Mortimer Harvey
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Aquatic adventure series to premiere on Travel Channel (DStv Channel 179)

Descending, an aquatic adventure series for a new generation pushes the boundaries of existing digital camera technology to capture some of the most incredible underwater footage ever created. The show will premiere on Travel Channel (DStv Channel 179) on Wednesday, 21 August, at 8pm.
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Nearly three quarters of our planet is water. No matter how tall the highest peak, how vast the broadest desert or how inhospitable the polar caps - it's all insignificant compared to what lies beneath the waves. Descending (13x60min) is a documentary series that will take viewers on a thrilling adventure into the depths of our world to see places and creatures few of us ever will.

Continuing the global adventure of host Scott Wilson and cinematographer Andre Dupuis together with Kiwi co-host, Ellis Emmett, the team sets out to look beyond the seven continents to the rest of the map... all that is blue. They set out to not just dive our oceans, lakes and rivers, but to discover the stories of human triumph and tragedy associated with the water, and see with their own eyes the health of our water planet.

Each episode features a new setting, stunning environments and fascinating cultures from our own backyard to some of the planet's most remote destinations. Whether it's interacting with the ocean's largest carnivores, exploring untouched remnants of war or watching the birth of the newest part of our planet - Scott and Ellis bring a fresh mix of emotion, humour and knowledge to every story.

In Episode 7, aptly billed "The Big Six", the crew and presenters visit South Africa to face their fears and brave some of the most notorious shark-filled waters in the world.

Mortimer Harvey manages the marketing and public relations for Travel Channel in South Africa.

Episode 7: "The Big Six"

Episode Commentary:

Scott: South Africa is a lot different from the rest of Africa that I've seen. Perhaps most obvious is the fact that, no matter where you go in South Africa, you are never that far away from water. Slammed constantly by two oceans, its jagged coastline of cold Atlantic water slowly transitions to a much more gentle and warm Indian coastline to the east. This allows for two completely different diving worlds within one country. If you're not a surfer, there is only one other reason to brave the cold currents around Cape Town and that's to dive with shark.

I think the thing that blew me away the most about the Great Whites is how calm and controlled they appear to be. The only reason we've seen footage of them gnawing away at cages with divers inside is because they have been baited to do so. The process now is still to use a bait (of sorts) but it's not to alter their behaviour as much as it is to play on their curiosity and to observe and learn more about them. I feel it is much better that tourists are leaving with a thrill, a respect and a good photo of a shark than it is to be leaving with a totally inaccurate portrayal, and a shark tooth or fin souvenir from killing them. The sharks are now starting to be viewed as more valuable alive than dead. It's about time.


Ellis: I was genuinely scared diving into the middle of a feeding frenzy of sharks. But the moment I splashed beneath the water I could see that they meant us no harm. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with sharks. To see one up close is truly an incredible experience, only compared in the above water world, to coming within arm's reach of a lion in the wild, or similar. Once you have seen the sleek powerful grace of a shark up close you would never want to catch or kill one - yet we drag them by their millions, from the oceans, every year. I believe sharks are greatly misunderstood. My dream is to one day swim openly with a Great White shark.

20 Aug 2013 10:24

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Mortimer Harvey