A trip to Mauritius is incomplete without any underwater scooter ride experience. Although there are a lot of activities to do in Mauritius, however, an underwater sub scooter ride, parasailing, blue bay safari or a tour to Ile Aux Cerfs have earned their own reputation.
It was my trip to Ko Tao island in Thailand where I experienced the underwater life first time in my life while snorkeling deep and far into the sea. Since then I have been carrying the penchant for seeing marine life more often given a chance.
In Mauritius, underwater Sub-Scooter ride or the submarine ride, which goes as deep as up to 125 feet inside the sea, were always on my mind. Though I wanted to try scuba diving first, Sub-Scooter seemed a more adventurous activity to me. It was so also because I had someone who was a non-swimmer.
Before the underwater Scooter trip
Before the sub-scooter ride, you are given a set of instructions on do’s and don’ts, what to bring etc. Once you book the tickets, you would be given a slot.
What to carry on the underwater Sub-Scooter trip
Here is a list of things that you might want to carry along with you on the trip:
- A small water bottle. Although they will give you water still it is advisable to carry one liter of water with you.
- Towel – Towel will be really useful for changing the dress when you come out of the water from the trip
- Little money – You can carry little money like 50-100 MUR in case you want to tip to the diver after finishing your trip
Underwater Pictures & Videos:
- If you do not own an underwater camera, you should make up your mind before the trip itself, if you want the company to make your underwater pictures or video, or not.
- I am saying so because even if you say a no but the diver who will go along with you inside the water will anyway shoot your pictures.
- After you finish the ride and return to the office, they will show you the pictures. That’s the moment when you might make up your mind to taking the pictures.
- But understand the difference between taking some pictures just to lure you to sell and taking the pictures on a commitment basis. Hope you got my point here.
Best time for the Sub-Scooter trip
There are different slots available in a day for the ride. If I had to say about the best time for the Sub-Scooter ride then it really depends on a lot of other factors such as weather, visibility inside the water etc. Here are some tips
- Try to take a morning slot, 10 or 11’o clock ride
- Look beforehand for the weather on the day of the ride. If the weather is cloudy or rainy or windy, it would make the sea rough. Having said that, you won’t be able to see much of the marine life, also visibility gets restricted to a few feet of the water.
- Thus, go on a clearer day when the visibility is up to tens of feet inside the water.
On the day of the Sub-Scooter ride
You will be given a reporting time slot if you book your slot in advance. On the day of your ride, you will be taken to a bigger ship by riding a small boat. This journey takes about 15 minutes.
Note: We had selected 11’o clock slot. Once we reached the office, the staffs insisted that the weather was not so good and visibility looked restricted so we should try the next day slot. That sounded fishy to me. I insisted on doing the same day. Sometimes when you are the only one for the Sub-Scooter ride, their operation cost increases as they are still supposed to operate just for a pair of persons. In order to cut down the cost, they make such fussy reasons.
Once you reach onboard, you are given instructions on the sub-scooter. They explain everything from oxygen inlet to seat adjustment, paddle breaking handle everything. Once the briefing is completed, you are made to sit inside the sub-scooter. There will a preliminary check. You will then slowly lowered into the sea.
As now I have taken the ride, I got aware of many things about the sub-scooter. However, before the ride, I had a lot of questions making me apprehensive about the trip. Thus, I have decided to share with you some pointers which might help in clearing your doubts further.
Blue-Safari Underwater Sub-Scooter Ride Review & Tips
- Always remember the sign language that they teach you on the board. That’s the only way of communication inside the sea.
- You will be required to change your clothes and wear an underwater suit which helps in keeping you warm inside the water.
- A sub-scooter has adjustable seats one behind another. But when you are lowered into the water, due to buoyancy, we also almost float while standing inside the chamber.
- There is no extra brake system in the sub-scooter. It has two paddles and a handle for operation. Both of the paddles are needed to be pressed in order to move the sub-scooter forward. Releasing the paddle works as a break.
- The handle is simple, you turn right to move right and same applies to other directions.
- There will always be a scuba diver who will be accompanying your Sub-Scooter. Sometimes, he might be swimming just below your scooter. Do not panic if you do not see him. You can trace him with the bubble coming from the beneath.
- You need to be more careful if you are going for this ride with someone who is a first timer to the water. Having said that, I mean that person has never experienced water before, even neither in form of swimming.
- You should also learn how to equalize your ears when the Sub-Scooter goes 4-5 meters deep.
- You can carry your underwater camera such as GoPro with you. Always carry that with a stick, if you want to make videos. You can also request the diver to take your pictures inside.
- There will always be an open-air connection running to the Sub-scooter Chamber where you sit. This air connection provides sufficient oxygen for breathing and maintains air pressure inside. But it also makes a lot of noise similar to when there is a hole in the tire.
- If the person sitting behind the person driving the sub-scooter is smaller in height, that person can mostly see nothing ahead. He/she has to look sideways for the marine life. Seeing corals on the sea floor is a little bit tough.
- Near the waist, there is sufficient gap to take out your hands and shoot your picture using a selfie stick. But be careful inside the water. It is not as easy as it is in the open air.
- Last but not the least, please do not panic. Keep calm. Knowing no swimming is good but having mental strength is another thing inside the water.
- My partner panicked too much inside the water. Half of my time was spent in calming down the person sitting behind me and listening to the panicked talks, sometimes shout, and in showing how to equalize the ear pressure inside the water.
- Sometimes, my partner was too scared not seeing the diver around. So, most of my times were spent in calming my partner down.
- The cover over your head will be a panoramic dome cover made up of glass. You can simply look around and enjoy the ride.
- The water level inside the Sub-Scooter will be until your neck-level. You can wear glasses or contact lenses easily.
- Due to breathing, sometimes the glass gets foggy, so you might clean it sometimes by splashing water on it.
- The diver will also carry some loafs of bread for the picturization purpose. He will leave the loafs just in front of the sub-scooter and when the fishes gather, he will shoot the pictures.
Blue Safari Underwater Sub-Scooter Ride Experience:
After the brief, when the sub-scooter was lowered into the water, we could gradually feel the chill of the water soaking me up from ankle to knee and slowly until my neck. Moments later, our submarine was completely dipped inside the water. There was a halo of light straight above my head appearing as a gateway to the sky lightened by the sunlight.
From light blue to jade and jade to blue to deep blue, the water kept on changing its color as we went deeper. The voice echo inside the glass dome and the gushing sound of the Oxygen were a constant reminder that we had leased our life based on the scientific principles and mortgaged it to the fate.
The scuba diver swimming slowly in front of us seemed like a movie shot or someone from the Discovery channel. His flawless movement and the ease with which he was swimming made everything else look normal inside the water. But the scream of the air inlet constantly reminded that there was still an uproar in the depth of the silence.
Time paused. The window to the sky above us seemed distant. We were gradually floating into the water. There were schools of fishes around. Look down and there are colorful corals peeping at you from the bottom.
Sometimes, the diver will leave a loaf of bread just in front of the sub-scooter and fifties of fishes will look at you while eating bread. The glass tomb separates the water world. And again, he will start swimming effortless ahead of your scooter.
He would often stop near some coral and point to something interesting. I will also remove my feet from the paddles. Its all blue around. When did half an hour pass, we did not know? When we came back to the surface, the same earth looked different. There was different warmth in the sunlight. It almost felt like our old friend had embraced me once again.