Deep Dive: Bengalureans are scuba diving closer to home
The work-from-home option and the luxury of working remotely has enabled Bengalureans to take interest in scuba diving
A popular getaway during pre-pandemic times was to exotic islands to scuba dive. But Covid changed that with borders to tourists closed for extended periods. However, enthusiastic divers are now exploring paces within the country — Goa, Andaman Islands, Murdeshwar and Chennai. From taking beginners classes at dive centres in the city to completing certification courses in the open sea, the activity has been taken up by many.
The work-from-home option and the luxury of working remotely has enabled Bengalureans to take interest in scuba diving. Speaking to City Express, owner of Dive Goa, Ajay Patil, says that many Bengalureans were in Goa for a vacation to learn scuba diving, with some of them even having shifted base to Goa during the work-from-home tenure. “Here, there are diving classes every day. In Murdeshwar, it’s mostly on weekends as the travelling crowd is more during that time,” he says.
It’s a four-day certification course, with two days of theory and two days of practise in the open water, after which ones gets a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certificate, allowing them to dive upto 18 metres in the ocean.
According to Govind Kumar, owner and head instructor of Wild Blue Diving India, people assumed that international spots were best for diving so far, but the lockdown has changed that perception. He finds Puducherry, Chennai and Thoothukudi to be popular spots.“Compared to the pre-pandemic times, we’ve been seeing more parents with teenagers come into dive. Since we are located in the south of Tamil Nadu, most of them stop by for a few days, train in scuba diving and head back to city life,” he says.
Speaking to CE from the Andaman Islands, Vidit D, instructor at Dive India, says, “As foreigners have been restricted to come into the country, we’ve seen a rise in more Indians taking interest in diving. It’s a fun activity, especially since people are fed up of staying home. They get to have a vacation away from the mainland, experience the ocean water and also get trained to dive anywhere in the world,” he says.
As Dive India has a centre in the city, many have been taking the introductory course here and then heading to the Islands to complete the course. “Chennai and Dwarka have been the other locations within India that people have been showing an interest to dive in,” Vidit adds.
There are also some who aren’t getting a diving certificate but show interest in scuba diving as a one-off activity. Grant Nelson, operations manager of Planet Scuba, explains that one can opt for introductory classes just to be able to scuba dive for a day. “It’s a one-day activity if they want to scuba dive for the experience. However, for the certification course, they need to spend a few days clearing the theory exam and then the open-water course,” says Nelson, pointing out that Goa, Lakshadweep, Puducherry or the Maldives are the go-to spots for PADI licences.