Express news service
BENGALURU: A popular getaway in pre-pandemic times was to travel to exotic islands to scuba dive. But Covid changed that with borders to tourists closed for long periods of time. However, enthusiastic divers are now exploring rhythms within the country – Goa, the Andaman Islands, Murdeshwar and Chennai. From beginner courses at city dive centers to deep sea certification courses, the activity has been picked up by many.
The option of working from home and the luxury of working remotely have given Bengalurians an interest in scuba diving. Talk to City ExpressDive Goa owner Ajay Patil said many Bangalans were in Goa on vacation to learn scuba diving, with some even moving to Goa while working from home. “Here there are diving lessons every day. In Murdeshwar, it is mainly on weekends, as the crowds of travelers are larger during this time, ”he says.
This is a four-day certification course, with two days of theory and two days of open water practice, after which participants earn a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certificate, allowing them to dive up to 18 meters into the ocean.
According to Govind Kumar, owner and chief instructor of Wild Blue Diving India, people thought international spots were the best for diving so far, but the lockdown has changed that perception. He finds Puducherry, Chennai and Thoothukudi to be popular places. “Compared to the pre-pandemic times, we have seen more parents with teenagers take the plunge. As we are located in the south of Tamil Nadu, most of them stop for a few days, practice scuba diving and return to city life, ”he explains.
Speaking to CE from the Andaman Islands, Vidit D, instructor at Dive India, said: “While foreigners have been limited to entering the country, we have seen an increase in the number of Indians interested in diving. It’s a fun activity, especially since people are fed up with staying at home. They can vacation away from the mainland, experience ocean water and also be trained to dive anywhere in the world, ”he says.
As Dive India has a center in the city, many took the introductory course here and then headed to the islands to complete the course. “Chennai and Dwarka are the other places in India where people have expressed an interest in diving,” Vidit adds.
There are also some who do not obtain a diving certificate but are interested in scuba diving as a one-time activity. Grant Nelson, director of operations at Planet Scuba, explains that you can opt for introductory courses just so you can dive for a day. “It’s a day-long activity if they want to scuba dive for the experience. However, for the certification course, they have to spend a few days taking the theory exam, then the open water course, ”Nelson explains, noting that Goa, Lakshadweep, Puducherry or the Maldives are the must-see places for PADI licenses. .