Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sailfish Slashes Through the Air Pursuing a Baitfish

I recently returned from Isla Mujeres, Mexico, where I joined my friend Brandon Cole to get photographs of sailfish attacking bait balls.  I sat on the boat in rough seas for four days, but on the second day, we had some action -- about three minutes of really fantastic action up close, and a few more minutes where we saw sailfish but could not get close or spend much time with them.

This is one of my favorite images from the trip.  This sailfish actually slashed through the air and into the water, while chasing a baitfish.  I was incredibly lucky to have captured this kind of action.

I have to thank the real experts: the captain Rogelio Delgado and his mate Juan, who know enough about this sort of thing to put us photographers into the action.  Rogelio's the MAN.  He and Juan could spot baitballs by watching birds, and could tell if it was worth jumping in the water or not.  If there were bonito feeding, then it was not worth it.  If the bait was up near the surface, he'd get us close and tell us when to get in.  Brandon Cole was good at spotting stuff, too. I just lay on the cushions trying to get unconscious and to avoid seasickness, then rolled over and jumped in when commanded to.

I thought this was a unique thing -- sailfish slashing through air to hit a baitfish, but then a friend (Stephen Wong) sent my a bunch of shots that HE got showing even better action. So that put me down a peg.

I also visited the mainland, staying in Tulum, to dive the cenotes around that area.  They were just phenomenal places to dive and photograph.  I'll post some photos and a trip report when I have time to edit the images.