Just Imagine… sitting in your living room after a long day at the office. Click your mouse a few times and suddenly you’re under water. There are schooling hammerheads above, turtles, fish and bizarre, colourful invertebrates all around.
You don’t recognise all the creatures, they live on a reef on the other side of the world, but that’s okay because a marine biologist fills you in on all the details… from under the sea. “Ooh, what’s that purple thing-a-my?” you wonder before quickly typing the question into the chat thread beside your streaming video. Moments later, the masked host has redirected the camera to come in for a closer look, and information about the colourful sea slug – a nudibranch, its called – is being dispatched directly at you. The diver mentions you by name – that is diveLIVE.
The producers of diveLIVE, Graham and Emily Wallington of WildEarth Media, want to connect people all over the world with the oceans through diveLIVE – free, daily, interactive scuba dives – in the same way they were able to connect people with terrestrial ecosystems through their show, SafariLIVE that has appeared on platforms as prestigious as the National Geographic web site and Facebook page.
SafariLIVE, like diveLIVE will be, is unscripted and unpredictable transmitting live from wilderness locations in Africa – virtual tourism at it’s best. The Wallingtons are convinced that bringing the delights of nature and wildlife right up close to people, will encourage them to fall in love with it and ultimately we will all be better at saving it. They now want to do this for the oceans too.
diveLIVE and Earth Day
With Earth Day on 22 April 2018, there couldn’t be a more poignant time to be focusing on our oceans. This year, Earth Day focuses on ending plastic pollution, a pandemic threatening the very existence of our sea life with a staggering 8 million tons of plastic being dumped into the ocean every year. diveLIVE is launching a “Share the Oceans” week drive on Earth Day to grow awareness for the blue wilderness and to attract momentum for their Kickstarter Campaign that is in its final stages.
During the period 23-28 April 2018, the diveLIVE team will be conducting live on the Getaway Facebook page about three times a week. They plan on going live Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (24, 26 and 28 April 2018) at around 18:30. The dives are weathedependent, so look out for any changes on our Facebook page. Round 2 of the live test dives in Grand Cayman will feature the team’s new expert marine biologist presenters so that they can actively share the oceans with the world and engage in an interactive conversation about them.
How does diveLIVE work practically?
A team works in tandem below and above the sea. A diver, who is a marine expert, will guide the experience, wearing a full face mask in order to talk while under water. A camera operator with a customised camera rig will follow the diver as they explore a vivid tropical reef. Technical umbilical cables allow the feed to go live to the Internet while they’re diving. A surface crew will be stationed above the water and will be able to interact with the diver and contribute to the commentary being provided on the subjects that they discover by watching on a monitor.
During the live broadcasts, an online chat feed and social media platforms are manned constantly by a final control team stationed on an island nearby. This provides the connection between the diveLIVE team and the global diveLIVE community meaning that at any time anyone watching anywhere in the world is able to talk to the presenters and join the conversation.
diveLIVE gives everyone across the planet the opportunity to be immersed in the marine world without impacting the environment in any way. “We hope to pool the passion that the entire diving community has for the ocean with our own, and with that of other eco-minded communities, so that diveLIVE has a real chance of inspiring appreciation for the underwater world in the far-flung corners of the planet,” says Graham Wallington, “and we really want people to join us on this mission right from the very beginning to help shape what diveLIVE looks like and get a front row seat on this pioneering adventure from the moment we launch.”