If you have always dreamed of going on one of those underwater expeditions but don’t fancy snorkeling, scuba diving, or even swimming, here’s a way to view the underwater world without doing any of the above mentioned activities. No we are not talking about one of those submarine rides but rather, an underwater experience that will leave you wanting for more.
Called Sea Trekking, the activity is fast gaining popularity with people around the world, especially those who find it difficult to swim or scuba dive. The concept involves wearing a giant sized helmet, like those you have often seen in century old movies and cartoons. A pipe attached to the helmet enables oxygen to be supplied while you are underwater and you can actually move around on the ocean floor without the fear of being swept off.
Suitable for visitors aged eight and above, sea trekking is extremely popular with the younger individuals who find it difficult to go on snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions on account of their age, height and other similar constraints. With sea trek, the option of swimming is ruled out and kids can actually walk around in helmets under the water as several sea creatures move around them.
The Original Concept: Picture this! You are asked to wear a helmet that roughly weighs as much as your entire body. The helmets are designed to be large and airtight thereby preventing air or water from flowing in or out. A hollow pipe is attached to the tip of the helmet through which you get your supply of oxygen when you are under the water.
If you feel the weight of the helmet will bring you down, there’s no need to worry. Under the water where you will experience zero gravity, the helmet in addition to you yourself will feel weightless. Once you are fitted with the helmet, you will be asked to descend a flight of stairs that will take you to the sea bed or in other cases, the bottom of the tank or aquarium. Once you have reached the bottom, you can walk around at your own pace, exploring the amazing underwater aquatic life.
Ready Help: Sea Treks in most cases today are organized in closed aquariums and other sea parks. Hence there is no need to be scared of the inevitable. If you still feel a bit apprehensive about getting into the water, you will be glad to know that all these parks have instructors who give you useful tips and if necessary get into the water with you.
Trekking Procedure: If you are ready to begin your sea trekking adventure, here are a few need to know facts about the guidelines and procedures followed in almost all the parks that offer the activity. On signing up for a sea trek, you will be asked to attend a crash course on the subject with necessary instructions meted out by the instructors to make your experience more relaxing.
Most of the parks operate sea trek adventures within 15 feet and the treks are done in groups. A maximum of 7 to 8 people constitute a group and under the water, the group needs to walk in a single line, using the guide rails to push forward.
Most of the time, a marine expert accompanies the group to point out various interesting underwater facts which include colorful corals and fishes. The trek lasts for approximately half an hour before the group resurfaces. Almost all the parks will have a dry spectator zone for bystanders to watch the trekkers under the water.
Where to go: Ok! If you are really interested now and want to know where you can go on a sea trekking adventure, here’s a list of places that offer the activity. You can sea trek at the Sea World at Orlando, at Paradise Island in the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and at the Playa Del Carmen in Mexico where you get to interact with dolphins and stingrays with the Dolphin Trek and Stingray Trek programs respectively.
Other notable destinations that offer sea trek programs include the Sea Trek Aquario in Cozumel, Mexico; the Diawa Hotel in Japan and the Borneo Sea Walking Aquarium in Sabah, Malaysia. So what are you waiting for people? Rush to your nearest sea park today and enjoy a day full of fun and frolic, sea trekking under the water with fishes and plants.