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Unique Scuba experience
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Author:  Regent's Park [ Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Unique Scuba experience

I just returned from a trip to Orlando, where the Bond girl and myself got to participate in a unique experience. We had planned this trip for some time, and I wanted to work in some diving, but originally planned to make a side trip to Key Largo. As time was limited I searched for local alternatives and happened upon an article reviewing Disney Divequest. This is a program where certified divers can dive in the aquarium at Disney's EPCOT center, which is the second biggest aquarium in the world.

We signed up and on the appointed day, we showed up at the gate of Epcot center- admission to the park is not required- and were seated just outside the main gate waiting for our guide to collect us and our fellow divers. Right on time the guide appeared, and after collecting our certification cards and a quick briefing began a tour of behind-the-scenes at The Seas with Nemo and Friends aka The Living Seas. Fun facts: Six million gallons of water are in the aquarium, all of which is the original water from 1985, but constantly filtered through an on site plant. Eight dump trucks of salt were added to the water. The water is kept at a constant 79 degrees F/ 26 C. The iconic geodesic globe that is the centerpiece of Epcot center could be submerged in the aquarium with room to spare.

We were given details of the conservation efforts of the program (100% of the cost of our experience went to conservation efforts) and given a briefing on the experience, with emphasis on the wildlife and their welfare. For example, the Sea Turtles are protected by law, so we were forbidden from touching them. We were then sent to the locker rooms to change. With the exception of masks, Disney makes you use their (brand new top of the line) equipment, to insure no contamination of the aquarium environment. I was already impressed with the tour so far, but to find a locker with my name on it filled with perfectly fitted equipment (especially considering I can't recall ever giving them my size for anything) was really setting the bar high.

The dive itself was ideal, warm water, no current, perfect visibility. The tank was 200 feet across and I could see effortlessly across it. There were a dozen or more species sharing the space with us including Sharks, Stingrays and the aforementioned Sea Turtles. A Bond like element was the fact that the staff referred to the venue as the "SeaBase" and while diving we could interact with spectators and diners on the other side of the aquarium glass- reminiscent of Atlantis off the coast of Corsica. Karl Stromberg would not have been out of place on the other side of the glass!

All too soon the experience was over but one I can highly recommend!

Author:  pyrat [ Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Unique Scuba experience

Fascinating... I'll have to give that a try one of these days.

Author:  DaffyPassat [ Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unique Scuba experience

I had a friend do that a few years back and he loved it. I was going to on my last trip to the Mouse House about six years ago, but had to cancel due to an ear drum issue. On my next visit, I'm hoping to try again.

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