Bruny Wildlife Adventure takes visitors to the rarely explored coastline of Bruny Island with a VideoRay ROV. The remote underwater worlds of the Southern Ocean are now being brought to life for tourists aboard Australia's new Bruny Wildlife Adventure cruise thanks to the use of two VideoRay ROVs adapted especially for the expedition-style experience.
Bruny Wildlife Adventure takes visitors to the rarely explored coastline of Bruny Island, off the south-east coast of the island of Tasmania, Australia's southernmost state. Here, a magnificent seal colony wiles away the days in the way these animals have done for centuries, undisturbed by man. Their underwater antics and those of their marine friends - squid, fish, dolphins and whales - have previously gone largely unnoticed by those above.
Tourism ventures all over the world use cameras dropped over the side of boats to beam static images back on-board for guests to glimpse life under the sea. However, this is only the second time that a submarine camera has been used in such a tourism venture, its flexibility and remote-controlled features allowing it to follow these creatures into their natural habitat.
"Where the tour goes is a pretty tough environment, so we had to do some work particularly on the on-board equipment to ensure it met the expedition's needs," Nick Crawford of Tasmanian audio-visual firm HAVE Crawford Video said.
"The brief was not only for rock-solid electronics but also for equipment that had low impact on the environment. The VideoRay ROV unit delivers on all fronts. When the vessel departs an area we have taken only images and left nothing."
"The cameras have full control in all directions and the sub can travel fast enough to keep up with seals on the hunt. On-board electronics beam the live images back to screens around the boat and via an internal media recording system can also record what you are seeing to play back at a later date. "If passengers want to see something unusual the captain has access to a vast library of vision onboard and can send this to the screens.
"We have seen some amazing antics to date, including large squid stalking and latching themselves onto the sub, dolphins and seals herding schools of fish and all manner of bottom-dwellers. It is amazing that all of the animals and fish are not only unconcerned about the mini-sub but actually interact with it as though it were part of the environment.
"The vessels are also fitted with a raft of electronics to enhance the experience for passengers including heat-seeking video camera technology so you can view wildlife such as seals and birds at night. This really is taking electronic to the edge and bringing the marine wilderness to the people."
"The only other one used for tourism that we know of is in Scotland in a similar cool-temperate off-shore environment, but we have pushed a few boundaries on this install so it's actually quite different."
The full-day expedition starts in Hobart aboard Peppermint Bay II, taking visitors to Bruny Island where they are transferred to the appropriately named Adventure Bay. Here they board a purpose-built expedition vessel, which has been fitted out with spray guards, under-floor heating and superior stability and safety features. The boat blasts down around the southern tip of Bruny Island, the last point of land expeditioners see before Antarctica. Here, fascinating wildlife such as fur seals, birds, dolphins and whales go about their daily life. It is here that the underwater cameras are in their element.
The technology has been fitted to two purpose-built vessels that will be used for small groups transport around Hobart and the Derwent River as well as for Bruny Wildlife Adventure.
For bookings visit www.brunywildlifeadventure.com
Contact VideoRay Australian Representative Imbros Pty Ltd at imbros [at] imbros [dot] com [dot] au or visit www.imbros.com.au
HAVE Crawford Pty Ltd can be contacted at nick [at] have [dot] com [dot] au or visit their website: www.have.com.au