If you’ve been following the UK diving news over the last few months, I’m sure you would have heard about Scuba Escape. This brand-new concept was thought up by PADI instructors Leanne Clowes and Clare Dutton over a game of lockdown monopoly and in the few months since its conception, it looks like it’s going to be successful on a global scale.
If you’re anything like me, your first thought when thinking about combining scuba diving with an escape room might have been something along the lines of “Surely they can’t lock people underwater; it’s not safe!”, so let me dispel that idea right now – there are absolutely no overhead environments and all divers have the ability to thumb their dives at any time they wish. As with any reputable diving outfit, safety is paramount and the dives themselves are well within the remit of the PADI Open Water standards.
As you know, at Dive Proof we specialise in waterproof log books and as we design, print, chop and bind our books in-house, we have the ability to take on bespoke projects. So when we spoke to the girls at Scuba Escape about helping them out with any dive proof printing they might need, we were super excited to end up as Scuba Escape’s Sponsor! And a nice little perk from that was an invite to the trial day to be one of a handful of people taking part in the world’s first scuba escape.
Ahead of the event we were sent a work book around our chosen game. As we were playing The Treasure of Syreni, our pack included lots of information about real life pirates, wrecks and treasure and was really informative and interesting. It rounded off with a few questions relating to the information we’d read which would turn out to be quite important during the game itself.
The games are based at Vivian Quarry in Llanberis and I arrived after a beautiful drive along the North Wales Coast. It was my first time diving here and after unloading my dive kit and parking the car, I was left thinking “Ok, so where’s the quarry?!” The kitting up benches were at the bottom of a cliff next to the cutest dive shop, however there was no water in sight!
Image Source: Holidays Anglesey
That was when the magic began and we were lead through a pair of big red doors in the rock face, through a large tunnel and emerged into the most spectacular quarry. We walked round the edge of the water, past old mining buildings and underneath a cart suspended above the quarry and were met with pirates, mermaids, treasure chests and booty. After a very swashbuckling briefing, it was finally time to get in and play!
Image Source: Chronic Wanderlust
Image by Mark Evans, Scuba Diver Magazine
We began our dive and as we descended, a skull and crossbones slowly appeared out of the gloom and marked our first task. If we were successful we would find the next marker and start the next challenge. If we got a task wrong it would lead us in completely the wrong direction. After working our way round the quarry and completing all the stations we finally found the treasure of Syreni!
Image by Gemma Thompson, Dive Proof
Image by Gemma Thompson, Dive Proof
All the games on offer focus on different diving skills and the games are laid out differently, some even start above the water. Good team work and having done your homework is essential to successfully “Escaping”! Five out of six games are now also PADI Specialties, so you can choose to dive them just for fun, or add to your cert collection and potentially reach Master Scuba Diver in the process.
I ended the day feeling thoroughly impressed at the creativity and planning that had gone into the games and the props. I will happily admit that I usually prefer diving in warmer places with lots of marine life to photograph and that I have the imagination of an amoeba when it comes to playing games and make-believe, but I honestly enjoyed Scuba Escape loads more than I thought I would. If you’re looking for something different to do with your buddy or members of your club, I would thoroughly recommend giving Scuba Escape a go!
Review by Gemma Thompson, Owner of Dive Proof.
For more info and how to book - https://www.scubaescape.org/