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Expedition Sailing Vessel Evohe
Sleeping Quarters
sunset in antarctic peninsula
IMG 4974
DSC 23317

Crew heads toward Antarctica to film endangered whales

Dunedin, July 12 – The yacht Evohe sailed into Otago Harbour this week to load up for its trip with a Dunedin film crew to the sub-Antarctic. Producer Max Quinn and his crew leave on Sunday or Monday for a two-month sojourn to film one of the world’s most endangered species, southern right whales. The joint TVNZ Natural History Unit-Discovery Channel production was to be a one-hour documentary on the whale which was reduced from a population of about 100,000 to the brink of extinction in the 19th century whaling boom. The baleen whales were so-named because they were the "right" ones to hunt from shore. They were found in shallow coastal waters, swam slowly and were 18m long (about the length of a humpback whale) and very bulky. In June-July a group of the whales gathered in the Auckland and Campbell Islands (about 600km south of Bluff) to give birth and mate. The rest of the time they roamed the oceans and were difficult to film, Mr Quinn said. The wild scenery and weather of the sub-Antarctic in winter would also feature on the documentary. Each whale could be identified through calcified growths on their heads. During courtship up to seven males vie for the attentions of each female. A camera crew including an underwater camera operator, dive assistant, boat operator, Quinn (camera operator-director-producer), land-based camera operator and sound recordist would be accompanied by a Department of Conservation representative and a scientist. The land-based crew would live in huts on the islands for most of the two months and the others on the Evohe with skipper Steve Kafka, a cook, engineer and first mate. While the crew were looking forward to their trip, the rugby fans among them were a little disappointed to be missing the rest of the season’s games. They would also miss the Olympics, Quinn said. Many games, videos, books and music would accompany the group, who had all taken advanced first aid courses. If a medical emergency did arise, they would be able to be reached by a specially equipped helicopter, Quinn said. After several films about the Antarctic and others in Chile and Fiordland, Quinn is well known as a southern oceans film-maker. "I’m happy to be going down south again. I haven’t done a film north of Dunedin for some time," he said. NZPA ODT jc 12/07/96 16-49NZ

http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/1996/07/12/crew-heads-toward-antarctica-to-film-endangered-whales/

 

 

http://www.conservation.gen.nz/documents/science-and-technical/casn321.pdf