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BBC Wildlife Series "Life"

Fish might fly – 8th April 2009

A big thanks to Barry and Alex on the “Hogsnapper” for a sweeeeeeeet trip.  Special thanks to Barry for getting my producer back to the hotel on the last night’s festivities in Scarborough – It would have taken at bit of explaining at the BBC if we lost him completely.  The fishermen delivered us a classic little sequence.  The Flying fish went off.  We were mainly filming spawning.  The fish spawn sticky eggs onto anything floating – usually floating bits of palm frond.  One night the boys put us in such a good spot we had to move.  There were so many fish they started spawning on the rudder and propeller of the boat.  They stuck on a 400 pound egg mass in just 20 minutes. Had we not moved they would have sunk us!  Ended up getting some some lovely flying at 1000 frames a second (slowed down 40x).  Such a beautiful way to finish the filming of the “Life” series.  It’s been quite an adventure – 15 trips over 2 years.  Now a bit of time R&R then full tilt on the next series “Frozen Planet”.  It’s gonna get a bit chilly.

T&T here we come! – 7th March 2009

 Trinidad and Tobago Flag

T&T Flag

Back now in the green and pleasant land.  The Ice and blood seem long ago.  Leopard seals killing Adelie penguin chicks sounded easy compared to the Killer whale Kamikaze mission but proved tough. Adelie Penguin numbers have crashed in the last 10 years (G’ warming) and the Leopard seals seem to know it.  We just sneaked it in the end.  I got a full kill underwater and cameraman  John Aitchison covered it with the Phantom High Speed camera on he surface.  At 500 frames a second (slowed down 20x) the action is quite amazing! He is quite a talent that boy.  I now have two weeks before hitting Tobago for a Flying fish sequence – the last trip on the BBC “Life” series.  A shoot that seems to have been around my entire career – cancelled, rescheduled and cancelled again.  Finally were going to do it.  I’m looking forward to the rocking and rolling and reggae of the “Hog-snapper”  – a 30′ Tobagan fishing boat we will be working on for a couple of weeks. Of course I’ll be taking my Trinidad and Tobago Passport!  I got it 2 years ago but have never used it – my mum was born in Trinidad.  Resident queue here I come!