Much To See Undersea
Wednesday - February 13, 2008
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By Ron Williams
President & CEO Atlantis Submarines
Atlantis Submarines is proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary in Hawaii this year. We launched our first sub dive site off Kona in August 1988 and followed that up three years later with dive sites off Waikiki and Lahaina.
Our philosophy is “Let Us Show You Our Hawaii,” and we are grateful that more than 6.5 million guests have allowed us to show them the magic of Hawaii’s undersea world.
Every day our submarine guests encounter a valuable and thriving natural resource up-close: the Pacific Ocean and its inhabitants. Fish in all shapes and colors frolic about, green sea turtles swim idly by, and eels and reef sharks are often seen lurking on the ocean floor. Every sub dive I have experienced is always a surprise and my reaction is the same: WOW!
Everything Atlantis does is intended to give our guests the undersea tour of a lifetime and create both lasting memories and support for Hawaii’s marine world.
We carry up to 64 guests per dive to depths of 125 feet using the world’s most technologically advanced passenger submarine. The interior is comfortable, air-conditioned and has plenty of head- and legroom. And the sub is battery powered, meaning it’s quiet and safe for the environment. Best of all, each seat has a large viewing portal to watch Hawaii’s marine life in action.
An important message we emphasize to all our guests is to respect and protect the ocean environment. To that end, we are proud of our contribution to Hawaii’s marine conservation.
Our dive site off Waikiki is the perfect example. Today, it is teeming with fish and all types of marine life. But this is an area that was once sparsely populated and largely devoid of activity. In 1989, Atlantis introduced several artificial reefs to the area in conjunction with the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant Program and the State Department of Land and Natural Resources. The artificial reefs soon blossomed into a self-sustaining eco-system for marine life to feed, repopulate and live.
At Atlantis, by “reefs” we mean an outdoor gallery of sculpture-like concrete pyramid forms and ring structures, plus a decommissioned ship and two airplanes.
On Maui, our intent was the same with the Carthaginian, a replica of an old whaling supply ship that was due to be scuttled. Atlantis found a new home and purpose for this vessel. In December 2005, following years of discussions with the Maui community and environmental impact studies, Atlantis successfully sank the 97-foot Carthaginian off Lahaina to create a solid substrate that is helping coral to grow and increasing the biomass of marine life.
The positive impact of artificial reefs is undeniable, and Atlantis is proud to have made the undersea environment we work in an even better place for all of Hawaii to enjoy. We promise to continue doing our part to help support Hawaii’s marine life and encourage everyone to join us aboard one of our submarines to see up-close the magnificence of nature’s undersea world.
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