You might recall that I mentioned I went on a Helmet Dive when I was in Grand Cayman in October, but that I had to buy an underwater film camera to take photos and then figure out where to get it developed (had to go to three different CVS stores!). I got the photos back, and the majority of them are terrible because you basically can’t see what you are taking a picture of but a few turned out that I wanted to share.
You are probably wondering what the heck a helmet dive is (I had no idea either) but it’s basically a giant helmet they put on you as you are going down a ladder. Out of the water it weighs something like 70-80 pounds. In the water on your shoulders it feels like 15 pounds. So almost anyone can handle it. You end up going down 20-30 feet into the water with a group of about ten people all with these giant space-looking helmets. They are pretty hilarious. There is an oxygen tube going into your helmet, but it’s crazy (yet simple) how they work.
You know when you put an overturned cup on top of water, and then pull it down. It gets an air pocket trapped inside the cup. That’s basically how these helmets work. So if you wear glasses, you can literally wear them underwater. Your hair and face don’t get wet at all. We spent about 30 minutes walking around looking at coral and fish. The entire thing from the dock to the boat, to the other boat and back only took about 75-90 minutes.
I didn’t do anything to the color in these photos, this is exactly how they turned out. My husband and I were the first to go down the ladder which was why I think this photo of me turned out so blue because the rest of the people weren’t down on the ocean floor yet kicking up sand and creating bubbles — which made the water a little murky.
It was a cool experience, but if you like snorkeling it is probably much better for seeing more. I’m not a huge fan of snorkeling for some reason. I feel like I’ve seen all sorts of fish in high definition on the Discovery channel. I know that sounds awful, but I’d just rather sit on the beach with a book and a beer. And maybe the waves coming up over my feet. Helmet dive was cool if you want to walk on the ocean floor but don’t really want to snorkel. Glad to say I’ve done it!
Photos by Meg Biram