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Toll Free 866-836-3989 Bermuda 234-3535 hartley@ibl.bm

The Hartley family is internationally renowned, for their unique water tour with tame/trained fish

Entrepreneurs Bronson and Martica Hartley

Entrepreneurs Bronson and Martica Hartley

In 1948, Bronson Hartley was the first, world-wide, to offer shallow water helmet diving, as a tourist attraction, or water tour. His cherished philosophy is to make friends with the fish, and gain their trust by feeding them. By diving on the same reef again and again. The original ‘fish whisperer’ made lots of friends. His children carry on the family helmet diving tradition, Chris in Nassau and Greg in Bermuda.

Even today, the idea is still to establish a trusting relationship with marine creatures (not always just fish), so we can see them, observe their behavior and even touch, cradle, caress or hold them. Some only pose for photos. Fish that are normally shy, or ones that usually suspect our often carnivorous intent, come right up to us. This tourist attraction in Bermuda is different from snorkeling or scuba diving.It is truly awesome.

Bronson Hartley cradling George the Grunt.

Bronson Hartley cradling George the Grunt.

This guided Bermuda water tour is different, and exponentially safer, because all participants hold on to the ‘Grab-Bar’. This slightly curved, 8 foot long, one inch PVC pipe keeps all divers in a close group, so they do not wander off, miss the fun and get into trouble. The fun is center stage, in front the divers, where I identify the fish, corals and other invertebrates by means of a ‘Message Stick’.
I also have food, which creates interest. Not to worry if you are not used to fish, or are only used to seeing tiny ones in a bowl. They have no desire for you and are only focused on the food. A desire is only a motivator if it is not satisfied. The fish are manipulated by their desire for food to interact with us, and even allow us to touch or hold them. Combine this Tarzan/Dr. Dolittle ability, with the ease of the Hartley diving helmet, and you have a unique water tour, which is fun for all.
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Short History of Hartley’s Helmet Diving

Shallow water helmet diving, as a tourist activity, was first started by my father, Bronson Hartley in 1947. He took five school teachers, one at a time, as he only had two helmets, and charged them five dollars each. Every Sea Walker or Sea Trek is a franchised copy...

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Why should I do this?

Why does anyone do anything? The two general answers are 'have to' and 'get to'. In the modern world this would be translated as work and fun. Work involves mere survival, stress and the release of flight or flight chemicals like cortisol.  Fun involves thriving,...

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About Greg

Born May 1st, 1957 in Bermuda, six weeks early weighing in at 4 pounds 6 ounces. Since my older brother took his helmet off while diving at age a year and one day, my mother told my father he was not to experiment anymore with her children. Due to this twist of events...

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