The Two Oceans Aquarium is known for “changing with the tides” and continuously offering new and exciting experiences for our visitors. With the opening of the new I&J Ocean Exhibit, we grabbed the opportunity to enhance our visitors’ experience even more - specifically at feeding time in this exhibit.
At the 12:00pm feed, one diver wears an underwater communications system that allows him, or her, to speak to the audience, and the feed commentator on the dry side to speak to the diver. It essentially flips the feed presentation on its head, with the diver becoming the presenter and the feed commentator the facilitator of the process.
This system is being used in aquariums across the world and here at the Two Oceans Aquarium, it has proven to be quite a hit with the audience. “When the diver can communicate directly with the audience and explain to them what is happening and how it feels to be in the water with all the animals, the audience truly becomes part of the experience. Their perspective changes as they experience the feed, rather than just witnessing it,” said Assistant Curator Claire Taylor, the driving force behind the introduction of this system.
Simon Leigh, the main aquarist who dives with the communication system, had this to say about the experience: “It is maybe one of the best things I have ever done in my life! I love diving with the comms system because it combines two of my favourite things – diving and educating people about the ocean. I get to speak to people, while under water, and tell them about the amazing animals in this exhibit and how we can make a difference to ocean health. It is a tricky thing to master, but certainly worth the effort!”
Watch Simon as he does what he loves…