest gathering of orcas in the world, who are regularly joined by humpback whales. The aim of this trip is to produce stunning images of them.

Alex says “this is a trip I have never done before, despite shooting underwater in Norway many times. However, you would have to have been living under a rock not to know about Norway’s orcas, their feeding behaviour has been featured in many nature documentaries (see below) and in award winning still images. The aim of the trip is to snorkel with the herring and their predators – orcas and hopefully humpback whales.”

Our base for the workshop is M/S Sula, a 30m-long fishing boat converted into a utilitarian diving liveaboard. Alex adds “The Sula crew are hugely experienced working with the orcas and the huge advantage of the liveaboard is that you can follow the herring schools and the whales. I know plenty of photographers who have tried this shoot land based and been stuck in the wrong fjord and missed the best action. The workshop is timed in November, which is late enough for all the herring and whales to have arrived, but with more daylight than in December (in Jan-Feb there is the risk of the herring being depleted and the whales being dispersed or gone).” M/S Sula is part of the Undersea Soft Encounter Alliance, which is supported by scientists and promotes soft interactions with marine mammals, where the wellbeing of the whales and nature is always the first priority”

M/S Sula has bunkbed accomodation, with two cabins with four beds, five cabins with two beds and one cabin with three beds, a lounge, an equipment room and a drying room. Bathroom facilities are shared. She is also a fully setup diving boat, although we will only be snorkelling with the whales. All food and drinks are included in workshop price (food cooked by a “professional chef!”). Alex adds “ I should stress that the accommodation is comfortable, but more expedition style than is typical on my workshops!” Norway is renowned as an expensive country to visit, but we have tried to include everything in the package, so there isn’t an expensive surprise at the end of the trip!

orca_sula

The focus of the workshop will be on the photo techniques for shooting the whales and the herring in the dark winter waters, with emphasis on producing the strongest images and the best image quality files. Alex will also use the evenings to conduct image reviews (providing we have action filled days) and will run through the best post processing options for getting the most from these images and minimising noise. Alex adds “the short days and long nights should also provide the chance to regularly observe the Northern Lights above the beautiful scenery, weather permitting! ”

VITALS

This trip is available as either a full 6 night package or a 3 night package (limited to 12 photographers in total). 24th – 30th November 2018.

6 Nights Full Board – £4575 GBP – or £4775 with flights London to London.

3 Nights Full Board – £2925 – or £3125 with flights London to London.

Included – full board accommodation, workshop, harbour fees, group airport transfers. High quality rental drysuits are not included, but available.

Because of the nature of this charter and the popularity of the best weeks of the season, a deposit of £1500 is required by the boat to confirm your place.

BOOKING
For further information and for reservations please contact Scuba Travel. Email is the best way to start your booking of this trip – contact Caroline@scubatravel.com. There are also full trip details on Scuba Travel website.