With travel and outdoor pursuits on pause, many of us are adapting to a new (and drier) way of life. So now, more than ever, we love these ideas for swapping our dive kit for an internet connection and jumping into a virtual dive adventure:
Want to play with sea lions in the Galápagos, or humpback whales in the Cook Islands? How about touring Bali’s Liberty Wreck, or the Underwater Sculpture Garden in Cancun? Google’s Underwater Street View can transport you to over 40 dive destinations from the comfort of your own living room. And, for your virtual surface interval, this video offers a fascinating glimpse into how they did it:
Must of the Sea
A collaboration between PADI and I Love the Sea, the VR-compatible View and Plan app (for Android and iPhone) takes users to the heart of Egypt’s Red Sea. 67 panoramas are expanded with geo-positioning, routes, and even information on currents, making this both a great way to pass the hours at home, and a useful tool for planning future scuba trips.
New Zealand Geographic VR
This project brings the North Island’s breathtaking beauty and underwater sounds to laptops, desktops and phones across the globe. From Poor Knights to Hauraki Gulf, you can (virtually) dive with whales, rays, and giant shoals of fish — and without having to wash any gear afterwards.
Join Sir David Attenborough on a journey across Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; from Osprey to Lady Elliot Island, via SS Yongala and Heron Island. Through a mix of videos, interviews, interactive widgets, and a VR teaser from the museum experience, you can sit back, stay dry, and learn about the creatures, characteristics and challenges of the world’s largest reef.
National Marine Sanctuaries
Venture into the reefs, shipwrecks and cultural seascapes of eight different National Marine Sanctuaries, from sea lions in Monterey Bay, to Key Largo’s Christ of the Abyss statue. There’s even a freshwater sinkhole at Thunder Bay to marvel at!
Explore one of the diving community’s favourite wrecks, SS Thistlegorm, through a virtual adventure from bow to stern — with close-up views of the cargo holds, propellor, and even trucks and locomotives along the way. Scapa Flow Wrecks hosts 3D interactive maps, history, tours and photos of the famed German WWI fleet, including its three iconic battleships. And, in the USA, peek into a few underwater mysteries and treasures based on 3D modelling, with BOEM’s Virtual Archaeology Museum.
Know somewhere else where we can all get a fix of our ocean planet from home? Share your virtual dive adventures with our scuba community on the PADI Facebook groups.