If you belong to the many people who are currently confined to their home as a result of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, you may be longing for quality time in the wide, open ocean. But there is no need to surrender to cabin fever - instead we can all bring a piece of ocean wilderness into our own four walls without even stepping out of the door. Once we are immersed in the endless possibilities of learning about the sea, time will fly and when we return to the water, we may look at it with new knowledge and with even greater appreciation. Here are some ideas...
Learn something new
There are several free online courses that will take your ocean knowledge a little deeper:
Exploring our Ocean on FutureLearn
One Planet, One Ocean on edX
Beneath the Blue: Importance of Marine Sediments on FutureLearn
Sharks! on edX
Introduction to algae on Coursera
Oceanography on Coursera
This fun interactive tool is a playful approach to discovering the tree of life of sharks, rays and skates.
Go an a virtual tour through the Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. From coral reefs to the deep ocean - there is so much to explore.
Re-live your adventures
Help scientists by sorting through your underwater photos and submitting your sightings to a citizen science project (i.e. Redpromar on the Canary Islands). Some species are of specific scientific interest and have their own database, for example whale sharks, angel sharks and manta rays.
Prepare for new adventures
Learn to increase your breath hold with the Stamina App *
Keep fit with Surf Style Training * - you can get a free taster first to see whether you like it.
Let your creativity roam free
Get colouring on this free printable jellyfish and lobster.
Wind down and relax with the ocean in mind
Listen to whale songs and other marine mammal sounds at this curated collection.
Watch the BBC Blue Planet II * documentaries and marvel at the wonders of the sea.
Fishpeople * is an inspiring documentary about the life-changing power of the ocean from the perspective of six very different people (currently available on Netflix).
Read the free Nature Tripper magazine that is full of amazing photography, science and wildlife travel inspiration.
Another stunning magazine is the Oceanographic Magazine. If you sign up to Project Aware (this is free) you get the digital Oceanographic magazine subscription for free.
Follow marine life in real-time through the Monterey Bay Aquarium's webcams: Coral Reef Cam, Jelly Cam, Moonjelly Cam, Kelp Forest Cam, Open Sea Cam, Penguin Cam, Seaotter Cam or the Shark Cam (they are life from 10PM to 10AM GMT (London, Canary Islands etc.) / 11PM to 10AM CMT (Spanish mainland, Germany etc.), so great to watch before going to bed or in the morning. The off-hour videos are soothing to watch, too.)
Read a book that might change your perspective
“The Ocean is Alive” by Glenn Edney *
“Sea Change - Primal Joy and the Art of Underwater Tracking”by Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck *
The resources we have at home can make us feel a little bit closer to the ocean while we wait for the day that we can return in person. Perhaps we should see this time as an opportunity to learn and reflect about our connection to the world around us.