Uncharted Waters Q&A
Published Jul 9th 2012
We contacted the team behind the video Uncharted Waters and asked them some questions. Read their replies and learn what drove them and how the trip and the DVD came to be.
Our review of the DVD Uncharted Waters about a group of anglers that travel to the volcanic atoll Bassas da India between the African coast and Madagascar stirred our interest. Why would you ever plan a fishing trip to the middle of nowhere, four day's sailing away from the nearest dry land?
Well, we contacted the team behind the DVD and asked them just that - and several other things. Read their replies and learn what drove them and how the trip and the DVD came to be.
How did you ever come to pick out a place such as Bassas da India as a fishing destination?
Jonathan: It started nearly 4 years ago when Pratty introduced me to Glynn for the first time over a few beers. Glynn told of stories of a remote destination almost of fabled proportions that was the home to some giant fish and located in the middle of nowhere.
Every time we got together after that the beer flowed as did the stories and discussions about Bassas. Nearly 2 years ago we said let's just do it, so to cut a long story short we assembled the usual suspects and got it booked. The rest as they say is history!
Glynn: Bassas is one of those places you only really hear whispers and rumours about. I heard my first whisper sharing a boat with a pretty crazy, ex Rhodesian veteran. Considering his history, saying that it would be the most hectic experience of a lifetime, carried a lot of weight with me.
He was talking about a place that the fishing would be so epic it would make the 3 day sail through a storm at sea worth it. I just knew it held incredible opportunity and I couldn't get the thought of the place out of my head. I started digging around and sharing my intentions with the boys...
They were in, and the adventure began.
How was the trip financed? Self-paid, sponsored, a combination?
Jonathan: The trip itself was completely self funded, which covered the cost of the charter yacht, the filming and editing along with the flights, visas, production costs and the obligatory beer ration!
Glynn: The trip and film budget was funded completely by us. We knew what we were trying to achieve was pretty extreme. The gear we needed would have to cope with a pretty tough environment to make the trip a success and with that in mind we were very selective about who we approached. Our gear sponsors were behind us 100% They seemed as excited as us about the trip and their brands certainly lived up to their reputations.
You obviously had a local contact, Brent Craig. Tell us about the logistical setup.
Jonathan: It's a huge logistical process, a flight from the UK took us to Johannesburg, then a small flight with Federal air saw us land in Vilanculos in Mozambique. From here we picked up the yacht and sailed over 250 miles out into the middle of the Mozambique channel pretty much half way to Madagascar.
As you can imagine carrying enough fishing tackle for 6 anglers for a 12 day trip plus around 100kg+ of camera equipment is a massive job in its own right!
Brent first went out with a friend several years ago and did some diving as well as fishing and has been taking a handful of trips there a year ever since.
Glynn: As Tomo says it's a logistical nightmare. I travel to Mozambique regularly and just going there for a fishing holiday alone has an endless amount of "interesting" logistics and challenges to overcome.
Now we had to get to a very remote place with a film crew and then get another 250 miles out to sea and then back home safely again. It was fun getting to Heathrow and one of the camera guys alone was carrying 60 kilos (120 lbs.) of excess baggage. Not to mention that he was checking in an underwater camera that looked more like a torpedo or a ballistics missile.
You can see some of the amazing underwater action it caught in the film. It's mental watching over a hundred tuna chasing after the lures or a school of sailfish attacking the smokers.
In the video we hear mention of the tight space on the boat. It doesn't seem like you had any "social" problems due to lack of apace or friction between the participants.
Jonathan: It was a big part of the planning that we had to make sure that the group we selected to do this project had to get on as there was no escape from each other!
A 46 foot cat with 6 anglers, 2 cameramen, a deckhand and a skipper is a tight squeeze, but unbelievably throughout it all there wasn't a single argument or issue.
I guess - looking back at it - that we were all both physically and mentally drained at the end of the trip. At the end of each day's fishing we probably lacked the energy to argue.
It is a very humbling place, surrounded by shipwrecks you find it hard not to just drift away at times and think about all that had happened there over the years. With over 150 wrecks around the atoll and only one recorded survivor it is easy to to soak it all in and imagine the fear that must have gone through the minds of the unfortunate mariners that came too close to the volcano.
We also had a fridge and it had beer...Glynn: Tight space is right. Sharing double beds with your mates isn't exactly luxury. Especially when you are heading into a very heavy sea.
Our bunk was in the front of one of the hulls. You go up the swell and when the bow falls back into the hole you come down a long way and end up aggressively spooning your buddy. So there's a tip: never choose the front bunks!
Seriously though, we all know each other very well and are good friends, which makes all the difference...
We also had a fridge and it had beer...
Would you recommend others to follow in your footprints and make a similar journey for the fishing alone?
Jonathan: I think often people use certain phrases and say them completely out of context, but I would think that all the guys on board would agree that the trip was a "life changing experience".
To see it appear on the horizon after over 40 hours worth of sailing through some big seas and then to finally arrive and walk on the edge of one of the most remote places in the fishing spectrum was quite simply breathtaking.
It never failed to amaze and surprise throughout the whole journey, and things like that will always stay with you.
The whole group of us very much live by the motto of "never regret the things you do, just regret the things you didn't do!" Sharing the experience together was very special for us all, and even more so for the father and son combo of Glynn and Terry.
It isn't the trip for everyone but if you are able to and could handle it, then you certainly wouldn't regret it. If any of the readers want details of the trip, please get it touch with us through our website www.unchartedwatersthefilm.com
Glynn: It's an excellent question. We filmed this DVD to share the experience. To show that with a little effort, anyone can do it.
There really are places out there that still offer truly uncharted water.
I'm passionate about getting out there and experiencing the adventure this sport can offer. Our oceans and waterways are a special place and this gave us a chance to highlight that. Obviously there are a lot easier options out there, but if you have that sense of wild in you and crave adventure? I absolutely recommend it! Bassas is undoubtedly a trip of a lifetime!
I absolutely recommend it! Bassas is undoubtedly a trip of a lifetime!