Helmet Diving in Bermuda
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A different, less technical type of diving popular in Bermuda is helmet diving, offered between April and mid-November. Although helmet-diving cruises last three hours or more, the actual time underwater is about 25 minutes, when underwater explorers walk along the sandy bottom in about 10 to 12 feet of water (depending on the tide), wearing helmets that receive air through hoses leading to the surface. Underwater portraits are available for an extra charge. A morning or afternoon tour costs about $80 for adults and includes wet suits when the water temperature is below 80°F. Note that not all outfitters permit children to helmet dive.
Hartley's Under Sea Adventures. The Hartleys schedule two diving trips per day, usually at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm, six days per week, in high season. Dives cost $95 (adults and children); observers are half price. Nondivers are not allowed to snorkel or swim in the same area as the divers, the theory being that fish that are used to helmet divers and approach them for food may endanger themselves by becoming used to snorkelers, swimmers, and eventually fisherfolk. Heritage Wharf, at cruise ship terminal, Dockyard, Sandys Parish, MA16. 441/234–2861. www.hartleybermuda.com.
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