A Good Planet, a five-part earth science collection, offered by Sir David Attenborough made its debut on January 3. The spectacular collection is a fusion of pure historical past and Earth science that seeks to elucidate how planet Earth operates.
Filming befell over a four-year interval – the primary 4 episodes focuses on volcanoes, daylight, climate and oceans. The collection finale seems on the impression people have had on nature and the way the harm we’ve got carried out might be reversed to revive nature’s steadiness.
‘They make Earth really distinctive – an ideal planet. Our planet is one in a billion, a world teeming with life. However now, a brand new dominant pressure is altering the face of Earth: people. To protect our good planet we should guarantee we change into a pressure for good.’
Components of Episode 4, ‘Oceans’, have been shot in Algoa Bay within the Japanese Cape in 2018. Eco-tour company, Raggy Charters, headed by Lloyd Edwards, facilitated the filming.
Edwards stated Raggy Charters has labored with a number of tv crews through the years however none come near the BBC.
‘The BBC treats you with the utmost respect they usually respect the animals,’ stated Edwards. ‘They don’t go for a budget pictures.’
Edwards and crew spent 20 days at sea with the documentary-makers and managed to trace down long-beaked widespread dolphins and bait balls on 18 days, a exceptional success price, which is unbelievable in line with Edwards.
‘That’s completely exceptional. You converse to anyone that movies sardine run stuff they usually’ll by no means get that type of hit price,’ he stated.
Edwards jokingly attributed their success to luck but in addition added that it was right down to the company’s implausible tools and the wealth of expertise they’ve gathered through the years – Raggy Charters has been working in Algoa Bay’s waters since 1997.
The gruelling shoot was arduous on their our bodies, ‘we’re out on the water because the solar’s developing and we solely get again when the solar’s down’, added Edwards, however it resulted in numerous firsts for the crew. They noticed faculties of killer and false whales, respectively, on consecutive days.
‘One other spotlight was seeing a faculty of round 10,000 widespread dolphins chasing baitfish, our largest so far. One of many bait balls had 12 Bryde’s whales chasing fish in entrance of the widespread dolphins… actually loopy stuff,’ stated Edwards.
Algoa Bay is likely one of the largest bays in Africa and is wealthy in marine and birdlife. Notable islands inside its heat Indian Ocean waters embody the St Croix Island, which is the biggest, in addition to Chook, Seal and Stag Islands.
So, why do researchers, filmmakers and vacationers flock to the bay?
‘Upwelling,’ stated Edwards. Upwelling is when the nutrient-rich water rises from deep and ‘fertilise’ floor waters, which leads to excessive organic productiveness.
This phenomenon happens in two localities in Algoa Bay, in line with Edwards.
Upwelling gives meals for the baitfish that devour plankton, comparable to anchovy, sardines, mackerel and the baitfish, in flip, present meals for predators.
‘That’s what attracts the penguins, the widespread dolphin and the Beluga whale, the fish-eating whale that continues to be within the Bay all yr spherical,’ stated Edwards.
Algoa Bay’s present construction means the realm is a wealthy meals supply for prolonged intervals and that’s why the bay is often frequented by vacationers and tv crews.
Previous to the lockdown, 95% of Raggy Charters’ purchasers have been worldwide vacationers however since they resumed operations in lockdown Stage 4, they modified their technique and locals have taken to the service.
‘We’ve now rotated to 95% native,’ stated Edwards. South Africans obtain a considerable low cost – as much as 45% – and have stored the enterprise alive.
‘It’s fairly difficult as a result of we’re doing these massive turnovers however we’re not making any cash however a minimum of we’re managing to pay our employees,’ added Edwards.
Raggy Charters has 4 full-time workers and three boats in its fleet. The 8.6-metre Buttcat catamaran named Winkle was the popular vessel when the BBC filmed in 2018.
Edwards stated that they’ve filmed a whole lot of underwater footage thus far however nonetheless have to complete the second half, which is the topside footage.
‘We’ll very enthusiastic about placing that complete one collectively in April,’ stated Edwards. April is the perfect time to movie as the ocean is calm and the water is teeming with baitfish.
Given the prolonged manufacturing turnaround time, it might be fairly some time earlier than particulars concerning the subsequent documentary shall be divulged publicly.
As for the present collection, ‘I can’t even watch the factor,’ stated Edwards who hasn’t owned a tv since 1995. ‘They’ll ship me the video quickly and I’ll watch it.’
Raggy Charters holds the BBC and their work within the highest regard, and evidently, the sensation is mutual, the upcoming documentary is a testomony to this.
When the movie crew touches down later this yr, Edwards stated he’ll have a lekker South African curry ready for them.
‘Oceans’ is predicted to air within the UK tv on January 24, 2021, however is streaming on iPlayer proper now, sadly, that is solely out there to British residents.
Image/s: Lloyd Edwards/Raggy Charters & Jean Tresfon