Monthly Archives: April 2010

NETHRANI

The first time i heard about this place was a year ago, stating that it had one of the coolest beaches and was one of the best dive sites in India. So when i heard that the folks from Planet Scuba awere organizing a dive trip to Murudeshwar I was eager to go for I had wanted to visit this place since I first heard about it.

So we  ( Saj, the instructor and I, his wife) headed toward the office of Planet Scuba by 5PM. There we saw all of the crew busy with packing, filling  forms which contained emergency contact nos and other details of the team headed toward Murudeshwar. After duly filling out our forms each, we handed it to Rashmi and went along with the others to board our mini van.

There were 8 students- Siddharth, Manoj, Prithvi, Nischith, Ravi, Sreenivas, Nanda & Rithesh with two instructors- Saj and Madhu & a fun diver Kamal. We left the place at about 5:45 and started our journey and stopped at about 9 for  dinner in the outskirts of Bangalore. After that, it was time for everyone to sleep.

We reached Murudeshwar at 7am the next day-thats where the adventures started!!! As soon as we reached there, the driver parked our mini van right onto the beach where its wheels got stuck in the sand. It took a lot of team effort and dried coconut leaves and sticks to finally haul it out of the sand. That took almost half an hour. All of us then rushed into our hotel. It was called the RNS Residency and one of the best in Murudeshwar.

But the best thing in Murudeshwar apart from diving is the Shiva statue & some other similar ones which can be seen from very far away that contain the puranic stories of Raavana acquiring the Shiva linga. We could get a clear view of it from our hotel room too. After freshening up the guys all headed toward the beach for their dive sessions while i decided to stay back. Some of them took more time than required, to get ready. Also they had to go to the local Police station to acquire permission for diving, for security reasons due to terrorism& other security reasons. Anyway they finally took off toward the sea only after 11.

The boat ride toward the dive spot was a little more than one hour from the shore. The instructors, Madhu and Saj each took four students under their supervision and off they went underwater for the first day of two open water dives. They enjoyed a lot and spent 3 days boasting about the fishes that they saw. The lobster that was over a metre long, the giant giant grouper which had a face the size of a football, the moray eel that kept poking its head out of the rocks, and the trigger fish, the fusiliers and the snappers that always kept them company.

The course was completed in two days time. But the best part of their dives was on the third day when they went out for their fun dives.. Also by the third day all of us were better acquainted and began to really enjoy the trip.They had planned before itself to take a can &  bottle of Pepsi, some eggs in order to check some things they had seen in some dive videos. So after diving in they opened the Pepsi and as seen in the video some pressure kept the Pepsi from coming out of the bottle. They in turn took out a straw and had a sip each from the bottle which delighted everyone especially the youngest member of our dive group, Rithesh. They also wanted to break the egg under water which would keep the white and yellow of the egg seperate due to pressure. But the egg which was tied to the BCD of one of the students’s turned loose and went underwater before anyone realised it.

After that we quickly packed again and was on our Mini van back to Bangalore.On the way back after watching a movie in the bus we had a long dinner. We took off from there only after 10. We finally reached back at 9 am on Monday morning thus ending a very joyous and memorable underwater experience.

Submitted by Preethy Warrier

Advertisements

SCUBA Diving Helps Veterans with PTSD

A recreational therapy program for disabled veterans will train them to become certified SCUBA divers. The project aims to help these veterans overcome the challenges of being disabled by war by allowing them to experience the camaraderie of diving, as well as the therapeutic benefits of engaging in the sport.

When immersed in water, paralyzed Veterans often report being able to feel areas of their bodies and a reduction of or complete lack of pain.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Veterans state the high-focus nature of SCUBA diving helps relieve anxiety and stress. The Veterans Administration hospital is currently planning to conduct a medical study of the physical and psychological benefit of SCUBA diving on disabled veterans.

The program is open to war veterans who are experiencing PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as other disabilities.

WRECK DIVING

Wreck diving is a type of recreational diving where shipwrecks are explored. Although most wreck dive sites are at shipwrecks, there is an increasing trend to scuttle retired ships to create artificial reef sites.

A shipwreck is attractive to divers for several reason:

  • it is an artificial reef, which creates a habitat for many types of marine life
  • it often is a large structure with many interesting parts and machinery, which is not normally closely observable on working, floating vessels
  • it often has an exciting or tragic history
  • it presents new skill challenges for scuba divers
  • it is part of the underwater cultural heritage and may be an important archaeological resource
  • it provides a first-hand insight into context for the loss, such as causal connections, geographical associations, trade patterns and many other areas, providing a microcosm of our maritime heritage and maritime history

The Advanced Wreck Diving Handbook-Gary Gentile sub-divides wreck diving into three categories:

  • Non-penetration diving (ie. swimming over the wreck)
  • Limited penetration diving, within the “light zone”
  • Full penetration diving, beyond the “light zone”

Each succeeding level involves greater risk, and therefore will normally require greater levels of training, experience and equipment.

Non-penetration wreck diving is the least hazardous form of wreck diving, although divers still need to be aware of the entanglement risks presented by fishing nets and fishing lines which may be snagged to the wreck (wrecks are often popular fishing sites), and the underlying terrain may present greater risk of sharp edges.

Penetration within the light zone presents greater hazards due to overhead and greater proximity of the wreck’s structure, but because of the proximity of a visible exit point, and some amount of external light, those hazards are more manageable. However, there is clearly a much greater risk of entanglement and siltout inside of the structure, as well as the requirement to move laterally to a defined exit point before one can surface in the event of an emergency.

Full penetration involves the greatest level of risks, including the risk of getting lost within the structure, the risk of complete darkness in the event of multiple light failures, and the inability to escape unassisted in the event of a disruption to air supply.

It is Planet Scuba India’s ongoing initiative to locate wreck diving sites along the Indian coastline.

ADEX

ADEX (Asian Divers Expo) Staged annually, ADEX is the region’s longest running dive show and a must-attend event on the international dive calendar!

Madhava Reddy, M.D. Planet Scuba India, is going to be attending the event as one of the only representatives of the Indian Dive Industry.

The event spans over an entire weekend (9-11th April, 2010) and is being hosted  at the Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore.  Asian Diver magazine now returns to the helm to bring together diving enthusiasts, marine conservationists and all those with a passion for the underwater world.

The theme at the event this year is “Loving Sharks” .Presentation topics on the main stage will focus on both the excitement of diving with sharks but also the urgent need for shark conservation, especially as it relates to the inhumane practice of shark fining.

Read a firsthand account on the event by Madhava himself as soon as the event is through to know how the rest of the world views the Indian dive industry. Stay tuned to this space for more!

%d bloggers like this: