In July 2017 my friend Mick Todd and I flew to Valdez, Alaska for another Big Fish Expeditions trip with Andy Murch. Our home for the week was Ravencroft, a remote lodge 40 minutes by boat from Valdez. The lodge is owned and run by Daniel Boone Hodgin and his wife Gina Hodgin - experts on anything and everything Salmon shark related.
The salmon shark, a species of mackerel shark, feeds on, yes, salmon. A better name for this shark would probably be alaskan shark but salmon shark is what it is known by and I can’t see the name changing now. It’s a zippy shark, researchers say that they have clocked it moving at over 80 kilometres per hour. Related to Great Whites and Shortfin Mako it is considered dangerous although it has never been positively identified in any attacks on humans.
Potentially more dangerous for Mick were his frequent nocturnal visits to the Lodge toilets as bears have been known to stroll by at night. Sadly none strolled by while Mick was taking his numerous pee breaks.
If it wasn’t exciting enough seeing salmon sharks and glimpses of bears, orcas, sea otters, harbour seals, sea lions and bald eagles, a big treat was diving in the massive blooms of Moon and Lion's Mane jellyfish. And one of the bonuses of any Big Fish Expeditions trip is the fabulous company of like-minded folk. I won’t list all the “Big Fish Enthusiasts” on this trip but I will name and shame the most noisy members: Andreas Weerasooriya, Jennifer Idol, Khrista Zand, Larry and Tricia Branscombe, Michelle Nelson and… Ron Zelt. And it’s Ron who gets my vote for being the most boisterous member. Yes, Ron I know it was you that poured shark bait down my snorkel when I was snorkelling with the Salmon sharks!