The Super Aviator is less a submarine and more an underwater plane. Where other mini-subs can be slow and cumbersome, the Super Aviator is sleek and maneuverable, able to stop and hover, do banking turns and keep up with marine mammals that swim alongside. It’s seat-of-the-pants stuff. It was developed by Sub Aviator Systems as a prototype for their Orca sub, which is now available to anyone with a couple of million to spare. For lesser mortals, the company’s co-founder and managing director, John Lewis, will be your co-pilot on the Super Aviator during free time on the film and scientific projects for which it’s used.
“The max speed for the Super Aviator is six knots,” says Lewis. “All conventional bubble subs max out at three knots. That’s fine if you’re near a reef, but if there’s any current you can’t deploy them. The Super Aviator can operate perfectly in a current, so there’s a wealth of new places you can go.”
John Englander from Florida also went down in the sub off Hawaii. “As an oceanographer, I’ve spent thousands of hours in Scuba gear,” he says. “I’ve also been in a sub before, but being in the Super Aviator was a new, exhilarating experience. It moves at far higher speeds than other subs or divers. It’s a great feeling and you’re not encumbered by equipment. It feels weird to be in a dry, comfortable environment and have an amazing view of the underwater world. It’s right there. It feels like there’s nothing between you and the water.”
And another thing
What to do after resurfacing
For Hawaiian adventure on top of the water, try a hardcore 16-mile kayak trip along the remote and stunning Na Pali Coast, battling strong seas and aching biceps.
Hike to the Kilauea Volcano, which has been continuously erupting since 1983, and get within feet of Pahoehoe, as the molten lava flows are known. kalapanalavaboat.com
TAKE IT ALL IN
We don’t expect you to take on Jaws, Hawaii’s colossal surf break, but a beer on the beach watching world-class surfers do it is the next best thing. gohawaii.com