What's the story behind the logo & boat names of Reef Gliders?
It all starts with our matriarch Irma. The Reef Gliders logo is a tribal shark, a blue shark to be specific. It is one of Irma's favorite sharks in fact. Since she has been a lover of the ocean and sharks in particular from a very early age due to her dad being an avid fisherman, free diver and ocean lover himself. The blue shark caught her eye because of its elegance and the fact that female blue sharks have skin three times thicker than the males....... So when Irma decided on her first tattoo it was exactly what she wanted, a tribal blue shark. It was one of our team members (Victor) that pointed out to her that, that should be our logo and we all instantly loved the idea.
Which leads us to our boats.
When we acquired our first boat it was imperative for us to choose a name that would not only spark interest, but that the meaning behind it will be significant and represent something we all love.
Since Irma hails from Africa it was an easy choice to start with an African theme. Therefore we decided to choose a language that she grew up around and one that was dear to her.
Irma was born and raised as an Afrikaans speaker, however most of her family knew how to speak Zulu as her mother was born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal.
Zulu is a Southern Bantu language of the Nguni branch spoken in Southern Africa. It is the language of the Zulu people, with about 12 million native speakers, who primarily inhabit the province of KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa (24% of the population), and it is understood by over 50% of its population. It became one of South Africa's 11 official languages in 1994.
Enter Ushaka our first born boat! Ushaka is the Zulu translation for SHARK (pretty fitting since its our logo). Ushaka is a 30ft custom built Panga Style boat with a 200 horsepower Yamaha engine and can carry up to 14 divers. With tank holders, seating areas, a ladder and smooth finishings, Ushaka is sleek and speedy. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride to your dive site in class and comfort.
Then came Umkhomo our flagship boat that we attained when it was time to go bigger! And bigger is exactly what we did with her. Umkhomo is the Zulu translation for WHALE.
When it comes to size, space and design, she's tough to beat. With 47 feet of length, 'Her Massiveness' has a capacity of up to 25 divers, and can accommodate big groups (always respecting the 5:1 divers to guide ratio). She has just been renovated to allow for modern and spacious seating/briefing areas and more. Umkhomo boasts two shiny four-stroke (environmentally friendlier) 300-horsepower Yamaha engines, giving us 600 horsepower to effortlessly carry us further afield on our special trips to the Seamounts of Cayos Cochinos (the Hog Cays), and our neighbouring Bay Islands; Utila and Guanaja .