Aquarium Dive #5 of 12
It is safe to say, I found it rather amusing that my Lil’ Road Dog and I completed our 5th Aquarium Dive Challenge of 12 on 5-12-19, which also happened to be Mother’s Day. Even though April’s Atlanta Aquarium Dive was, and will probably remain to be the “Mecca” of all our Aquarium Dives…Denver’s was pretty awesome in it’s own special way.
At Denver’s Downtown Aquarium, we dove into adventure in their Sunken Shipwreck exhibit for up-close encounters with 10ft Sand Tiger Sharks, Sandbar Sharks, Zebra Sharks, Guitarfish, three 12ft Sawfish, and hundreds of other fish from around the world. As per usual, all divers must be dive certified and present valid SCUBA certification cards at check-in on the day of program. They allow certified divers ages 10 and up to participate (must be accompanied by an adult certified diver).
The program is conducted by A-1 Scuba & Travel Aquatics Center and is offered on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 1:30 pm. I signed us both up on their website (www.a1scuba.com) at a cost of $185 per person. This price included a T-Shirt, exhibit admission for both me and my Lil’ Road Dog, and the use of all needed scuba equipment. I was able to give my exhibit admission bracelet to my hubby because I had only planned to dive. This way, he could enter the Aquarium exhibit and view all of our shenanigans. Parking was not included, but was available for $10 directly across the street from the Aquarium’s main entrance.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted and checked-in by a member of the diving staff and asked to complete Release Forms.
Next, we were escorted to the locker rooms to change into our swimsuits. Then, we were taken “behind the scenes” to the dive deck by our Dive Guide, Thomas. He was absolutely wonderful, and had the most amazing and fun personality. Afterwards, we were given our dive safety briefing from Thomas, geared up, and descended to the bottom of the aquarium to begin viewing the sharks.
As soon as we reached the bottom, the sleek, exquisitely sculpted iconic shapes started coming into view…SHARKS !!! So many different types, but all showcasing their perfect blend of power and elegance that lulled me into a sense of total awe. They were zigzagging right in front of us throughout the crystal clear water of the aquarium.
There was no mistaking how delighted my Lil’ Road Dog was with how close they swam to him…So effortless, yet so precise. Each swish of their tail fin propelled them forward in a serious, yet zippy manner. The various shark species seemed to move meticulously throughout the aquarium, never bumping into one another. Almost as if they were performing some sort of synchronized dance.
Another thrill was getting to sift through the sandy bottom to look for shark teeth. Although we didn’t find any, our guide Thomas did. He graciously gave us some of the ones he found as souvenirs. There were also an assortment of fish swimming all around. They seemed to like it when you sifted through the sandy bottom, as certain ones would approach you closer when doing so.
Since we were on display in the aquarium, we had just as much fun, if not more, interacting with the kids viewing us, as us them.
We spent approximately 45 minutes in water. Even though the water temp was 78 degrees, and we wore 5mm full wetsuits with hoods and gloves, my Lil’ Road Dog started shivering near the end. Therefore, there was no way we could have stayed down any longer. Once you start shivering and your core body temp drops, there’s usually only one fix…getting out of the water and finding a quick way to warm up. For him, this meant getting to the locker room as soon as possible to take a warm/hot shower.
But hey, like I tell him, that’s the downside of being a skinny diver. You have no built-in insulation! Notice that I didn’t say that I got cold. Hummh !?!
We experienced, yet again, another wonderful concierge scuba dive. I was thinking to myself that we are both being so spoiled by the “set-up everything for you” treatment, that when the time comes for us to do it all ourselves, we might feel a little overwhelmed. (LOL !!!).
Until next time…Be on the lookout for Dive #6 !!!