Some of Antigua’s most natural beauty is hidden underwater, and the best way to see it is to get under the waves and explore it for yourself. At scooter snorkel you can do just that, it’s Antigua’s only snorkelling experience with a sea scooter. A sea scooter is a great bit of equipment that takes all the hard work of snorkelling by pulling you across the ocean with minimal effort. It takes minimal training to use and is easy for even for the most novice of snorkelers.
Our adventure at Scooter Snorkel began in Freemans Bay along Galleon Beach in the scooter snorkel hut. The friendly team there welcomed us and explained all the fun we had ahead of us that day. The area around English Harbour and Freemans Bay has a vast habitat of sea life including giant sea turtles, yes that’s right sea turtles! It also has a very diverse marine habitat of underwater plants and fish. We don’t really know much about the different species but if you are into your marine science then maybe you can tell us what they were in our pictures.
Once briefed we were given our life jacket, snorkel, mask and fins, the life jacket is manually inflatable for those that might want additional buoyancy. We then made our way down to the beach and got our hands on the sea scooters. We were very quickly zooming around during a practice session playing with them and the different speeds settings. They had three mode which were easy to activate via a trigger control, slow, medium and wahey! You could either glide along the surface or point them down to the seabed and get pulled down with ease to the hidden sights and life that awaited us.
Out in the bay we headed towards the left and as soon as we were a few metres into the deeper water the sea life exploded, it was absolutely beautiful. The schools of fish were ablaze with different colours, sizes and it felt extremely comfortable swimming then diving down around them. As we made our way around the bay of English Harbour, we got our first surprise, a shipwreck! It was a small fishing boat which wasn’t very deep so we could get down to it very quickly with our sea scooters then get some pictures alongside it and look into the hull.
In the bay there is also a small hidden beach which is perfect to spend the day snorkelling from if you want to do a self-guided tour. More information on that is in our Shirley Heights Hike. As we continued our journey, we headed a bit deeper in the bay and came across the best surprise of all, a giant sea turtle. We got told at the snorkel briefing that if you see one don’t chase it or get to close; just relax enjoy the view and appreciate the size of them. We spent some time just hovering nearby until the turtle swam off then continued our adventure.
As we came to the break rocks of the bay entrance the sea became a bit choppier but every time you dived under it was calm and felt like a different world. Our instructor then informed us we could go around the bay entrance to the Pillars of Hercules if we felt up for it, the only obstacle would be a few jelly fish which we could dodge using the scooters. We said yeah and away we went; out in the sea it was a different experience with stronger currents, but the power of the sea scooters made it easy to make quick progress to the pillars.
The pillars themselves are a rock formation in the cliff side made over time due to erosion and are only viewable from the sea. They’re nothing overly amazing but if you are out on a boat for the day or doing the scooter snorkel trip, we’d recommend going just for the extra time out at sea. Once we’d viewed the pillars and played dodge the jelly fish we turned around and headed back towards Galleon Beach. Overall, we had been out in the water for about 2 hours and we felt pretty tired towards the end so were glad when we made it back to dry land. We brought along some snacks so afterwards we just sat back on the beach and relaxed to recharge the batteries for the next adventure in Antigua.