We were all sitting at the table, sharing food and stories. Fried anchovies, calamari and clams, all fresh from the morning, each of us telling his Nature stories.  Glasses of cold beer, sunset over the gulf, our joy and laughs spreading over other tables. I was having dinner with a production team filming for the next Life series on BBC. Tomorrow, we would spend the day on the water, filming the dusky dolphins. The team had been here for almost 3 weeks now and was leaving soon. One of their crew had left a couple of days ago. One man short, they were looking for an extra pair of eyes. When I offered mine, they gladly accepted.

It was 7am when they engines started and propelled us away from the beach. Under a magnificent sky, the morning air tightened up our faces, our collars zipped up, we drank our coffee and shared a bag of croissants. Although it might sound glamorous, documentaries like this one take years of patience and filming. Certain sequences captured after months and months of waiting, chasing, and hoping. Some, simply never happen when the cameras are rolling. Jonathan Smith and Tom Fitz had been filming the duskies for weeks now, hoping to catch the scene they had come to capture. They had filmed them feeding on small bait ball, filmed them with sea lions, filmed them jumping around, but they had not filmed them feeding on a big ball of anchovies. One day, they found a huge ball, twice the size of the boat, but no dolphins feeding.

Each day is the same, no matter the weather. By sunrise, you are on the water, and you are not coming back before darkness. One member of the team in, on land or in the air, on the look out. You spend so much time looking through binoculars, you start to see things. You spend so much time putting your wet suit on and taking it off, it starts to look more like a fashion rehearsal. As days go by, you invent more and more lucky charms. Perhaps we need to do the dolphin dance tomorrow, with Hawaiian skirts this time! Jokingly, my arrival is seen as a possible sign of good luck, giving me now the responsibility of turning faith around, before I become a sign of bad luck!  The day is superb. The conditions are perfect. If only, just for one moment, this could be “The Day”.

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About this author

  • Daniel Fox

    Wend Magazine Ambassador, Sponsored by Tiderace, Kokatat, Brunton, Lendal, Suunto, SOG, NorthWater, Snap Dragon Design, UW Kineā€¦

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