Nature Odyssey, the nature and adventure brand of Walkers Tours was the ground handling agent for a film crew from the BBC UK who were in Sri Lanka recently to film a new documentary on the Blue Whale.
The documentary titled ‘Ocean Giants’ features the fascinating world of whales and dolphins and attempts to shed light on these elusive creatures of the deep through the eyes of the dedicated scientists who study them around the world. The series will be aired on BBC 1 in June this year.
World famous cameramen Didier Noirot and Doug Allan travelled to Sri Lanka to meet with Sri Lankan scientists Anouk Illangakoon, Asha de Vos and American Scientist Ari Freidlander. Their mission was to find out why blue whales grow so large.
Sri Lankan waters are unique for having blue whales throughout the year, a mystery that the scientists are attempting to solve. This involves checking the water nutrient content and more interestingly examining whale excrement, which is incidentally neon orange in colour and floats!
The highlights of the 11 days at sea were the amazing sightings of blue whales, sometimes up to 30 in a single day! This included a mother-calf pair and several single females and males. To date up to 27 species of cetaceans have been recorded in Sri Lankan waters.
The BBC crew was rewarded with an observation of one of the largest schools of Risso’s dolphins ever seen – in the act of fishing a school of tuna, the bizarre sight of a Manta Ray jumping six ft into the air to shake off parasites and the endearing spinner dolphins whose speed and grace is always breathtaking to watch. A rare sighting of two orcas, and a right whale was another major highlight of the tour.
Nature Odyssey was responsible for coordinating with the Ministries of Defence and Tourism for filming approval and for all logistical arrangements.
All the cameraman have vowed to return and continue filming in the country, not only have the Blues captured their hearts but also Sri Lanka’s crazy traffic, which they think will be a smash hit documentary, no pun intended.