Monday, September 5, 2016

I'd Like to Be Under the Sea??? Maui Submarine Adventure

Rich at the dock area in Lahaina, Maui, waiting for the ferry to take us to the submarine. 
One of the many activities offered in Hawaii (and other tropical ocean locations, as we learned) is to get in a submarine and dive underwater to see reefs and marine life.  We signed up for this excursion in Maui (we were able to see a similar submarine from our 17th-floor hotel room on Waikiki Beach.)  The sub company is called Atlantis; I believe they said they operate 11 of these - in Hawaii, the Caribbean and Australia.  On the coach I was starting to wonder if I might be claustrophobic...and mentioned it to Rich.  One of my fellow passengers exclaimed "I'm so glad I'm not the only one!"'  Kind of a grown up version of "Are you gonna be scared of the mouse?" among preschoolers at Chuckie Cheese birthday parties...
This is the launch / ferry returning from the submarine with passengers who had already "dived"
The submarine stays off shore, and there is a launch / ferry which takes passengers from the shore to the sub.  There is a command vessel which monitors / communicates with the submarine and the ferry to coordinate movement of passengers between the launch and the sub.

Interior of the launch / ferry

Once onboard the launch, the captain demonstrated use of emergency hoods in case something happened while we were underwater. 

This is Roxie, the command boat.  She was moored in the general vicinity of the sub.  We waited on the launch for the sub to surface...

That lighter spot in the center of the photo is the sub approaching the surface. 

These fish were brought in on a fishing boat moored next to our ferry's dock slip

This guy has more fish in his bucket (look closely)
I apologize in advance for photos not being in sequence; not sure how to move them without having them be deleted!!!
This GIF of the submarine diving was nicely stitched together by Google Photos.  We watched the sub submerge after we had disembarked. 

This is the sub getting ready to dive...

This GIF shows the sub drifting free of the command boat

This is taken underwater.  There is a purpose-sunk ship that we cruised next to; the fish were just gorgeous yellow columns suspended in the water, like an elegant if fishy chandelier.  The colors were actually much brighter than they appear; in retrospect an iPhone camera may have worked better.  My big fancy camera had too much difficulty focusing through the thick glass of the porthole. 
More fish in formation

the rudder (?) of the sunken ship

Fish swarming around the ship's deck

the deepest part of our dive - 130 feet below the surface!

The submarine pulling up next to the command vehicle.  They tie up the sub, then tie up the ferry/launch.  The hatches (front and rear) are opened on the submarine.  Half of the passengers disembark while half of the launch passengers clamber onto the flat decks of the submarine.  

Someone has a sense of humor - that little thing in the middle of the shot is SpongeBob Square Pants

The front of the purpose sunk ship
This guy was a real poseur

see what I mean???  He was gliding along the big porthole for a couple of minutes.  I wonder if he could see in???

Anyone else spot the eel?  Its head is on the right about halfway down...It was going in and out of the rock that's partly covering it.  
This guy!

These charts were posted in the sub to help us identify what we might be seeing 

This was just as we submerged.  They told us to look up to see the sun shining through the water.  Interestingly even if it's a cloudy day, the sunlight still penetrates the water. 

They told us this was "anchor coral"

The seating arrangements in the sub.  There is a row of molded backless plastic seats.  You are back to back with someone - but honestly most of the time you are leaning way forward to look through the portholes!

The interior of the sub was actually very roomy.  My husband is 6'3" and barely had to stoop.  There were also cooling vents above each porthole and it was generally quite cool and comfortable inside.  I think the surprising amount of space, the cool air, the big portholes and the novelty of the experience prevented claustrophobia.

To enter the sub you walk backwards down a steep seven step ladder
This was our group lined up on the sub, tied to the command ship, while the previous passengers climbed out.

At this point the sub had new passengers and we were clearing the area in the ferry. 

Out of sequence, but this is the sub surfacing when we first got to the area via the launch.
All in all this was a very interesting experience and I recommend it.  I'm not a scuba diver but this gives one an idea of what scuba must be like.  It was very comfortable inside the sub.  Truthfully we did not see a ton of different types of fish, but the experience was unique and memorable and I've very happy we did this.  Total time underwater was about 35 minutes.  A very nice activity to do while in Hawaii!

No comments:

Post a Comment