This five toe, steel hulled submarine, in MacDonald Lake, Ontario was custom built in Vancouver, B.C., and goes at a top speed of two kilometers per hour. It is the only fresh water, dry sub providing public tours in North America.
Valerie MacDonald of the Canadian Press wrote an article called, “Below surface, underwater world shimmers,” she wrote, “Like an iceberg, the largest part of the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve‘s touring submarine lies beneath the surface of the water.
Within the body of this 51/2-metre-long sub up to six people can look out into an underwater world through shimmering bubbles while the vessel dives to its licensed maximum depth of 20 metres.
As you submerge passengers have to keep clearing their ears just as when you are landing in a plane, or scuba diving, because the air pressure keeps increasing. But unlike the almost silent environment of diving, there are groans and the sounds of whooshing air — and the temperature inside the sub rises because of the change in pressure.
Once the sub hovers at one depth for a while, however, a cold settles into the floor and the sides of the metal hull and we’re glad to be wearing the extra clothing that sub pilot Dave Bishop advised us to take despite the hot sun topside…
Nine viewing portals let us see what MacDonald Lake is like below the surface and search for signs of its distant past. Today, in addition to aquatic life and artifacts of old logging operations, we hope to relocate the unexpected discovery made by Bishop last year which has baffled some
The possibility of other discoveries is what makes each underwater trip an adventure on this lake, which is three kilometres long and three-quarters of a kilometre wide.
Some of the views are desolate, somewhat as you might imagine the moon to look like. Others make you want to get out and see the quiet watery environment up close and try to touch the fish and crustaceans that live here…
Just as Bishop promised, this “full sensory tour” has certainly blown me away.”