A different project for we Cornish marine filming specialists. Just back from an amazing filming trip to Palau.

Marine filming experts Cornwall

Rock Islands, Palau

While most divers go there for the great corals and fish life – plus the sharks – we went on a very different mission. Because our aim was to film the remains of the Second World War – both underwater and above. Although many people overlook them, there is a true fleet of sunken and virtually intact ships – and plane wrecks too.

Cornish marine filming

Plane wreck under the ocean

The new documentary

We had planned the expedition carefully. As this was a shoot for our next television documentary. We had our own dedicated dive boat, driver, and two very experienced underwater guides with an intimate knowledge of the wrecks.

Penetrating the wreck

Penetrating the wreck

Palau was a crucial pivot in the Pacific War. Because not only was it a vital naval base. But it also had an airfield on Peleliu controlling vast tracts of the region. Whoever controlled the airfield had control of thousands of square miles of ocean.

WW2 tank Peleliu

WW2 tank Peleliu


Peleliu was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles of WW” in the pacific. Although a tiny island just 5 miles square, it took almost 3 months for the US Marines to take. The Japanese fought to the last man – virtually the entire Japanese garrison of 11,000 was wiped out.

Today the remains of that battle litter the island – from tanks and field guns to a huge Japanese tunnel system.

Cornish marine filming specialists

Wartime tunnel system Peleliu

Ghost Fleet

Underwater the shipwrecks are fascinating. A huge ghost fleet of intact ships. We dived deep into many of these, exploring engine rooms, cargo holds and bridges. Sometimes we found it scary – so deep inside these undersea graves that daylight never penetrated.

Marine filming Cornwall

Deep into the wreck…

We have already produced one film on the remains of war in the Pacific. We have made many successful sales of our film from Truk Lagoon to television stations around the world. So we are hoping to cash in on that success with this follow-up.

Just another day’s work for the leading Cornish marine filming specialists.

Barrel Jellyfish off St. Michael's Mount

Barrel Jellyfish off St. Michael’s Mount

Barrel Jellyfish

Every year they appear off our Cornish coast in swarms. As big as a dustbin lid these aliens have been drifting through our oceans for over 500 million years. Jellyfish – the very name strikes terror – and these are giants!

Yet jellyfish are some of the most ancient and simple animals on the planet. Because they have no brain, heart or blood.  Their soft bodies are over 90% water, and they move in a mesmerising pulsing motion operated by a simple net of nerves.  Though infamous for their stinging tentacles, most species are harmless to humans.

Sea Monsters or Gentle Giants?

Several jellyfish visit UK waters. The Barrel jellyfish is our largest, with a diameter of up to 90cm and weights of up to 35 kilos. And in summer and autumn they swarm off the coast, sometimes washing up in large numbers.

These giant jellyfish swarms cause quite a stir. However they are gentle giants. Barrel jellyfish feed entirely on tiny plankton, so their sting is too weak to hurt humans. In fact so harmless is their sting that many have small fish living in their barrels, darting out to catch prey and then shooting back to the safety of their ever drifting home.

An ocean oddity

The Barrel jellyfish has a strange appearance, even compared to its relatives. It has no trailing tentacles around the bell, but has eight, thick arms underneath. Its arms end in paddles covered in frilly, cauliflower-like tissue where they meet the body. If you look close up, these frills are small, dense tentacles around hundreds of little mouths used to catch and eat their prey.

Close up of barrel jellyfish

Close up of barrel jellyfish

The swarms explained

Barrel jellyfish swarm in warmer summers when there are large plankton blooms offering a plentiful food supply. Usually they drift in the open ocean, but blooms in warm, shallow water bring the jellyfish towards the coast.  In winter they will return to deeper waters.

Part of the ecosystem

Barrel jellyfish are important for supporting other species. An amphipod crustacean Hyperia galba lives in the body cavities of Barrel jellyfish, feeding on the eggs and food scraps. Jellyfish are also prey for the Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), which migrates to cooler northern waters to feed on the summer swarms. We did spot a leatherback turtle last year but he was too far away and by the time we got close enough to film he slipped below the surface. Maybe luckier this year…

Barrel Jellyfish Cornwall

Barrel Jellyfish Cornwall