How to Helmet Dive Like a Pro

Helmet diving
The amazing world underwater

My adventure with Helmet Diving came during our trip to Bermuda while we were on a Norwegian cruise. I’m not a strong swimmer and I don’t like to be underwater. So I’ll probably never try scuba diving! I’ve tried snorkeling but haven’t had a lot of experience with that either. So when I was researching on ways to enjoy the ocean during our trip I was so excited to learn about this option. Here’s a few things you might find helpful!

What is Helmet Diving?

It is basically a guided, underwater walking tour designed for non-swimmers and non-divers. Participants wear a weighted dive helmet and walk under water along a pre-determined path. You do not need to take a certification class before enjoying this fun adventure. If you know how to breath and walk you can helmet dive!

What is the Helmet like?

The padded helmet works like a glass turned upside down in water. As long as the open end is held downward, the air is cupped underneath. 

Example of a Helmet
Example of a helmet

Where can you Helmet Dive?

There are so many places to choose from! Puerto Rico, Cozumel, Roatan….just to name a few! Of course, I’ve only been helmet diving in Bermuda so I guess I should travel to more places and try other companies so I really have some comparisons!

The company we used in Bermuda was Hartly’s Helmet Diving. They were located conveniently just past where our cruise ship docked. The excursion was easy to set up and was competitively priced. They have developed a “working relationship” with the fish and have “trained” the fish in the area to trust them. Because they always bring food, we enjoyed a menagerie of underwater sea life.

Some of the varieties of fish you will see have been given names as they are the “regulars”! You will meet George the Grunt, Herb the Hind, Gollum the Squirrelfish, Diana the Angel fish and Leroy the Snapper!

What was my experience?

Our Helmet dive boat parked next to our cruise ship
I’m standing next to our boat ride out to do the helmet dive which is parked next to our cruise ship!

Well, I’ll tell you! I was a little nervous (ok, maybe more like freaked out!) because I don’t enjoy being underwater but I really wanted to conquer this fear. We were given a tutorial as we traveled by boat out from the shore several miles. The view was stunning, blue water, azure sky, warm temps, everything was set up for a perfect day. There were 6 of us in our group and we were able to all go down together. My heart was pounding as I put one foot out onto the ladder that would eventually take me down about 10 feet. As I continued to step down one foot at a time a million thoughts were going through my head….what if I can’t breath?….what if the fish bite!…..what if……but I kept going, finally completely submerged in the warm water. As I tried to get my bearings, I noticed my ears were really starting to hurt. Just 10 feet down, there was a lot of pressure! The guide had told us this might happen but he didn’t make a big deal about it. He said the pressure would subside pretty quickly. But my ears hurt for what felt like forever! After awhile, the pain subsided but I still felt the pressure. Also, you can’t talk! Yes, your head is stuck in a fishbowl! You can only point to things, shrug your shoulders or shake your head (very slowly!) Our guide had pre-printed underwater sticks with the names of the fish on them so when one of the locals came to greet us he would pull out the appropriate stick that had that fish’s name on it. Pretty clever I thought!

Bermuda waters, heading to our dive site
Standing in the boat headed out to our dive site. And yes, it was windy!

We were told to hold onto a rope and walk along together as a group. Also, we were tethered to the boat by our oxygen hoses. How did we not get tangled up? Anyway, more and more fish began to congregate around us and no joke, I started feeling stirrings around my legs. I shouldn’t have been surprised of course, that’s what we were told would happen, but I was startled the first time!

Our underwater tour lasted about 30-40min but the whole trip can last up to 4 hrs depending on how many divers there are. Here’s a tip for you: If you are prone to seasickness definitely prepare for the possibility of becoming sick. I was fine getting out to our dive spot but for some reason I experienced some seasickness on the way back. And I wasn’t the only one. Several in our group also experienced nauseousness way worse than me!

The whole experience really was wonderful. I didn’t really conquer my “underwater” fear, but I now I know I can do it!

Waiting for our boat to arrive to take us to our dive spot
This is where we waited to catch our ride out to the dive sight. Literally right off the cruise ship dock!

Where to travel to next (when we can again!)

May I suggest (besides a trip to Bermuda where you can get the best fish sandwiches) but a trip to Mexico might be in your future! We are members of a company called Vidanta and they have 6 amazing resorts sprinkled throughout Mexico. We invite you to visit these wonderful resorts by reserving one of our rooms! Start your search HERE

Fast Get Away From New York-Bermuda (when it’s safe to travel again!)

Bermuda Island
Bermuda Island

Bermuda was never on my “bucket list”, I’ll just say that right off the bat! But when your husband says, “I want to take you away to a warm island in the middle of blue, blue waters”, you don’t say no!

Now for us, this was not a “quick trip” as the title of this post implies, because we happen to live on the West Coast. However, if you live on the East Coast, this is a very short 2hr plane ride for you!

From JFK and LaGuardia airports it is a 2hr and 15 min plane ride. Your plane lands at Bermuda LF Wade International Airport. From there you have lots of transportation options to get you around the island. You can go by bus, ferry, bikes, scooters, taxi or electric cars! Read more about transportation options HERE.

Accommodations on the island are plentiful as well! So setting up a fast weekend trip is so easy, why wouldn’t you! Start your accommodation search HERE

Why would you want to go to Bermuda you ask? Well let me tell you what I liked about it.

  1. The Pink Beaches! Did you know there was such a thing as a pink beach? Well there is! And I was able to enjoy it on our last day there. We visited one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, called Horseshoe Bay. The pink sand, turquoise waters and blue skies that never end is one reason to jump on a plane right now!
Pink sand beaches of Bermuda
Pink sand beach of Bermuda

2. The People– Bermuda is one of the friendliest places on the planet. And this is no tall tale. An instant welcome as soon as you arrive on the island, Bermudians sure know how to make you feel like you’re visiting your home away from home. No wonder the island has so many repeat visitors.

Friendly Bermudians
Some of the friendliest people on Earth!

3. The Culture– While most islands find their influence from the British, French, Spanish, and even Dutch who were squabbling over territories in the West Indies, Bermuda was left to its own devices as a British colony. And if you know anything about Bermuda, then you know its culture is almost an exact replication of British culture. Everything from language to sports is done the British way on Bermuda. Even driving! We surly enjoyed learning how to drive on the “wrong side of the road”! We also loved the pink-and-yellow Bermudian beach houses. I found myself wishing I could have a house that color!

Colorful homes of Bermuda
Colorful homes of Bermuda

4. The Local Flavors– Thanks to its mid-Atlantic location, Bermudian cuisine blends flavors and culinary techniques from England, the Caribbean, the U.S. and South America into a delicious mixture. What better combination of delectable cuisine could you ever want? And if you haven’t heard about its island staple, then you’ve officially been living under a rock. No trip to the island is complete without trying the Bermuda fish sandwich. Often time’s tourists are on the hunt for the best fish sandwich the island has to offer. If you want a head start, head to: Art Mels Spicey Dicy, Rosa’s, Seaside Grill, Swizzle Inn, Tribe Road Kitchen and The Black Horse Tavern.  Our favorite was at Art Mels. I have never had a fish sandwich quite like it! I tried to duplicate it when I got home, but wasn’t even close!

Art Mel's fish sandwich
Art Mel’s Fish Sandwich

To sum up our stay in Bermuda in one word-“perfection”! We had a wonderful time and would highly recommend it. But how we got there is a topic for another time!

Bermuda
We loved Bermuda!

Can’t decide where to go on your next vacation? Try staying at a resort in Mexico! We have access to 1 week stays in 6 different luxurious Vidanta resorts! Read all about it here . Then when your ready to book CLICK HERE!