“The Peaceful Warrior” in action.
By Simone Tatum
Indepth Watersports offers one of the best diving experiences in the Caribbean. For owner Craig Burhart, diving is his passion. He has over 10,000 local dives under his belt and still can’t seem to get enough of the mystery and grandeur that lies below the surface. One gets the impression that just maybe he founded his company so he would have an excuse to dive more often.
Indepth Watersports has been a success from day one, which isn’t surprising given the expertise and enthusiasm of the crew and the pristine beauty of our Caribbean waters – the walls and reefs, from The Bluff to Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall and all the fascinating sea creatures that live there.
The dive shop originally opened on the Divi Tiara Beach Resort property on Cayman Brac after it closed its doors in 2005. This past year, Hurricane Paloma destroyed both the shop and dive boat and Indepth Watersports was forced to relocate to the South Side, west of the “Bubble House”. An undaunted Mr Burhart saw the move as an opportunity, not just to rebuild, but to expand. That’s just what he did.
Mr Burhart first set out on a quest for the ultimate dive boat. After a long search, he found what he calls “The Peaceful Warrior”. The boat was built in Louisiana in 1996 and was sold for a crisp one million US dollars to the U.S. Special Command U.S. Navy Seals Unit for combat. Capable of 50 mph, this powerful machine has reduced what used to be an hour long trip from Cayman Brac to Little Cayman to a quick 20 minute ride.
The Peaceful Warrior is equipped with all the latest marine technology including 64-mile radar, 3000 ft depth sounding, and a satellite imaging chart plotter. “I spent a lot of time looking for the ideal dive boat,” explains Burhart. “When I came across this one, I couldn’t resist. It took 4 guys in California 140 days, 15 hours per day, to remove its military equipment and design the ultimate dive boat. It was done by Xtreme Fabrications in California and the result is outstanding – It looks like something you would expect in a James Bond film.”
But there is more to it than looks and speed: “Our concept of maximum ten divers on board the “Peaceful Warrior” guarantees the highest standard of comfort and safety and promises once-in-a-lifetime-dive adventures to our guests.” During his 14 years of experience, Craig Burhart learned what it takes to offer the perfect dive trip with the highest expectations and greatest care in safety. “At Indepth Watersports our mission is to cater to divers of all experience levels and to offer freedom and challenge to the more adventurous divers,” he explained.
In addition to his many other achievements, Mr Burhart, who is also an avid rock climber, announced that Indepth Watersports will soon be offering rock climbing and instruction on the rugged cliffs of The Bluff. He will be teaming up with world-renown climber Skip Harper, to offer rock climbing instruction for every age level and ability. A soon-to-be-constructed training wall will offer beginners a chance to develop their skills before they tackle The Bluff. Rock Climbing Instructor training will also be offered.
Mr Burhart is hoping to find local rock climbing enthusiasts willing to work for Indepth Watersports as licensed climbing guides.
Along with rock climbing, Free Diving (without an air tank – not to be mistaken with scuba diving for free!) and a Scuba Instructor training centre will soon be Indepth Watersports’ next available adventure excursion. Given all these expanded services, it’s not surprising that the company has had to hire more trained staff. Recently the crew welcomed Erika Binger, a PADI scuba instructor; Javan Roberts, a master scuba instructor, Free Diving instructor and boat captain; and Lynne Walton, who handles all the company’s reservations and bookings. Open Water Master Free Diver and instructor Javan Roberts will offer Free Dive excursions, training and instructor training.
“Just like scuba diving, free diving and rock climbing will be fun for all age groups and I’m looking forward to it. We will also give attention to Tech Diving in the near future,” Mr Burhart commented.
Indepth Watersports also offers rest for the weary adventurer in one of three gorgeous suites on a stunning oceanfront property on the North Side of Cayman Brac. These newly remodeled guesthouses will be available to tourists and divers alike. Perched on the edge of the North Side’s white sandy beaches, the guesthouses offer direct access to world-class diving and snorkeling and breathtaking sunset views. Mr Burhart wants to provide his guests with some serious pampering and plans to offer a private chef service. “Mark Beck , a professional chef, will cook, serve, and leave you to your peace in our guest house.” Where do we sign up?
Mr Burhart has built an impressive empire of adventure. Yet he doesn’t take all the credit upon himself. “I am so proud of Indepth Watersports and how far it has come. A lot of the credit for our success goes to the Brackers. After Divi closed its doors I received so much help and support from locals and residents, I couldn’t have done it without them. At Indepth Watersports we love what we’re doing and I believe it’s appreciated. We will continue to offer fun to Brackers and tourists.”
For more information and reservations call Indepth Watersports at (345) 948-8037 or visit their website at www.indepthwatersports.com.