The International Scuba Hall of Fame is a rare and sought-after club with members drawn from the true heroes of the undersea exploration sport.
The pinnacle of the year for many is the annual induction ceremony for the latest honourees, which takes place on Wednesday, 7 November at The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa.
“Scuba enthusiasts everywhere to come honour the men and women who have played an important role in shaping the dive industry and who serve as inspirations for future generations of divers,” reads the website. “Whether you are passionate about dive travel, entertainment, equipment design and development, education, exploration and adventure, or simply enjoy the camaraderie of fellow enthusiasts, this is the one event no one should miss.”
Now ya can’t say fairer than that can ya?
Cocktails are at 6pm with dinner and induction from 7pm. This year’s inductees include Ric and Do Cammick, Clive Cussler, Ron Kipp, Leslie Leaney, Kelly Tarlton and Armand and JoAnn Zigahn. Diving pioneers also to be honoured are Ted Eldred, Maurice Fenzie and Max “Gene” Nohl.
Dress code is elegant and tickets are $50. Call the Department of Tourism at 949-0623 or e-mail [email protected]
The next evening – Thursday, 8 November and also at the Westin – sees the International Underwater Film Festival, which is always a well-received event among those intrigued by marine life, as well as experts and experienced divers. From 6.30 to 7.15pm there will be cocktails and a silent auction, plus Lobster Lotto. Money raised will support marine conservation efforts through the Guy Harvey Research Institute as well as diver safety initiatives that are important to the water sports sector of the association.
Every year, the film festival lineup shows a diverse mix of underwater videography, films and documentaries. For the first time, the festival will feature two short films from local videographers in addition to pieces by world renowned IMAX film maker Howard Hall, scuba hall of fame inductee Leslie Leaney and marine biologist Guy Harvey.
This year’s lineup includes Cayman Odyssea by Frans DeBacker; SeaNet 1944 by Leslie Leaney; Raja by Howard and Michele Hall; Fragile Cayman by Michael Maes and Guy Harvey’s Ocean Explorations.
The underwater photo competition will also be on show with the top three photos in all five categories printed on canvas and displayed at the event. The Best in Show will be announced on the night.
The International Underwater Film Festival is presented by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and the Divers’ Alert Network. It will be held at Westin Casuarina’s Governor’s Ballrooms on Thursday, 8 November.
Tickets are $25 and available from the association’s office, Cathy Church’s Photo Centre, Divetech, Don Foster’s Dive and Red Sail Sports or online through the association’s website. You can go and see both events for $65 – contact the Cayman Islands Tourism Association for more details.