Full scuba’s out, but snorkeling and hookah diving are in.
Fun on a personal watercraft is usually limited to activities that happen above the surface. But today I’m using a PWC to explore what’s below as well.
I’ve snorkeled from a PWC. After all, it’s easy to toss a mask and fins into a PWC’s stowage compartments. Highlights have been the Florida Keys, Bimini’s Sapona shipwreck and California’s Catalina Island. I dropped anchor, or floated with a friend who stayed on top, geared up on the aft swim platform and then slipped below the surface to experience a whole other world.
Today, I’ve got a cool gadget called a Brownie’s Third Lung ($1,400 to $3,200, browniedive.com). A portable dive system, it eliminates the hassle of trying to haul traditional scuba equipment aboard the PWC. It’s a compact, hookah-style compressor that provides surface air to its dual regulators. It mounts in a stainless-steel rack that securely fits on the aft platform and attaches to the craft via a series of web straps. The battery-powered compressor features a variable-speed motor that kicks on when a demand is placed on the respirator.
Below, I can stay down and marvel at a school of rays passing to my left and a pair of dolphin in the distance. The latter are pretty sleek and quick in the water. But as you’ll see by tomorrow’s agenda, so am I.