Bermuda has many treasures and hidden gems to discover and its greatest is probably the coral reefs that surround the island. They protect Bermuda from the strong currents and rough waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Unfortunately, snorkelling and scuba-diving are not for everyone. It may often seem a little unfair for those who can’t swim, have asthma, are not comfortable breathing through bottles, or can’t take their glasses off. This means they may not be able to enjoy the beauty of coral reefs, or see the many fishes that live among them.
The answer is the Hartley’s Undersea Walk. This is Bermuda’s top helmet diving operator, that allows everyone, adults and children alike, to walk on the bottom of the sea as comfortably as on dry land. The principle couldn’t be simpler, and is based on the very ancient bell diving concept. The helmet works like a big glass turned upside-down on your head, with fresh air pumped in a tube from the boat and flowing out of the bottom of the helmet. This allows you to not only can you wear you glasses or contact lenses, but you can also reach in with you hands.
Hartley’s is based in Sandy Parish and was started in 1984 by Gregory Hartley. He is the son of Bronson Hartley, who invented the helmet in the 1930’s and founded the first Undersea Walk in the Bahamas in 1958. Greg Hartley runs two diving trips each day on the Rainbow Runner. This is a 40-foot glass-bottom boat named after a pelagic fish. The vessel takes divers on a 20 minute journey to the Half Way Flat reef. Here, divers can walk on the sandy bottom of the sea in 10 feet of clear blue water. Groups of 5 to 6 people at a time spend about 30 minutes underwater and the whole trip usually lasts up to three and a half hours.
Hartley’s Undersea Walk have taken place on this site for years. This has allowed Greg and his team to become friends with the local marine creatures. Fish have became used to divers coming here and some are tamed enough to let divers hold and pet them, even posing long enough to have pictures taken.
According to visitors on Trip Advisor,
“It’s a wonderful insight to another world.”,
“Unique experience underwater”,
“A Once In A Lifetime Experience”.
Hartley’s Undersea Walk is considered a top attraction in Sandy and features regularly in listings of the top 10 of things to do in Bermuda.
The only requisites are that divers must be at least 5 years old, and that anyone diagnosed with heart or breathing problems must have a note from a doctor allowing them to dive in 10 feet of water.
The diving season for Hartley’s Undersea Walk starts in early April (Easter Holidays) and goes on up until November.
Hartley’s Undersea Walk, Sandys, Bermuda – Part of Elbow Beach Cycles ‘Things To Do’ in Bermuda series!
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