Shark Deep Dive at SeaWorld – Part II
Florida Guide > Sea World
After climbing a flight of stairs and entering the building we were introduced to a photographer who would capture our next few minutes, and to a member of staff who would answer any questions that we had about the creatures we would see during our dive. We were then shown to the treatment tank, where sharks etc can be separated for examination etc, and it was here that we found out just how cold the water was going to feel. Not too bad, but a lot colder than the pool at our villa! We entered the water and put on our gloves and then had our helmets fitted.
Out of the water the helmets, which rest on your shoulders, weigh 75 pounds but only about 15 pounds once you are submerged. The pressure of the air entering the helmet keeps the water from rising too high within the helmet, enabling the wearer to both breathe and communicate via the two-way radio built into it.
Then it was time to clamber down into the cage which would transport us through the water of the Shark Encounter exhibit. The cage moves slowly through the water, taking about 5 minutes to reach the center point, where it rests for 5 minutes, before continuing to the far end and then repeats the trip back to the start. In all we were in the water for about 30 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed our close encounters with the sharks and other fish in the tank. We had been able to speak to Linda, so knew when she was trying to get good shots, and had also spent some time waving to other SeaWorld guests as they moved along the motorised walkway that runs through the Shark Encounter Exhibit.
Back at the Deep Dive offices we were able to shower and change back into our own clothes and were then presented with a Deep Dive T-shirt and a book about sharks and rays. Sabrina also mentioned that we should go to photo pickup point before leaving the park and ask if they were still giving free picture CDs to Deep Dive participants. So we did and they were! We now have the ‘official’ photos that were taken during our preparations, as well as the photos and video clips that my wife was able to take, as souvenirs of our experience.
The Deep Dive experience needs to be booked in advance and this can be done either via the internet or by phone. The cost is $150 (plus tax) per person. My verdict – well worth the money (even though I didn’t pay! )
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