Adventures in Mauritius: The Sub-Scooter

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Courtesy Blue Safari

If you fancy a little underwater exploration without the hassle of learning to scuba dive, you'll love the sub-scooter. It's a battery-powered moped that propels you through water at a depth of 10 ft. (3 m), while compressed air is pumped into a tiny glass cockpit from a boat on the surface — the resulting air pressure keeping water out of the hood. Pelagic treasures can be seen without even getting your hair wet.

The sub-scooter's downside is that it is only found in Mauritius. But the upside is that you have another excuse — besides the deep-sea fishing, the beaches and the tranquility — to visit this beautiful island nation in the Indian Ocean.

Part of the vessel's charm is that it offers an underwater encounter with no need for heavy oxygen cylinders or uncomfortable mouthpieces and masks. Better still, the motor is virtually soundless, leaving sea creatures undisturbed and preserving a sense of the exotic. It won't take you long to get a feel for the acceleration and steering, and you won't need brakes: the coral is low-lying, and there's nothing to bump into apart from other sub-scooters (although there's little chance of that with scuba-diving guides pointing the way). Sure, the sub-scooter is too sedate for James Bond and probably rather restrictive for experienced divers, but it's still a thrilling experience for visiting water babies. A two-hour excursion, including 30 minutes on a sub-scooter, costs about $160 for two people. Visit for details.