With nothing between them and 15-tonne whale sharks however the blue ocean, South African-based freediving couple, Beth ‘The Mermaid’ Neale and Miles ‘Aquaman’ Cloutier go on an unimaginable underwater journey that lets viewers expertise marine life that must be protected.
That includes on PPL°WX – Folks’sWeather (DStv – CH180 and Openview – CH115), from three Might 2021, the 10-episode Freediving Diaries is the first-ever freediving actuality TV sequence, which follows Beth and Miles’ experiences of freediving with only one breath from the floor, off the coasts of Mozambique and the Maldives.
Beth, a four-time South African freediving champion from the KZN South Coast, defined that one of many sequence’ targets is to advertise the various devoted folks and organisations on the forefront of ocean conservation and eco-tourism: “We additionally wish to present that freediving isn’t simply an excessive sport for elite athletes. It’s the fastest-growing water sport and easily requires you to carry your breath underwater. You don’t should go deep or maintain your breath for a very long time. We wish to encourage folks to soundly discover the underwater world and perceive the unimaginable want to guard our oceans and the life they maintain.”
Miles, who’s Canadian-born, describes freediving as ‘your passport to an entire new world’, stated: “We get pleasure from capturing the magic of the underwater world, and our unimaginable experiences. Within the early days of lockdown, we deliberate a tremendous freediving expedition to the unexplored coasts of Mozambique. Some months later, it grew to become a actuality, and now we have had the chance to share this dream with others within the hope that they are going to be impressed to get out and join with nature. The influence of lockdown on these native communities has been devastating, and we all know this can encourage extra eco-tourism.”
Beth and Miles additionally launched many individuals to freediving whereas on their journey: “Anybody can study to freedive. We educate newcomers and first-timers maintain their breath for 2 minutes in a brief session. It’s nice that anybody can have these experiences.”
Filming of Free Diving Diaries
In partnership with PPL°WX – Folks’sWeather – Africa’s first and solely 24/7 climate, environmental information and way of life channel – the sequence was filmed between late November 2020 and mid-February 2021. Beth and Miles have been a number of the first to cross the border into Mozambique to start filming the sequence when lockdown restrictions eased.
“Simply earlier than Christmas, we flew out of South Africa to the Maldives a day or two earlier than journey restrictions have been imposed on South Africans,” recalled Neale. “On the finish of our journey we have been ‘stranded’ within the Maldives for 2 weeks, however I feel when it comes to locations to get caught, we may have completed lots worse!”
The entire filming was completed by Beth and Miles with freedives as much as 20 metres utilizing common motion cameras. “Whereas there’s loads seen gentle under that degree, the color doesn’t present how alive the whole lot is on digicam, so we choose to seize in shallower waters,” defined Miles.
Beth considers this ‘leisure freediving’ since she holds the South African and African Continental File for freediving within the ‘no-fins’ self-discipline, which is breaststroke down and again up, to a depth of 50 metres.
“From the playful and inquisitive wild dolphins of Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique, to the tiger sharks of Fuvahmulah island within the Maldives, we checked a number of bucketlist species,” continued Miles. “Fuvahmulah is a world-class dive location and a tiger shark hotspot, and we have been a number of the first freedivers on this planet to go to this web site. This can be very accessible and excellent for freediving. Most significantly, the tiger sharks are protected since it’s now a UNESCO world heritage web site.”
An action-packed first season
Season one among Freediving Diaries focuses on the couple’s exploration of the Mozambique shoreline from Ponto to Ouro to Vilankulous and Bazaruto, and the pristine atolls of the Maldives. And the couple made an thrilling discovery – it wasn’t simply going to be the 2 of them on this journey!
“We by no means anticipated to be sharing essentially the most particular expertise that now we have had collectively as a pair within the first episode,” admitted Beth. “Simply earlier than crossing the border into Mozambique, we discovered that we’re having a child! It was an unimaginable shock, but additionally a shock as we had deliberate this expedition into some very underdeveloped areas. Nevertheless it turned out to be the most effective timing ever as a result of my little mermaid has already dived with whales, dolphins, turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, tiger sharks and nurse sharks all from the consolation of my stomach!”
On discovering the brand new addition, Beth and Miles frolicked researching, connecting with professionals who’ve had expertise with freediving and being pregnant: “I used to be by no means a freediver who pushed my limits anyway, however now that I’m having a child, I do shallow, quick and simple dives. I’m very match, robust and wholesome… and so is my child!”
Miles wasn’t involved in any respect: “It was just about the most effective timing ever. I couldn’t have imagined it any higher. It was additionally an enormous reduction, as a result of we had thought Beth was sick from consuming at my favorite sharwama restaurant – so we are able to maintain going again there!”
Regardless of the movement and morning illness, Beth was in a position to benefit from the marine adventures: “From tiny sea horses to the largest fish within the sea. My life’s dream got here true once I had a quick swim with the highly-endangered and elusive dugong in Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique, which introduced me to tears. The Dugong is the unique mermaid, with its iconic tail.
“We had one other surprising expertise throughout an evening dive off of the yacht in Maldives with whale sharks and manta rays. They positioned lights off the again of the boat which are a magnet for plankton. It’s so surreal to see mantas rising from the darkness and swooping by means of the sunshine! The whale shark additionally stayed, feasting off the again of the boat inside a metre of us for hours. It was an out-of-this-world expertise.”
Stephan Le Roux, CEO of PPL°WX – Folks’sWeather, commented on the extraordinary first sequence, saying: “From the second I met Beth and Miles and heard about what they do I believed it was utterly loopy! Beth has had some unbelievable sports activities’ accomplishments in freediving, and it’s so wonderful the three of them are actually sharing these adventures.
“This sequence epitomises the function climate performs in including drama and unpredictability to nice adventures. The coast is particularly vulnerable to fast modifications in climate circumstances, and the pair embarking on this extraordinary journey whereas navigating uncontrollable circumstances creates an ideal viewing expertise.”
Along with all of the marine-based motion, the sequence will characteristic the couple’s interactions with the various inspiring conservationists and guides they meet alongside the way in which. Viewers will get to expertise the highs and lows of such unique journey, with Beth and Miles overcoming many challenges, and even discovering their life altering piece of stories on the journey!
Catch Freediving Diaries which premieres on PPL°WX – Folks’sWeather (DStv CH-180 and Openview CH-115) from Monday, three Might at 18:00. The sequence will probably be proven over two weeks with new episodes day by day from Mondays to Fridays at 18:00, with a repeat at 10:30 and 14:00 the next day. There may even be an omnibus proven on the weekend.