Yellow Submarine

We hit 800 feet and keep descending, which is about the time Karl Stanley turns off the lights, turns on the Pink Floyd and revolutionizes my impression of the underwater world forever. We’re plunging headlong into the 12,000-foot Cayman Trench off Roatan in Stanley’s three-person yellow submarine, Idabel, and bioluminescent life forms are swooshing past the viewing portal, thousands of them, a cascading array of fiery objects. It’s like riding Halley’s Comet through outer space. “Wooooooow,” is all I can think to say. “Once you get deep enough, 90 percent of everything is bioluminescent,” says Stanley, who’s been deeper than 2,000 feet in this thing.

“Wooooooow,” I repeat, psychedelically.

The adrenaline rush actually started early this morning, before I’d even stepped inside Stanley’s magic sub. I’d signed on for a series of activities that included a 110-foot wreck dive, two fabulous wall dives and, during my surface interval, a zip-line canopy tour through the jungle 70 feet off the ground. Now it’s nighttime, and I’m 1,650 feet beneath the ocean surface, with Stanley using a green laser to point out chimera sharks, isopods, fish-eating tunicates and other freaky creatures that never break 1,000 feet.


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