Book your Uber to the Great Barrier Reef

Nope, the Uber app hasn’t been hacked — from May 27-June 17th, 2019 user booked themselves submarine dives on the first-ever ride share submarine. Uber app users in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) were rewarded with an option to select the little white submarine instead of that uninspired Prius for their commute. We conducted a total of 33 dives on the temperate reef around Heron Island and 1000 km to the north in Tropical North Queensland on Agincourt Reef. Day dives and two special night dives revealed all of the charismatic fauna the GBR is known for. Many of the “Great 8,” including sharks, turtles, rays, clownfish, giant clams, potato cod, and vibrant coral were regulars on our dives. Among the guests was journalist Ellie Cobb, writer for the BBC. She wrote an amazing article that was featured on BBC Travel that includes photos and a not-to-be-missed embedded film. According to Tourism and Events Queensland, the scUber offering initiated 3500 unique stories, and reached a potential global audience of 3 billion people. Stay tuned on Instagram and YouTube for unique videos of the dives, including an underwater marriage proposal inside the Stingray 500.

Stingray Refit

Stingray Refit

The Stingray 500 branded in white for scUber Australia. Photo Courtesy Aquatica Submarines

After eight months, three countries, dozens of dives and being air-freighted from Australia to Canada, the Stingray 500 is home in Vancouver B.C. The sub has been reliable and hard working these past months and the crew is eagerly planning some submersible TLC. The sub will undergo her annual inspection and service as we prepare for summer and fall dives. As we enter winter we’ll take the submersible down to bare bones in what is referred to in the industry as a “Special Survey.” Every component of the sub will be disassembled, serviced, and reassembled in readiness for the next season at sea.

Summer Sponge Dives

Sponge

Sponge garden and rockfish. Photo Courtesy Adam Taylor

Aquatica Submarines’ Operations team has returned home to coastal British Columbia in time to watch the season turn warm and dry. Our sponge reefs here in B.C. are phenomenal and a truly unique ecosystem under all those summer plankton blooms. We’ve missed exploring them these past months. So in late summer, we’ll be delivering dives for the winners of the charities Aquatica has supported this year.

Belize, phew! Here’s what we discovered

During the month of December, 2018. Aquatica Submarines embarked on a scientific mission to discover new truths about the mysterious Blue Hole of Belize. Sadly, no megalodon or portal to the nether world were discovered. However the data we collected gave us insight into historic ocean events. Building on studies conducted by deep technical scuba divers in the 1990’s we’ve added our detailed sonar map to the repository of data used by local conservation groups. The blog and white paper versions of our sonar mapping expedition are available online. A published article is available in the summer 2019 print issue of The Explorer’s Journal (Vol. 97 №2.) A short documentary filmed by our team provides a look behind-the-scenes.

Sonar Overlaid

Sonar overlaid over the corresponding image of the stalactite cavern at 160 ft. Photo Courtesy Aquatica Submarines

Along with our sonar study, we were joined by Fabien Cousteau to film Episode 3 of Legends of the Deep — Curse of the Sea Monster which aired on June 23, 2019 on the Science Channel.

Sea Trial Support of the refit Pisces VI

Pisces VI

The Pisces VI refit is nearly complete. Photo Courtesy www.piscessub.com

The production, refit, and operations of submersibles is a small industry. In support of the Pisces VI project, we’re welcoming the Kansas-based submarine and its global team to join us in Vancouver, B.C. for access to the deepwater they need for sea trials. We’ll be sharing our shop space and cross-training our respective pilots and operations teams. We’re looking forward to tandem dives here in British Columbia and welcoming the refit Pisces VI back to Vancouver where it was originally designed and built four decades ago.