9 Things You Can Do Underwater
If you can do it on land, someone will find a way to do it underwater. And then they'll find a way to get others to do it, too!
1. Listen to Music
The Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce and US-1 Radio 104.1FM presents an annual Underwater Music Festival just off Big Pine Key in Florida. The musicians play underwater, but attendees have the option to listen in scuba gear or on dry land, as the music is broadcast to beach speakers. You can watch the action at YouTube.
2. Bury a Loved One
Neptune Memorial Reef, three miles off Key Biscayne, Florida is an underwater cemetery that offers a final resting place for those who love the sea. Earthly remains are cremated, mixed with cement, and then laid on the ocean floor with a memorial plaque. The cemetery, designed by artist Kim Brandell, lies 40 feet below the surface, and serves as an artificial reef to promote the proliferation of marine life.
3. Bike Race
Discovery Diving in Beaufort, North Carolina, holds an underwater bike race every year on the Fourth of July to raise funds for the Children's Mile of Hope. Photograph by Dale Hansen.
4. Get Married
You have to be in the right place at the right time to get married at the underwater research station Aquarius, off the Florida Keys. But since Otto and Leanne Ruttan worked there, they had the opportunity to tie the knot at the station in 1996. However, if you are willing to don scuba gear to say your vows, the folks at Pro Dive International in Fort Lauderdale Beach have a scuba wedding package! The rehearsal dinner is a serious training session, but since live video streaming is included, your guests don't have to accompany you. This gives a whole new meaning to "taking the plunge!"
5. Have a Back Rub
Huvafen Fushi Resort in the Maldives features the world's first underwater spa. Designed by Richard Hywel Evans for Studio RHE, the walls are glass to aid in relaxation for the perfect spa experience.
Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, is a former research laboratory in a mangrove lagoon. You have to scuba dive to reach your room! At 21 feet under water, it’s the perfect place to launch a diving adventure. For those who don't scuba dive, or value luxury over adventure, Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji offers 24 luxury suites and one apartment 12 meters under water.
7. Mail a Letter
If you are looking for a different way to mail a letter, you could mail one from underwater. Yes, there have been post offices and mailboxes underwater, in the Bahamas; Risør, Norway; Sabah, Malaysia; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Port Vila, Vanuatu. Most of these have opened and closed, but their existence allowed them to garner much publicity and issue stamps postmarked underwater that can be sold around the world for a long time to come. The Vanuatu underwater post office is the only one with a current website. The island is a very popular destination for scuba divers, but the post office is only manned for one hour each day, or longer if there's a waiting line.
8. Observe Fine Art
MUSA, the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, is an underwater art museum off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. The 400 sculptures by artist Jason deCaires Taylor are easily accessed by scuba divers, snorkelers, and glass-bottomed boats. The facility also doubles as a reef structure to promote marine life and to educate visitors about undersea ecology. More information in English can be found at the Facebook page.
Ithaa is the name of the underwater restaurant at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. The walls and roof are a transparent acrylic arch. Its capacity is 14 people, who go down a spiral staircase to a depth of five meters. See more pictures here. Photograph by Alexey Potov.