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Snorkelling in Gran Canaria

September 3, 2015
Snorkelling doesn't get much more stylish than with a sea scooter

Sure we’re sitting at our laptop now, trying to conjure some sparks of magic from our fingers which are moving so fast they threaten to literally ignite. But we love to get out and about on Gran Canaria. Especially if it means taking advantage of the world’s second largest ocean on our doorstep.

Mr Gran Canaria Local really enjoyed diving in Sardina del Norte with Buceo 7 Mares Dive Center. And so when they got in touch with him to ask if he’d like to try out their new sea scooters, you can imagine Mr GCL’s response. It couldn’t have been more affirmative than if he’d said yes, nodded his head, and clenched his fist whilst bobbing it up and down at the same time.

Although you can use a sea scooter with an oxygen tank, Mr Gran Canaria Local’s still very much a novice diver. He wouldn’t trust himself with a sea scooter and tank of oxygen, so totally understands why Buceo 7 Mares Dive Center don’t either. So his sea scooter tour’s a snorkelling one. Here are three things he thinks you should know.

  1. Snorkelling with a sea scooter’s a workout
  2. The sea scooter’s the ebike of the underwater world
  3. You need to be as switched on as the sea scooter when snorkelling

1. Snorkelling with a sea scooter’s a workout

There are no airs and graces at Buceo 7 Mares Dive Center. From the moment you walk through the door of their Las Canteras base, you’re made to feel one of the family. And expected to muck in.

So with the three of us (one instructor,one cameraman, one Mr GCL) kitted out in our wetsuits, masks, and snorkels, it’s time to carry our flippers and sea scooters down to the La Puntilla end of Las Canteras beach. Carrying a sea scooter is akin to being weighed down with a big bag of spuds. Around six kilos worth of potatoes.

After putting on our flippers, we strap ourselves to our scooters. Once underwater, you grip the scooter with one hand whilst snorkelling. You can choose between two speeds, the lower one feels like being pulled like a basset hound whilst the higher one sees you lurch forward as if you’ve just put a lead on a greyhound. Which really works those upper arms.

2. The sea scooter’s the ebike of the underwater world

At the same time, you’ll burn off less calories with a sea scooter than without one. That’s because when you press down on the gun-like trigger, you’re propelled through the ocean at a speed you’d break into a sweat to achieve with your flippers. The instructor tells Mr GCL to play about with both settings, although he prefers the higher one as it enables him to keep up with the marine life.

We’re down in the water snorkelling for half an hour. Exploring the capital’s barrier reef, you can pause to savour the moment. Or put your foot down, so to speak, to whizz along instead.

3. You need to be as switched on as the sea scooter when snorkelling

The sea scooter’s a robust device. However, the instructor’s keen to point out that you should avoid colliding with rocks underwater. It’s no bumper car, after all.

You should also take care when you’re in the close vicinity of other snorkellers/swimmers. This is when you should go for the low setting, or turn off the sea scooter completely. The instructor likens it to slowing down when driving in a congested area. Imagine then the liberation you feel when you enter a less occupied part of the ocean, where you can truly get your motor running.

Mr Gran Canaria Local went diving in Sardina del Norte thanks to Typical Non Spanish
Gran Canaria Local, part of Caser’s Typical Non Spanish programme

Disclaimer: The Buceo 7 Mares sea scooter tour in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria costs €60. As members of the Typical Non Spanish programme, we received our tour for free. If you do go snorkelling with Buceo 7 Mares, let us know how you got on.