Last month, a local homeschooling mom reached out to see if others were interested in an outing on an Atlantis Submarine.  I’d never heard of them, but she mentioned that we’d be getting a great deal so I had to look into it.

And as you’ve probably guessed, I signed our family up!   I’ll be honest in saying I’m not sure we could have afforded it otherwise, but I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go.  If the cost scares you as well, keep your eyes peeled for discounts. The experience is worth it.

So we arrived 30 minutes early in Waikiki and headed to this kiosk in the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  (You can park at one of the hotels for only $10 too – just pay here on your way out.)  DSC00253 These are some fine looking kids.DSC00256

But then we realized we were actually supposed to walk down to the pier and meet our group there.DSC00257 We received our dive logs and our tickets, and then we sat and waited to board the ship.  Aidan spent the time researching all the sea life we hoped to see.DSC00259

After a few minutes, we all loaded up on the ship that would take us out to the submarine.  I took pictures.  As I do.DSC00265

We got to see the sub surfacing.  Very neat. (Not as neat as a U.S. Navy sub surfacing – but still, pretty dang cool. And I may be a bit biased since James spent 5 years on one.)
DSC00269 DSC00271 A look at Diamond Head.DSC00279 DSC00281 So this is the 64-passenger sub that loaded up before us.DSC00285

This one is ours – it seats 46 passengers.DSC00287 We were the last ones to board. DSC00288

Now this post is more about the experience than pretty pictures. Once we were under water, we lost the ability to see red (or something like that), and I wasn’t about to attempt to fix these pictures. I’m not even sure if they’re fixable. So let’s enjoy the blue tone!DSC00294

As soon as we started descending, we saw a ton of these mackerel scads.
DSC00295 And when we were seeing nothing, we took pictures of ourselves.  I mean how many times will we be blue in our lives?  And yeah, we forgot to have Aidan bring his regular prescription glasses. Poor kid had to see everything in not just blue, but a deep blue.  Parenting fail.DSC00296 DSC00297 DSC00298 DSC00299 Look, it’s a starfish!DSC00303 Getting deep!DSC00306 DSC00315 The guy narrating our experience was fantastic, and we learned a ton about all of the reefs and objects we floated by. I couldn’t remember the details if I wanted to, but it’s not important anyway. You should just take the tour to hear all about it!DSC00320 We saw lots of pennant fish and millet seed butterflyfish. And those blue fish look super familiar, but I’m too lazy to go look them up. DSC00321

DSC00325

The sub went all the way down to 105 ft. I think he said that less than 1% of the world has ever been down to this depth.  So yeah, we’re pretty special.DSC00334 I do remember that this plane was placed here and that Hurricane Iniki (1992) tore it apart and relocated some of the pieces. Or at least I think.DSC00337 DSC00340 DSC00344 DSC00346 DSC00347 DSC00348 DSC00352 DSC00355

So this is the worst picture ever, but I’m posting it anyway. We saw this spotted eagle ray 3 times, and this was the very best picture I could capture.  It’s our first ray sighting since living in Hawai’i, so we were pretty excited! (James and Austin were on the other side of the sub, so unfortunately they didn’t get to see it. They did get to see an eel though and we didn’t.)DSC00360 DSC00373

So excited about this shot! On James’s side, they saw a white reef shark, and I jumped over to see it. I did, but no picture.  So when the sub turned around and headed back so our side could get a glimpse of the same area, I was wild-eyed trying to find it.  And I did.

Can you see it? He’s just left of center under the plane.  Our first shark in Hawai’i! And we were separated by metal and glass – that’s my kind of sighting.DSC00379

In case you couldn’t see our little sharky friend, here’s some help. 

DSC00379b

This is an amberjack I believe. These suckers are huge. DSC00380 DSC00382 We were even treated to a few green sea turtles. Can you see one relaxing on the right side of the ship?DSC00384 DSC00389 DSC00393 So grateful for this picture that our friend took.  DSC00396e And then just like that, we were ascending! 45 minutes of sightseeing flew by in a flash.DSC00398 After we loaded back on the ship, we took in the sights on our way back to the shore. Here’s a look towards our little town.DSC00400 Me and my love!DSC00401 Here was the ship we rode. There is seating down below and above, and they sell plenty of snacks for your munching pleasure!DSC00405 On our way back to the van, we stopped at this pretty fountain and pretended we were tourists.DSC00406 Apparently we didn’t get enough fish-watching, so here’s another.DSC00409

Such a fun adventure! Everyone was great during the whole experience, and we are really glad we went.  They didn’t pay me a dollar to write this post, so seriously, I ain’t lying. (Yeah, I just said ‘ain’t’.) If you go, let us know if you loved it too!  The company also has tours off of Maui and the Big Island – we might have to check them out again. You know I’ll keep you updated.

Mount Tantalus Scenic Drive
Kamiloiki Ridge Trail