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Five Epic Underwater Scooter Dives

By Sascha Zuger | Updated On June 29, 2020
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Five Epic Underwater Scooter Dives

Scuba Diver on Underwater Scooter

Scuba diver using underwater scooter in the Caribbean. Milnes

Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs) or sea scooters come in a variety of styles and tech perks. The common element is they are a ton of fun, you can get around faster underwater with less effort, use less air and cover more area on a single dive. Here are a few great places to unleash your inner James Bond and add a little giddy-up to your next dive.

West Bay Express — Grand Cayman

If you are short on time, but long on adventurous spirit, one Grand Cayman shop has a DPV-fueled solution to help conquer some of the island’s 365 dive sites. With Dive Tech, divers can explore four or five dive sites within a single one-way underwater scooter excursion along the main or mini wall (a dive boat follows along for the ride back to the shop). The shop even keeps a distance leaderboard for the West Express adventure, current bragging rights go to staff member Serena Evans, who traveled from Lighthouse Point to the Doc Poulson - a distance of 1.69 miles. Those more interested in stopping to smell the coral gardens can add a scooter to their shore dive, or take a specialty course in using the tech.

Douglas Bay Point Wall and Toucari Bay— Dominica, West Indies

The dramatic Douglas Bay Wall (20-90ft) sprinkled with hard and soft coral-covered boulders makes a great spot for an underwater scooter dive. The massive boulders of the site’s unique topography offer a zoom through delight, but the site can be prohibitively long to swim to, sans a little extra power. Toucari Bay and Back Wall’s remarkably healthy and tropical fish-filled reef is a highlight for the island, with cave and coral archway swim throughs. A scooter lets divers explore even more of this top-rated dive site. Salt Dive offers tours and Yamaha RDS250 Seascooter rentals by the dive or week, but a useful one-day DPV Specialty Certification is another great option to try underwater life in the fast lane. (Two tank experience includes scooter and gear and the first dive counts towards an Advanced cert.)

Five Caves/Five Graves— Maui, Hawaii

This fabulous shore dive is only dampened by a lengthy swim to the good stuff, sometimes with strong current making the effort arduous and requiring advanced ocean-faring skills. Enter Wailea Scuba Surf & Paddle and an adrenaline spiked scooter dive. These safe, mini prop-driven TUSA Sav7 Evo2 DPV can be held in front to pull for easy and controlled maneuvering or after a bit of trial and error gripped between the knees for a true Superman experience. Explore the home reef (keep an eye out for spotted eagle rays among the tropical reef inhabitants) en route along the right shoreline from the beach access to a bevy of swim throughs and caverns created by an extensive lava tube system. Far more than five caves await, some 30-40 feet deep, home to over a dozen whitetip reef sharks and sea turtles from youthful teenage (not at all mutant) turtles to massive lumbering longtime residents. The scooters are weighted so they can be left in the sand at any point for a natural dive experience and to avoid disturbing the marine life.

Liberty Shipwreck — Tanjung Benoa & Nusa Dua, Bali

Be it the tropical reefs of Menjangan National Park in hopes of spotting a mola mola, the macro-heavy Secret Bay teeming with fish or the famed USAT Liberty Shipwreck in Tulamben, Aqua Dive Bali offers a broad choice of world-class diving. Regardless of location, divers using DIVERTUG Mariner 528 scooter can extend their exploration time of the underwater beauty of Indonesia. PADI specialty course available, two tanks in a single day.

The ABC’s of DPV—Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao

Dive Ocean Bonaire specializes in small dive groups of two to four on Piranha DPV’s from Dive X-Tras. If divers opt for a specialty cert, they are then able to take the prop-pulling tech to explore the island’s wealth of shore dives solo. Technically, these other eco-friendly SeaBob adventures are usually free-dive based, but they are incredibly fun and depending on the depth setting could be used for diving. More often, the extreme speeds (16km-22kmph) of the pollution-free electric stream power system are better experienced skimming along with the swells (22km/h)and flying at impressive dolphin-like speeds (16km/h) and maneuverability under the surface. SeaBob Aruba will zoom you along the turtle-heavy coastline, but a more memorable trip is to the Antilla shipwreck, one of the Caribbean’s largest. Curaçao’s Playa Piskado, a bay where fishermen come to clean their catch offers otherworldly close encounters with numerous (and quite chubby) resident sea turtles. Dozens of not-even-remotely-shy turtles will accompany you throughout your excursion with SeaBob Curaçao.