National Aquarium Visit | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD


Today, Jonathan visits the National Aquarium
in Baltimore to learn about the job of a Dive Safety Officer. Welcome to Jonathan Bird’s Blue World! It’s November, and Cameraman Bill and I
are on a road trip, driving from New England down to Baltimore Maryland. Cameraman Bill’s driving! Baltimore might not be the first place you
would expect an episode of Blue World, but we’re here to meet an old friend at the
National Aquarium in the heart of the waterfront district. We pull up bright and early and head over
to the entrance. The waterfall is an impressive first sight
inside the foyer, with its pool filled with salmon. The glass walls of this impressive facility
afford a gorgeous view of the city and harbor. The National Aquarium has a number of large
marine exhibits, like the Blacktip Reef Exhibit, looking like a coral lagoon underneath the
skeleton of a finback whale. Shark Alley contains several species of sharks
and sawfish! And there is a fantastic touch tank area where
guests can touch skates, horseshow crabs and even jellyfish. Public relations manager Lauren Hartman is
taking me down to the diving area to find Holly. Holly! So good to see you! Welcome to the National Aquarium! Thank you. You are just in time for our dive briefing. Oh awesome, let’s go. Holly and I have been friends for more than
20 years, and she is the Dive Safety Officer here at the National Aquarium. So a lot of these are just trending ones. Zeke the Zebra shark is still in Q pool, okay. He’s off exhibit for time out. Lady ray… Today, Holly is giving the morning dive briefing
to the volunteer divers who will be cleaning the exhibits and feeding the fish. …Her tail is healing actually really nicely,
we got a look at it the other day, okay? The Crooked jaw hogfish… As the DSO (Dive Safety Officer) for the aquarium,
Holly has a lot of responsibility. So Holly, tell me about your job. What does a DSO do at an aquarium? Okay, so the general theme is: manage dive
safety operations for all–whether it’s on-site like aquarium exhibit diving, or off-site
which we consider field diving. So, it’s safety, equipment, and training. It’s putting on the manager hat. Here we interface with the husbandry team,
as far as how they work with our volunteer divers, because the volunteer divers help
feed and clean the exhibit. Probably our biggest customer is husbandry
but we work with media relations folks. We’ll work with philanthropy for VIP dives. We have a guest immersion program that we
share with an outside dive shop, which works really well for us here. So you’re a manager, you’re a trainer,
you’re a dive buddy. But ultimately, DSO—Dive Safety Officer—how
many divers are you managing the safety of here? Over 200. Over 150 volunteer divers, soon to grow next
year with additional recruits. We have probably one of the larger volunteer
diver groups in the country for aquariums. Great, awesome. Well let’s go diving! Let’s go! It’s always a little bit weird, but really
exciting, to be putting your gear together in a hallway. I’m not out on a boat, I’m in a building! Cameraman Bill and I will be joining Holly
on a dive in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit, as she does her daily inspection. This exhibit is a ring-shaped tank containing
over 1,000 fish. So where we’re going to enter today, is
this platform. The exhibit is 13 feet deep. It always to me seems a lot deeper because
when you walk it, you have several layers. Thus spirals down to the Shark Alley Exhibit
and then it spirals down to underwater viewing for Blacktip Reef. It’s a really cool system, it’s sort of
stacked. We suit up on the dive platform. Next we drop into the warm 75° water. Talk about convenient diving! As I descend, the early morning vacuuming
team is just finishing up, pulling their hoses out of the water. Holly will lead me and Bill around the exhibit. The entire inner wall of the exhibit is glass. The fish can see out just as well as the people
can see in. A Bonnethead shark catches my eye. This little guy is like a mini-hammerhead. A bit shy around our lights, but still curious. On the gravel bottom, a stingray, and flying
overhead, a cow-nosed ray. These animals are fed every day by divers,
so they are not shy at all. A pair of porcupine fish are a type of puffer. They can inflate to the size of a basketball
if threatened, but they rarely need to do that in here. Some of the fish are so friendly that they
come too close, blocking your view. This Hogfish wants some camera time, until
he is cut off by a Queen Angelfish! As Holly makes her way around the giant ring-shaped
tank, I follow behind, amazed by the size of it. With 335,000 gallons, this exhibit has as
much water as about 25 swimming pools! Holly is looking in every crack and hole,
because she is trying to find one of the moray eels which has been hiding for a few days. The two morays, known as Oscar and Felix are
known to vanish for days at a time. The reef structure in the exhibit, while it’s
not living coral, provides the same kind of habitat for the fish that a living reef would. And as well, it has interesting features for
divers including a great swim-through, which makes it feel like an underwater playground. As we near the end of the dive, Felix is nowhere
to be found, but the tarpon wants some camera time. Soon our inspection is over and we have to
leave the best dive in Baltimore—clear and warm with no current. Getting to dive here great fun. And I learned that you can start out as a
volunteer, and maybe if you stick with it long enough, work your way up to DSO.

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100 thoughts on “National Aquarium Visit | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. Hopefully you said Hi to Calypso the sea turtle there!! Our visits to the National Aquarium cannot end until our 5 years old says "Good bye " to Calypso!! Love that aquarium!!

  2. I was wondering when he'd take my suggestion from a couple yrs ago and come to Baltimore. Great to finally see you here Jonathan and I hope you had a fantastic time at one of the best aquarium's on the East Coast! For 31 yrs I've had the pleasure to have this fantastic aquarium literally in my backyard here in Maryland and I credit them with helping me to not only overcome a fear of stingray's but to also accumulate even more knowledge to add to my 20+ yrs of knowledge of the underwater world, being a volunteer diver in this magnificent and beautiful facility is definitely something I'm working towards in the future! If anyone has any questions here on YouTube about this aquarium specifically about the Atlantic Coral Reef or about Black tip Reef please feel free to ask me, I'll do my best to answer, and If I don't have the answer I'll go directly to the source and find out.

  3. Not all too keen on Aquariums. Especially those " Touching " tanks. Majority of your channel is enjoyable though. Cheers.

  4. I went there for shark camp in the summer or 2017 and it was so fun!!!! I got to pet sharks, stingrays, and a penguin!!!! The staff is very nice and my uncle knows the owner which is why i got a ticket to camp even though they were sold out, so if u need some help getting a tour and stuff i can help. Also they have a shark bridge that u can walk over and i goes over the huge shark tank. A big sand tiger shark named dan and a shark ray named sweet pea and another naned scooter, all swam right under me!!!!! It was epic!!!!

  5. For us crippled people your videos mean more than I can tell you, otherwise, we would never get to see such wonders!
    Also, thanks so much for telling the names
    of the fish it makes so enjoyable.

  6. Hey this video was published on my birthday! Keep making these videos guys IDK if I can go diving because of my asthma it is a dream of mine that one day I can dive so I love these videos until now.

  7. This weekend I went to the National Aquarium and I got to see divers in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit feeding the fish! It was so cool and breathtaking!!!

  8. I've been to the Baltimore aquarium I think 2 times in my life. Fascinated both times. I think the first time I went, we saw the dolphin show. I didn't know you can take diving training here. Looked cramp in there.

  9. I grew up in Baltimore and been here so many times. The shark tank cat walk scared the crap out of me growing up foreal js.

  10. I'm learning how to I've its been a life long dream i wish he would visit me and give me free stuff #JAKE 10 likes

  11. I suggested the National Aquarium in Baltimore to Jonathan back when he did his dive at the Georgia Aquarium, ever since they re did the exhibit formerly referred to as the "ray tray" in Black tip Reef Maryland has become the home of the greatest aquarium south of New England and north of Georgia! That said don't let the water in the Inner Harbor fool you, it is one of the most toxic parts of the Chesapeake Bay, if you want to know just how toxic, a couple of knuckleheads who jumped in a few summers ago had to get tetanus shots after their very ill advised swim!

  12. Sir it is a very excited video for a zoologist
    Probably I am a little scientist on biology
    and it's branche on zoology
    So thanks for make the video

  13. Two different rays & several different sharks, as well as that aptly-named hogfish heeheehee!!! "I'm hogging the camera!!!" Angelfish: no you're not!!!

  14. I think you might like the aquarium in Camden NJ they have sting ray touch tanks. the coldest part of the aquarium is they have a shark bridge and a tank where people can snorkel with a variety of sharks.

  15. Could you do an episode at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. I used to go there all the time as a kid and would love for you to see it

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