Total Submersion in Cayman’s dive scene

Nearly a hundred divers from around
the world are descending on Sunset House for a week of activity in May.

The annual Professional Association
of Diving Instructors Diving Society Total Submersion event is to take place at
Sunset House between 1 and 8 May. The event is in its 11th year and is a major
event on the calendar, explained Mike Brown of Sunset dive operations.

“They come down and take over for a
week, basically, with up to 90 guests. We run five boats every morning whilst
they’re here and they have unlimited shore diving 24 hours a day so they can
dive to their hearts’ content. Some people make it their mission to do five
dives a day.

“We end up filling 230 tanks per
day when they hold the event,” he explained.

Poker face

Amongst the activities during Total
Submersion are seminars, underwater photo contests where one of the prizes is
to return to next year’s event free of charge.

“Basically, they get spoiled
rotten. Most of the guys come from the States but last year we had a gang Costa Rica and some from Canada as well.

One of the more intriguing elements
of the week is an underwater poker run, a shore dive-based event where divers
are given a set of coordinates and bearings to different areas of Sunset Reef.
On reaching those undersea locations, a PADI or Sunset Divers representative
will hand over a card. Four will be given to the teams underwater with the
fifth on land to avoid any shenanigans such as card-swapping.

“It’s been known to happen so this
is a serious business now! They announce the winners on the last night where
there’s a big barbecue with a huge projection screen for the pictures they’ve
taken over the week,” said Mr Brown.

Here come the judge

Judges at the photo contest include
Ty Sawyer, whose Sport Diver magazine is one of many in his stable. There will
also be photo clinics where people can ask professionals about technical
issues. The week is a busy one for all concerned, but by now the Sunset crew
are prepared for what can be a crazy time.

“The whole thing sounds completely
chaotic and a nightmare but we have a good system now. Most of the people who
come have been coming here for 10 years and we’ve had a few people who’ve done
every single one for a decade. When we see them it’s like a homecoming – it’s
such good fun.

“A lot of singles come who don’t
have dive buddies at home and they get to go away and meet new people too,”
continued Brown.

Although the dive operation at Sunset
will be closed to outside business during the week to enable the staff to cater
for the Total Submission visitors, the bar and restaurant at Sunset House
remain open to members of the public.


Nearly a hundred dive enthusiasts will enjoy PADI Total Submersion
Photo: Submitted