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Rustler 37 in the Helford River

A favourite client…

One of my favourite clients is Rustler Yachts. Filming boats for them is a guarantee of a great day at sea.

Rustler 37
Rustler 37 at anchor, Carrick Roads

Rustler have a reputation for handbuilding high quality yachts. Based in Penryn, Cornwall, just a few miles from our studio, it’s always a pleasure to work with them.

Rustler’s workshop alongside the River Fal is crammed with skilled craftsmen of every type. It’s companies like this that keep the art of boat building alive. No GRP production lines here as you find in the huge French yacht manufacturers. Here at Rustler they give every detail minute and skilled attention. That’s the joy of owning a Rustler yacht.

Filming at sea

Well, so far our films have focused on individual boats. We wait for perfect conditions at sea off Falmouth and spend a day at sea filming by drone and boat-to-boat as one of their skippers puts a yacht through its paces. Here’s a clip of their Rustler 42 that we made for them.

A film brief with a difference

But the latest project – although still fun  and still filming boats – was very different. In the Penryn boatshed Rustler are building their biggest yacht to date – the Rustler 57. So we came up with the idea that we would film that critical moment when they laid the deck on the hull and attached it.

And of course there is a great deal of work done before that happens. But it’s still a great moment to capture. So with the help of some of the craftsmen, Fionn and I set up 3 Go-Pro cameras each filming different angles of the process.

It’s not dramatic – in fact it’s a precision process that the craftsmen have carried out many times on other boats. They have raised and lowered this deck countless times already to ensure that when the final time comes the fit is perfect. But in time-lapse it’s still great watching that moment when the deck is finally lowered and then fixed in place.

Here it is!

Pilot Whales Cornwall

Pilot Whales – a surprise encounter

On a flat calm day this summer we encountered something very unexpected and amazing. Just ten miles south of Salcombe we encountered a pod of Pilot Whales.

Here’s a little edit. Take a look!

 

A perfect day…

The conditions were absolutely perfect. Glassy sea and no other boats in sight, just us. It was surreal.

 It was a huge pod. Wherever we looked there were fins and whales breaking surface. It’s hard to know why they were here. Their principal diet is squid, although they also eat cuttlefish, herring and other small fish when squid is unavailable. Maybe they had chanced on a shoal of herring, which are becoming increasingly common again off our south west coast.

 

 It was so unexpected, we weren’t ready for it, didn’t have filming equipment set up or anything. However the whales didn’t seem in a hurry to leave us. We got the equipment set up in record time, filming from the boat and the air with the Inspire drone. You can’t miss an opportunity like this.

pilot whales fins

We spent about half an hour with them, trying to make the most of the moment and since we were not in a rush to get back anyway. The whales also had their young with them. Overall, It was a magical encounter which we would be incredibly lucky to ever experience again!

a pod of pilot whales

And then another surprise encounter…

After finally leaving the whales and continuing on towards Falmouth, something caught my eye disturbing the flat calm sea. Surely it couldn’t be…? Throttling back on Cecienne we were just in time to watch a huge leatherback turtle slowly submerging. You can occasionally see leatherbacks in the Irish Sea in the summer, feeding on jellyfish that swarm there each year. The water around us was full of jellyfish, so obviously this one had made a slight detour up Channel as it grazed on the swarm.

What a day!

One of our niche skills is marine filming – filming at sea whether drone filming, boat to boat, or even underwater filming. Working with Princess Motor Yachts gives us a great opportunity to showcase these skills.

Princess Motor Yachts  are one of the UK’s foremost builders of luxury motor yachts. The statistics are impressive. According to Wikipedia, “Princess Yachts operates in 119 countries and employs over 2,600 people worldwide. Whilst their shipyards cover a combined area of over 1.1 million square feet.”

2018 French Rendezvous

Based in Plymouth, they have been a client we have been keen to work with. Particularly as I own a Princess boat – Cecienne – albeit the very smallest of their range. Over several years Fionn Crow and I have taken her from Africa to the Antarctic, and on those voyages have developed a considerable expertise in marine filming – an expertise that I am happy to say Princess have recognised.

Each year they arrange a cross-Channel adventure for Princess owners. Last year was from the Solent to Guernsey, an event that we filmed for them. So I was delighted when we were invited to film this year’s event – from The Solent to Cherbourg and then on to …

With my crew of Elliott Harrison and Reef Slack, we headed up to the Solent River, where we had an overnight mooring arranged for us. We arrived in good time for the skippers’ briefing by Jon Mendez, who had led last year’s Guernsey trip. Then an early night ready for an early morning departure.

The crossing

To get our drone footage, we ran ahead of the rest of the flotilla. Conditions were perfect for drone filming.Jon organised the boats into an arrowhead formation passin

This is Secret Devon,

When MotorBoats and Yachting editor Hugo suggested I follow up my Secret Cornwall features with a similar project in Devon,  I wasn’t convinced I could find a sufficient number of hidden backwaters. 

Outside of the Solent, Devon has the largest quantity of boating centres on the south coast.

Plymouth, Salcombe, Dartmouth, Brixham, Torquay… Probably well over 10,000 boats are based along the county’s coastline. How in the height of summer was I going to find quiet locations where other boat owners didn’t venture?

Anyway, I regularly visit Devon and think that I know it pretty well. A quiet evening pint of Palmers on the terrace of Salcombe’s Ferry Inn before pizza at Captain Flint’s is one of my favourite weekend getaways, and over the years I’ve spent time in every harbour along the coast. I blithely assumed there would be no surprises. How wrong I was.

This is part one of a two-part series, accompanied by a seven-page article in this months edition of the magazine. Go check that out here:  be ready for the second.

 


 

For the post-production side of things, we kept it very basic, and just wanted the shots to do the talking for us. The only more advanced thing we did was the animated map. We created this using After Effects, with some simple animation tools and effects, just to demonstrate the precise locations that we were talking about.  This map will feature in all episodes.

Overall a great and unexpected journey and hope you guys enjoy this, and all of the upcoming Secret Devon films which will be released on the MS Amlin YouTube channel over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading,

Norway: Part 3 MBY

Continue our journey to the Arctic Circle. Norway Part 3 is now available to watch. The next installment in the video series for Motor Boat and Yachting Magazine about our Norway trip last year…

 

Solomon Islands Landing Ship 342 TJ Hughes Shark Bay Films
Princess V39 Norway part 2 MBY

Norway Part 2 is available to watch now. A new video series for Motor Boat and Yachting Magazine about our Norway trip last year…

Norway Motor Boat & Yachting Magazine

Here’s the first of 4 videos accompanying articles in Motor Boat and Yachting Magazine about our Norway boat trip last year to the Arctic Circle.

Princess Motor Yatchs Princess V39

A short edit we did for Princess Motor Yachts showing some of Cecienne’s adventures from Africa to the Arctic Circle. Featuring the Princess V39.

 

Cuba Crocodile Underwater

You can watch the entry below. We hope you enjoy it!

We are very pleased that our short film – ‘The Crocodile and The Hutia’ recently won a special award in the Belgrade 20th International Underwater Film Festival. The short was edited from a sequence taken from our documentary ‘Castro’s Secret Reef’.

Deep in the mangroves of the reef system known as Jardinas de la Reina or Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen. An ancient reptile, the Crocodile, is on the hunt for it’s next meal. Does the Hutia have the guile to outwit the Crocodile in this 5 minute short.

For more of our videos visit our VIMEO page:

https://vimeo.com/sharkbayfilms