Take a deep breath, it’s time to delve into our ocean’s deepest secrets once more and become inspired by Blue Planet II…
The Blue Planet Story
From the deep abyss, to emotive sea life and scenic bliss, be prepared to plunge to new depths as the BBC’s Natural History Unit creates giant waves once more. Having spent four years filming the latest Blue Planet II series and visiting every continent plus ocean on our planet, we’re ready to be awed by the surf and soak up the spray. As we immerse ourselves in the dramatic documentary sequel to Blue Planet, first aired in 2001, and a follow-on from last year’s Planet Earth 2 (the most-watched natural history documentary ever recorded), we’re reminded what a diverse, under-explored habitat our oceans are. With such a bounty of new footage, we’re sure to be intrigued by our Blue Planet and are certain to discover an ocean of inspiration.
“The ocean is the largest habitat on Earth.”
– Sir David Attenborough
Twenty years on from the original and remarkable documentary series, which achieved a raft of global success, the new series benefits from advances in technology and new filming techniques. With innovative new technology — such as the use of ‘suction cams’ attached to the backs of Whale Sharks, and ‘tow cams’ capturing the behaviour of predatory fish — not to mention high-tech probes and night-filming technology, we are guaranteed to be captivated and enthralled once more. With improved diving technology meaning less visible ‘bubbles’ and improved sound, viewers will need to catch their breath as the BBC’s expert marine teams boast incredible new discoveries — from new species to never-before-seen animal behaviours.
“Blue Planet II is taking its cue from these breakthroughs, unveiling unbelievable new places, extraordinary behaviours and remarkable new creatures.”
– James Honeybone, Executive Producer
Accompanying the extraordinary footage and thrilling videography once more, is the authoritative and reassuring narrative of Sir David Attenborough — with the bonus of an emotive soundtrack created by rock band Radiohead, and esteemed film composer, Hans Zimmer echoing the natural drama. The first episode brings to the surface the secrets of the rare Humphead, Wrasse, found in coral in south-west Japan, stunning footage of orca gathering in Norway to feed on herring, moving film of a walrus cow and her vulnerable pup in the Arctic, Sperm Whales in New Zealand, plus incredible pods of Bottlenose Dolphins in South Africa.
An Inspiring Ocean Adventure
So, could this new series inspire us to navigate new waters, plot a new travel course, or charter our own sea adventure? There is certainly an ocean of possibility and a bounty of nautical opportunities to explore. From choosing to stay at an Indian Ocean resort in the idyllic Maldives and learning from a resident Marine Biologist, to boarding an expedition ship, such as the Scenic Eclipse, complete with its own submersible, or diving into an ocean adventure with Mark Healey Water Ops, there are destinations just waiting to absorb your curiosity. From seeing Manta Rays off the coast of Kona Island in Hawaii, to diving with Whale Sharks in the Indian Ocean, seeking the elusive Dugong in Mozambique or rare Hector Dolphins at Banks Peninsula in New Zealand, there are incredible sights to see.
Whale-Spotting In New Zealand
With the southern hemisphere playing host to a wealth of ocean attractions, now is the perfect time to travel to New Zealand to see pods of passing orca in Kaikoura. Located on the east coast of the South Island. Kaikoura’s rich waters, with underwater shelf and canyon, boasts resident Sperm Whales, plus Orca Whales during December to March. During the colder months, migrating whales such as Humpback Whales, Pilot whales, Blue Whales, and southern right whales are often spotted during June and July, as they travel from the cool Antarctic waters to the tropical waters of Tonga and Australia. Of course, for those wishing to visit the largest coral reef on the planet, a stay at Lizard Island in Australia enables scuba-divers and snorkellers the opportunity to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Made up of of 900 smaller reefs, covering 2,600 miles and aged between 5,000 and 10,000 years old, this incredible eco system is visible from space.
Marine Spectacles In South Africa
Providing similar ocean spectacles, South Africa is one of the best destinations for watching marine wildlife. Whether watching Southern Right Whales, with their calves, from the coastline in Hermanus, or witnessing enormous pods of dolphins year-round, there is a plethora of awesome activity to see close to Cape Town. Visitors during June to November can watch out for whale acrobatics, blowing, breaching, lobtailing and spy hopping, along the Cape’s south coast, with the curious Humpback Whale being visible during May to December, as they pass en route to the warm waters off KwaZulu-Natal. Alternatively, visit Boulders Beach in False Bay — one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches — to see a colony of African Penguins that offer a year-round spectacle perfect for families.
The latest sequel will, no doubt, be another visual hit and is airing at a time when many people and organisations believe that we have reached a critical point for our world’s oceans — with plastic, rising temperatures, acidification and coral bleaching being of real concern. With the news awash with damning statistics, marine species in decline, over-fishing and melting ice, perhaps we should go against the tide and drift along a more positive current to support the series:
“The oceans are the most exciting place to be right now, because new scientific discoveries have given us a new perspective of life beneath the waves.”
– James Honeyborne, Executive Producer
Rather than simply admiring the stunning ocean scenery and marvelling at the mesmerising marine creatures in action, we could certainly all appreciate the seas with a new found depth. Now is the time for the tide to turn and for us all to learn more about our amazing blue planet. So why not choose 2018 to venture beyond our shores, jump on board and explore a little deeper — into the deep blue sea.