Henry Gilbey
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Please tell me you have watched the first episode of the new BBC series Blue Planet II

I couldn’t watch the first episode on Sunday night because we were travelling back from the first European Sport Fishing Show, but last night I got to sit down with my wife and two girls and watch it - and to be perfectly honest I sat there with an open mouth and close to tears for sixty odd minutes of some of the most mind-blowingly incredible television I have ever seen. Please tell me that you have watched this first episode of the brand new Blue Planet II series……….

As much as there are some good nature documentaries all over the place these days, I still don’t think that anybody does them as well as the BBC when they really go for it. I would hope that as an angler like me you are continually fascinated by the world around us - and especially the ocean of course - and as much as we are lucky enough to have so much of this world opened up to us by the simple power of television, doesn’t it amaze you that a new series like Blue Planet II comes along and still manages to thrill and affect us?


And obviously as an angler and a fishing photographer who has spent a lot of time around giant trevally in the Seychelles, that awesome footage of GTs hitting terns in the water and then the air left me speechless. Isn’t it incredible how nature can be both jaw-droppingly beautiful and beautifully savage in the same instant?


The footage of those GTs smashing into terns took place on the remote Farquhar atoll in the Indian Ocean - I was last there in October 2011, as per these photos here, and the guides were telling us about how they had been seeing GTs taking birds clean out of the sky. I never saw it happen close up, but I remember seeing stuff going on in the distance that sure looked like fish coming out of the water. There’s a lot of terns around Farquhar and I remember being amazed at what the guys had been witnessing, to the point that I tried to get hold of the BBC when I got back home to tell them that something pretty damn unique was going on out in the Seychelles and that they might want to know about it. I couldn’t get through to anybody meaningful and I left it alone, so I am really pleased that somebody somewhere got this show on the road and managed to somehow film this incredible stuff so that we could see it. I have said it since I first ever saw a giant trevally killing some poor sod of a fish on a remote Seychelles flat - if I lived on the flats, I’d rather be a GT than a shark. They are some fish………


I could watch fish and whales and sea creatures done like the BBC does it until the cows come home, but some of that super slow motion wave footage of breaking waves was just insanely beautiful. Not only do the film crews need to have the conditions come together to even have a chance at filming stuff like this, but can you imagine the time and effort and cost it takes to nail that wave filming with such good light as well?

Isn’t it incredible how technology has moved on so much that they could film those rays feeding at night in essentially total darkness? Imagine how exciting it must be to be in the water at night with all those rays, and then get to see the footage later on that you had essentially been blind-shooting as that cameraman said near the end of the first episode. I love how technology allows these film crews to show us nature in all its glory, yet for all our technological prowess and knowledge, we still don’t know why those rays jump clean out of the water for example, and nothing man made is ever going to be as beautiful as so much in nature. What an incredible first episode to this new series, and if you missed it then go this link here on BBC iPlayer and feast your eyes.


Henry Gilbey3 Comments