We visited in November 2015. If you want the full story, keep reading. If you just want the highlights or the key tips, please scroll to the bottom.
This attraction is a score for Discovery Bay. After considering multiple locations including Ocho Rios and Oracabessa, Discovery Bay was selected as home for the Jamaica Submarine Experience because of its calm waters and protected bay, where no fishing is allowed. Also, Discovery Bay, being calmer, is less affected by the tides, providing more diving activities and fewer no dive days.
I have fond memories of coming to Puerto Seco Beach in Discovery Bay as a child … calm crystal clear waters and powdery white sand. There couldn’t be a better spot for the Jamaica Submarine Adventure to share space.
The good news with that is that you get to use the very convenient parking lot at Puerto Seco. Plus, a little bird told me that a major investment project is planned for Puerto Seco. Hopefully, this will help it to even surpass its former glory, especially now that it is home to the Jamaica Submarine Adventure!
The bad news is that on (Jamaican) public holidays, Puerto Seco can be crowded as it is a very popular beach with the locals. The news isn’t all bad because even if the beach is crowded, this has nothing to do with the submarine activity since they occupy different areas! Double win.
As Pablo, their operations manager advises, “A sunny and calm day is best. Minimal turbulence on the sea means better visibility below.”
Can you go if it is raining? Yes, but there a few rules of thumb to think about. Rain water is “surface water” and so it takes 1-2 days to get to the bottom of the sea. Diving just after it rains is better than 2 days afterwards for this reason. I was impressed that the Submarine Adventure monitors the weather reports from different sources and makes their own decision on whether a dive is possible.
It is an amazing landscape, or rather seascape, in the underwater world … hard corals, sponge corals, vase corals. A host of fish abound. There are printed guides as well as tour guides with you to help you identify the wide array of fish that come by.
Angel Fish are rarely seen in Jamaican waters. Discovery Bay is one of the few bays with any significant remaining angel fish population. Both Queen, Grey and French angel fish went swimming by. What is unique about them is that the first two that hatch mate for life. They are considered the “romantics of the sea”.
Star Trek fans will remember that Captain Picard had a lion fish in his quarters. They are as invasive as they are beautiful. For a while, they wreaked havoc on local marine life. Thankfully, a vigorous campaign to catch and destroy, aka eat them, has proved successful and their numbers have been diminishing.
So here is the coolest thing. During the dive, the red fire extinguisher looked almost burgundy. Our lips looked almost black. Why? Colors change at depth. If you can, wear either orange, yellow or red clothing to really appreciate the changes in color.
Did you know that there can be freshwater springs in the sea? Turns out there are. How weird is that? Discovery Bay doesn’t have a river on the surface but there are ocean wells which allow fresh water to spring in the sea floor. If you look closely you can actually see the channels with your naked eye.
There seems to be a strong focus on safety. We had life vests on for the boat ride to the submarine. We had a full safety briefing in the submarine just before we started the dive. Not that you expect this to be an issue, but their air supply is such that it can accommodate 26 people, including crew, for 72 hours. Plus, the best thing is that there is always a boat on the surface during the dives and there are multiple ways of getting the submarine up to the surface if there are any issues.
In case you were wondering, the bends is not an issue. The pressure and oxygen content in the submarine are about the same as the outside.
Yes, and with good reason! Your weight is your personal business; however, considering that it is a critical factor in the operation of the submarine, you will want to cooperate. The total weight on board is important for the calculations for the dive to proceed. If giving your weight really bothers you, or you are tempted to give a fake weight, perhaps you should just skip this tour since you don’t think that the safety of the up to 25 other people on board is important.
Special thanks to the staff and crew of Jamaica Submarine Adventure who spent quite a bit of time talking with us about the submarine and the marine environment of Discovery Bay. Special shout out to
Visit them on Facebook – Jamaica Submarine Company or call their reservation line at 876-373-2778.
Jamaica Submarine Adventure is just under 5 minutes drive from Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Contact us now to book your Mais Oui Villa vacation.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Til next time,
Sherry & Darrell
Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups.
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Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!