Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Breathing Underwater Submersible Scooters

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

There are many fun things in life a person can experience, but one I never dreamed I would be doing would be riding around on a scooter underwater with my head in an oxygen filled bubble, but this past January, that is exactly what I was doing. We were on a cruise, at St. Thomas, when we signued up to do the Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter shore exursion. It was a lot of fun as we got to see coral, the crystal clear water, and all sorts of interesting fish. According to the person that owns them there were only about 200 of these ever made, so St. Thomas is one of the few places where you can ride a scooter underwater. The first thing we did was we were taken out to a little cove where we were given instruction in how to get onto the submersible scooter. Then one by one we jumped in the water, going to the designated scooter number. I jumped in and swam over to my scooter and was one of the first to be submersed. While they dropped us 8-10 feet underwater our only job was to keep popping our ears so the pressure didn't affect us. That was easy enough. Then they let us putter around while everyone else got underwater and then we posed for our picture. I was glad we had thought to bring waterproof cameras because I paid $7 for ours back in Missouri, but they would have sold them to us for $20! Then we went around for a while looking at things, making a small circle over a boat that had sunk. It seemed like we had just gotten started when our turn was up and they brought us back to the surface. After we had ridden the scooter we were also able to snorkel and while snorkeling we saw a sea turtle swimming around. Unfortunately I had already used all the film on my underwater camera before the little guy swam right underneath us. We saw fish of every color of the rainbow, which made our bass and crappie, and even a rainbow trout look a little boring. The colors were so amazing and we had so much fun that I actually have considered getting a saltwater aquarium so that I could look at it everyday and be reminded of our underwater experiences, but then I rationalize that the cat would probably try to eat the fish, the dog would probably try to play with them, and I'd have to figure out how to keep a saltwater tank clean! Guess I'll just have to visit places that have the aquariums in order to see the fish and coral. Or maybe I'll just have to go back to the Caribbean and go snorkeling again!

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