It is hard to miss Divetech’s boat, Atatude, cruising along Cayman’s coast: In contrast to the usual white vessels out on the water, this one is painted a brilliant shade of fuchsia.
The bright pink boat will once again be the centre of attention on Saturday, July 15, as Cayman celebrates PADI Women’s Dive Day. This global initiative has been gaining momentum since launching in 2015; last year saw more than 700 events held in 77 countries, from high tea on the high seas to shark dives and coral reef clean-ups.
The aim is to champion, strengthen and support the female dive community through a day of underwater adventure and camaraderie, while helping close the gender gap that currently exists in the diving community.
Divetech, the West Bay dive operator, is set to mark the occasion by inviting any certified women divers to take part in a two-tank boat scuba dive. Led by an all-female crew, the group will explore a deep ocean wall followed by a shallow reef.
All proceeds will be donated to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, with a representative from the charity on board to talk about their cause. Joanna Mikutowicz, Managing Partner of Divetech, explained why they are fundraising for CICS this year: “I am a cancer survivor, so contributing to any cause that helps fight cancer is very important to me. I also know so many people that have been or currently are being affected by this disease, whether its themselves, a family member or friend. I want to help them in every way possible.”
Divetech’s outing will follow another two-tank women’s dive organised by Sunset House on the Saturday morning to benefit Cayman Islands Crisis Centre – a charity protecting victims of domestic violence.
Women’s Dive Day 2017 will see similar events held at PADI dive shops and centers all over the world. The date also encourages greater recognition of women’s contributions to diving throughout history, such as legendary oceanographer and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle, and shark expert Valerie Taylor, who was one of the first to film a great white shark underwater and in part inspired Stephen Spielberg’s “Jaws.”
Divetech’s Atatude can accommodate 16 divers for the trip, so interested parties should book their spot in advance. It departs at 12:30 p.m. from the Divetech center on North West Point Road, returning at 5 p.m.
“Last year we all had a blast,” Mikutowicz said, adding that the dive will conclude with “some bubbles and nibbles” on the boat. “It’s a great way to spend your afternoon underwater, with a bunch of amazing women to help out a great cause – celebrating all the women out there doing incredible things, not only in the diving industry but also in the wider world.”