Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Out At Sea: Jules Underwater Lodge - History Beneath Florida's Waters

Swim your way into the Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo Undersea Park in Key Largo, Florida!
Aside from being the first mobile pressure habitat available to the public in 1970, prior to this it carried out missions off the coast of Puerto Rico with full scientific gear on board to study the continental shelf and was known as the La Chalupa Research Laboratory. This historic lodge takes you back to how it was to sleep, eat, and live under water more than 40 years ago as the first Aquanauts explored the ocean floors. In 1995 Jules' co-founder Ian Koblick spoke from the underwater lodge to astronaut Mike Gernhardt in the Space Shuttle Endeavor - making the communication the second of its kind in history.

The lodge was not just a space for scientists and divers, but also celebrities who visited such as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and political figures like Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Even the media has awed at the lodge, visited by Good Morning America, NBC, BBC, Food Channel Network, and other international film crews. It was even a host site for The Amazing Race last year!

The underwater lodge, now located in Emerald Lagoon, is fully equipped with hot showers, kitchen, TV, beds, underwater windows, phone service, bathroom, and more within the compressed air structure made to fit 6 people comfortably. If you love seeing coral reef fish, the lodge provides you with a close stay right next to a natural reef nursery home to: angel fish, parrot fish, barracuda, sponges, oysters, feather duster worms, and much more marine life to explore. The structure itself serves as an artificial reef as well.

Also on the lagoon is a gift shop and Jules' Underwater Marine Lab devoted to research and education, especially studying a replica of the wreck of the San Pedro.

Don't know how to scuba dive but still want to experience the lodge and all its marine life? No problem. Guests can take a 3 hour class to familiarize themselves with all the equipment and procedures that will be used. If you want to become scuba certified the course is also 3 hours long. Pricing for the class and the advertised overnight stays include full scuba gear and instruction.

To see how you can book your visit to the Jules Underwater Lodge, click here or call 305-451-2353

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