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The Hydrobatic Necker Nymph

By wpdev October 26, 2011
Most of us have, at some point in our life, dreamed or day-dreamed about breathing underwater and/or flying.  Both of these themes inspire a sense of weightless freedom that is indescribably appealing.  It is a common route for people who have recurring visions of such things to take up hobbies like scuba diving, sailing, hang-gliding, sky-diving, surfing and a myriad of other adventurous activities.  Sail Caribbean offers summer adventures such as teen scuba diving, sailing, and water sports which allow teens to get their feet wet (literally!) and experience first-hand some of these dreams in a safe and beautiful environment.  The introduction Sail Caribbean provides to this exciting, challenging, and rewarding way of life can open some really fascinating doors.  For example:Imagine – you earned your PADI Open Water Certification from Sail Caribbean Divers your first summer as a camper, and you simply could not wait until the next summer to log some more bottom time!  If you are like me, no matter how many hours you spend underwater, you always want just a little more time, to go a little deeper, to swim a little faster…  Am I right?   Now, imagine your surprise if you were blowing bubbles 60 feet (18 meters) below the surface at a popular dive site, and a sleek aero-submarine zoomed by!  Wait… Aero-submarine…?  Oh yeah, check this out!


If you have been to the British Virgin Islands, or if you plan on going, most likely you will pass by Necker Island, a private resort island owned by Sir Richard Branson.  A relatively new addition to the toys of Necker Island is the Necker Nymph (Photo cred: – a three person, open cockpit, underwater craft which “flies” beneath the surface of the water!  More plane than submarine, it is positively buoyant and relies on downward “lift” of the wings rather than a ballast system common to traditional submarines.  It is also unique in that you breathe through a regulator exactly as you would if scuba diving, minus the Buoyancy Compensator (B.C.) and heavy air tank.  There are individual “wind shields” to protect the passengers from slipstream pressure, as well as make the ride substantially more enjoyable.  These features make it possible for the Necker Nymph to dive down to 98 feet (30 meters), travel at speeds up to 6 knots, provide practically 360 degree viewing, and remain under water for potentially 2 hours!The Necker Nymph is typically rented out with the Necker Belle dive boat ($2,500 per day), but can also be launched from shore on Necker Island.  Even if you are not a certified diver, you can participate in a ½ day orientation and hop in for a ride in the afternoon.  Certified Open Water divers get to cruise down to 60 feet (18 meters), and Advanced Open Water divers will possibly see 98 feet (30 meters) with minimal environmental impact.  The craft is steered via joystick by a trained pilot in the center seat, and it is equipped with plenty of safety equipment (extra Oxygen, flares, radio, etc.).  Most passengers spend 1-2 hours on a dive, but just like when you dive with Sail Caribbean Divers, the major limiting factors of your dive are the maximum depth and how much air you have.The reality of simultaneously flying and breathing underwater…  Seriously!  How cool is that?!  It appears as though dreams really do come true, and while this particular thing is a bit on the pricey side, it is just one amazing idea in a sea of possibilities.


Which of your  own dreams have come true thanks (directly or indirectly) to Sail Caribbean?  Which of your dreams do you hope to realize next summer?

The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.