ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI, scuba diving “opens hearts and minds and offers countless opportunities for self-discovery.” Lady divers looking for a girls getaway to the Florida Keys can come together for shared enjoyment and undersea adventure in honor of the PADI Women Dive Day July 18.
The History of Diving Museum, located at mile marker 82.9 in Islamorada, is staging a weekend of events with area dive operators in recognition of the sixth annual celebration.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, event participants can stroll through the museum with a women-themed “I Spy” style of scavenger hunt. They can learn about some of the early female pioneers of commercial diving, or the Japanese Ama divers who are known for their freediving skills.
Museum visitors come within inches of the earliest diving machines including a full-scale replica of an all-wood diving bell; the Parade of Nations, a collection of 25 historic hard-hat dive helmets from around the world; and exhibitsillustrating significant contributions made by men and women in the progression of modern-day scuba diving and underwater exploration.
A new exhibit, “In Depth: 15 Years of the Diving Museum,” is on display through December 2020. Featured items include never-before-seen artifacts and recently acquired diving gear. Visitors can use their smartphones to scan QR codes for historical diving facts, including how Dr. Joe Bauer and Dr. Sally Bauer founded the museum with their extensive personal collection spanning their years of research and dedication to diving.
Participants are to explore the museum in limited group sizes to comply with social distancing protocols, providing a uniquely personalized viewing experience. All Florida Keys visitors are to follow local health directives and take personal responsibility to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
After the self-guided tour, guests receive an HDM souvenir and have time to browse books, artifacts and gifts in the museum’s store. The programs are to last approximately one hour.
In addition, up to 100 virtual attendees can pre-register to join a Zoom presentation set for Saturday, July 18, with marine archeologist Laurel Seaborn, who is to talk about women in undersea archeology. The program is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. and viewers can watch from the comfort of their home or catch the session’s recording later on the museum’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/TheDivingmuseum.
A fun night dive, followed by a celebratory toast to ladies of diving, is planned for Saturday evening with Islamorada’s Key Dives. Spaces are limited, so enthusiasts should reserve early by contacting Key Dives at 305-664-2211 and referencing the PADI Women Dive Day night dive. Dive price is $75 per person, or $65 per person for History of Diving Museum members.
Daily admission tickets to the History of Diving Museum weekend event are $15 per adult or $108 per eight-person group. Children ages 6-11 are admitted for $7 each. Admission is free for children age 5 and under, museum members and Blue Star families. Walk-ins are welcome based on capacity, or visitors can schedule a time slot.
To reserve tickets or sign up for the virtual Zoom presentation, contact Emily Kovacs at 305-664-9737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.