Bud Johnson, General Manager of Atlantis Submarines Cayman has an infectious laugh that enlivens our conversation about the public- passenger submarine operation that began here in 1985. Atlantis Submarines, the British Columbia based parent company operates submarines in several other locations across the Caribbean, Hawaii and Guam. “It’s unique and it’s safe. One of the challenges is that it is not staged it is a natural environment. One way or the other you will have fun,” says Johnson. We depart from Georgetown on a boat to the 65 foot long 48 passenger white submarine at sea. Though we both snorkel, neither one of us can dive, so this night excursion holds special appeal. Negotiating the stairway hatch is comfortable if slow, and eventually we descend to view Cayman’s national marine park. During
our 50 minute tour the submarine goes to a depth of 100 feet and we see barrel sponges and brain coral. Flooded with light the colours of the coral are more vivid than at daytime. There are many silver tarpon, predatory fish that glisten silver in the underwater lights. From almost every corner, lionfish, an invasive species of fish from Asia, that have decimated native reef fish populations, appear. Next to us a couple from the U.S. is thoroughly captivated by the experience, gasping audibly through the entire dive. “There is a lot to do in the daytime. When it comes to night time what are the activities? For a family we are one of the few activities. It’s a competitive advantage for us. All the restaurants are within walking distance. Make an evening of it including the submarine and dinner,” advocates Johnson.
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Read more in the Fall 2011 issue of City Style and Living Magazine