Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Under the Deep Blue Sea

My Aunt has a huge stash of fliers and brochures, basically covering anything you can do on Oahu. Flipping through them, we happened upon the Oahu Submarine Rides. Now, I've been fascinated by submarines for AGES, and throw in shipwrecks and I really get excited. This hour sub trip not only involved a real submarine (unlike the admittedly cool Disneyland ride that's just on rails) but offered a look at two ships sunk as artificial reefs.

We made the trip out to Waikiki and motored out through the chop to the surfaced sub. They gave a talk about seasickness before we left, and I think the power of suggestion had more impact on my stomach than the wave motion did. We all filed into the sub, our little party being the last to board! This actually proved a boon, as we got to sit right at the very front, right behind the pilot.

The hatches closed, permission to dive was given, and suddenly the floor was slanting rather seriously downwards. We were going under! This landlubber got quite the rush, even more so when schools of fish started swimming over to check this big noisy thing out.

The dive takes the passengers around several different sorts of artificial reefs. First you swing by some structures that were developed by various oceanographic schools and agencies, but for me the really interesting one were of course the two ships. The first is an old navy support ship that was surplussed out and sunk by the submarine company.

There are also a couple of airliners from a defunct inter-island airline that were acquired and sunk. As our oh so punny guide broadcast, "We liquidated their assets!" Har har har!

The second of the ship based artificial reefs was a Korean fishing ship. Some years back there was a bad fire on board, and the vessel was abandoned by it's owners.

And then our ride was over, and it was time to surface. In our hour underwater I had seen some very cool sights, including three reef sharks (small, but still- SHARKS!) an eagle ray, tons of fish, two sunken ships, artificial reefs and two sunken airplanes. How cool is that?

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