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The Deep Visit Mon 26th Sept 2011 [part of Exercise Wandering Cheetah]

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by karoocheetah, 28 Sep 2011.

  1. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,110
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Arrived at the Deep around 11.30am after a really easy 2 hour drive from sunny Cheshire.

    Adult Entrance Fee = £9.95 - gives you a 'Day Plus Pass' which allows free admission for 12 months after this visit (except Bank Hols) - Great Value & I will be going again. Tickets have different fish species printed on the back in colour (I got a Regal Tang) :)
    Guidebook £3 - printed 2011 for their 10th Anniversary Year and a very decent guide - although you don't need it to find your way around as the signage and information boards are superb.

    The Tour
    From the main entrance you head up in a lift to the top of the building and the start of the exhibition (as the tour progresses you drop down through the building)

    Zone 1 - Visions of the Ocean Currently the winning photographs in an Ocean/Underwater themed Wildlife Competition - Quality to aspire to as a photographer.

    Zone 2 - timeline:awakening seas
    Interactive exhibit following the story, as you move down the ramp, of the ocean through time. Lots of realistic fossils and skeletons embedded into the walls with plenty of educational pods along the way. At the halfway point is a large round tank full of Moon Jellyfish under UV light - makes a great photo opportunity.

    Zone 3 -Lagoon of LightTropical Lagoon & warm coral seas type of exhibit dominated by a very large tank in the centre of the room full of a large selection of appropriate species, such as:
    Long Horned Cowfish
    Blue-spotted Ribbon Tail Ray
    Foxface
    Bicolour Angelfish
    Cleaner wrasse
    Harlequin tuskfish
    Whitetail damselfish
    Bicolour parrotfish
    Regal tang
    Yellow tang
    Achilles tang
    Longnose hawkfish

    spent quite some time here watching and photographing the fish as the walls of the tank are spotless and the lighting superb. One of the staff was present sat on the floor with a radio mic and chatting away about the fish in the exhibit - a mark of the relaxed but knowledgeable attitude of the staff overall.

    Zone 4 - discovery corner

    a shallow series of touch tanks containing native species from the shores of the british isles - to enable visitors to get hands on and investigate the animals. A nice touch here is a rest/off show zone for the species in the tanks so they don't get stressed by constant handling etc. Good idea I thought.

    Zone 5 - endless ocean
    One of Europe's largest tanks representing the warm open oceans.
    Lovely mixture of schools of smaller fish such as Golden trevally and the larger sharks. I spent a long time here watching and stayed put for the divers feeding the sharks show that's on daily - very informative and again aided by the superbly clear aboration walls of the tank.
    Some of the exhibits in this large tank are:
    Nurse Shark
    Zebra Shark
    Spotted Wobbegong (seen but very hard to photograph)
    Whitetip reef shark
    Honeycomb whiptailray
    Southern stingray
    Green sawfish
    Lookdown
    Golden trevally (apparently the most common Aussie fish in fish and chips? is that true guys?)
    Blue striped snapper
    Humphead wrasse
    Green moray (this guy is a monster about 15 foot long)

    Zone 6 - Slime
    Lots of small tanks in a walk through exhibit detailing how animals use slime to move, catch prey and for protection.
    Featured:
    Green & Black poison arrow frogs
    Eschmeyer's scorpionfish
    Garden eels
    Giant African land snails
    Sea apples
    Tiger slugs

    Zone 7 - flooded forest
    Tropical freshwater habitats - e.g. flooded forests of the Amazon
    exhibits included:
    Redtailed catfish
    Silver arrowana
    Black pacu
    Tiger shovelnose catfish

    again lovely clear tanks which to get photos through - I used my monopod a lot and would recommend taking one or a tripod to help deal with the low light conditions.

    Zone 8 - cool seas
    Creatures from UK costals waters and deep-water dwellers
    Fascinating exhibits here ranging from Corals to Nautilus (a new one for me and frustratingly difficult to photograph as the deep blue subdued lighting that superbly fits the mood of the zone made images almost impossible)
    There is also a tank here displaying aquatic organisms exhibiting bioluminesence - the best I have ever seen actually and it fascinated me. The tank is in total darkness behind a thick black curtain - you stick you head under the curtain letting it close behind you and let you eyes adjust and you see small flashing pulses to start with before you beging discerning shapes - I dfefy you not to say 'wow' when you finally see it in all it's glory!
    Exhibits here include:
    Moon jellyfish
    Pollock
    Pink sea-fan
    Plaice
    Ballan wrasse
    Cuckoo wrasse
    Pacific sunstar
    Splitfin flashlightfish
    Fish-eating anemone
    Wolf-eel
    Rockfish
    Longspine snipefish

    Zone 9 - kingdom of ice

    ah now this was a really COOL place :D
    seriously though - two walls made of solid ice with images projected onto them as you walk down a chilly tube, a great way to exhibit the polar oceans.

    Zone 10 - deep blue 1
    a concept of what an ocean floor dedicated research station to monitor the impact of humans on the important ecosystems such as deep oceans, river deltas etc etc.
    Lots of smaller tanks in themed zones such as Congo, Amazon, are part of the LIving Rivers area of Deep Blue 1, More Poison arrow frogs and Red-bellied piranha in here.
    I had great fun playing with a wall of falling stage smoke which was nicely backlit - a photographers gift!!

    Zone 11 - research and conservation
    about protection and education in order to protect our native seas as well as the world's aquatic ecosystems.

    In closing you end up down in the bowels of the building and are invited to take the bubble lift OR Ocean Stairway back to the top observation cafe area - this lift (well I had oodles of gear to carry!) takes a journey up a perspex tube right through the main exhibit tank and out of the top into the behind the scenes area - a nice ending to the journey.

    Cafe - quite decent, good selction of food and drinks - not too expensive and some yummy cakes (well I was on holiday) including Yorkshire Curd Cheesecakes - blooming marvellous!
    You can take a quick step up to the observation deck which has an open part to view out over the River Humber and views of the Humber Bridge. Apparently Harbour Porpoises have been seen from this deck but sadly not today!

    Gift shop quite extensive, not surprisingly child orientated but I did manage to find a more adult (and I don't mean nude) pin badge as a souvenir - a mark of a decent shop for me as they are getting harder to get as souvenirs. Also the books on the opening of the deep are on offer for £3 - bargain as it explains the ethos behind the site as well as the impressive architecture.

    Left here about 3.30pm having explored everything and spending lots of time at whatever exhibit I wanted.
    Thoroughly recommend a visit to any who may be in the area or just fancy a day out.

    Overnight in sunny Doncaster ready for tackling Yorkshire Wildlife Park the next day :)
     
  2. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    342
    Location:
    Suffolk,United Kingdom
    Good detail!! I must say i was really impressed with the deep! A big change from other aquariums i have been to here in the UK. And i also must agree i did say wow when i saw the "flashing pulses".

    Just a quick question as part of "Exercise Wandering Cheetah" will you be popping down to Colchester at any point?? They have just had 1:2 cheetah cubs born!! =)
     
  3. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,110
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Colchester is definately on the list :O)
     
  4. Javan Rhino

    Javan Rhino Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    2,139
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Come down tomorrow :p
     
  5. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,110
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Twycross Tomorrow :O)
     
  6. Javan Rhino

    Javan Rhino Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    2,139
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Arrrrr, spoilsport :p

    Maybe we'd better veer this back to topic ;)
     
  7. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Feb 2011
    Posts:
    962
    Location:
    Bridlington, UK
    When you were in Hull were you tempted to visit the Animal Education Centre in East Park? It's on the same side of the city as The Deep, just keep going eastwards down Holderness Road. Despite living only 30 miles away I have to admit I have never been to The Deep, but then I am not interested in fishes (I'm trying to resist the obvious joke about chips). Congratulations on a thorough report - I'm afraid I have failed to post anything on my West Country tour four weeks ago, in fact this is my first post since returning.