Have you had a desire to learn more about marine life than just names and signs of the top 10 most popular fish? While there are training programs out there, these tend to be fairly general and not in-depth enough.
We’re super happy and excited to announce that we’ve developed our own naturalist program, designed and refined over the course of 8 months by our in-house marine biologist, Chetana Purushotham.
The objective of the program is to teach you more about the underwater world – how it works, what the various inter-dependencies are, how to identify various fish families and how to critically evaluate a reef ecosystem. In short – to take you from being a passive spectator to a trained observer, and you can apply this anywhere in the world you go diving.
More details here. DIVEIndia Underwater Naturalist Program
This is the hottest new underwater sport in the world and lets you explore the underwater realm without any specialized equipment. As the name implies, it is breath-hold diving: going down and exploring the underwater world in one breathe, surfacing, recovering and repeating. Participants of the sport call it the most zen-like experience they have had, truly close to flying and with the added bonus of utter silence, without any intrusive bubbles. It does require a little more fitness, swimming skills and commitment than scuba – but then, nothing good is ever really easy, right? Diveindia offers skin diving classes in season in Havelock, the first center in India to do so.
Video Credit: Andrey Sokolov
Introducing the Back to School dive package!
If the ocean were your classroom, would you like to go back to school?
If you have been looking to know more about the marine environment and how life works underwater or if you would like to learn how to identify fish and other reef organisms, this two day package is for you! Learn more about some of the conservation challenges our oceans are facing and help us come up with solutions to protect these magical places.
We also offer this package as an Underwater Naturalist specialty through PADI and SSI open to any diver with at least an Open Water certification.
This program runs over two days and includes short theory classes and discussions along with four open water dives. You can also choose to do a night dive as one of the four dives.
During this course we introduce you to some of the numerous ocean ecosystems (yes, there is more than one!). We take you through how environmental factors shape these coral reefs as well as our experiences when we dive these sites. Reefs are extremely diverse spaces, where survival is based on cut-throat competition but also to an equal measure on cooperation and forging partnerships. Learn about some of these interactions as they unfold like a show around you on every dive! You also get to try your hand at identifying fish and other reef organisms and be a part of REEF LOG, the first diver-led reef monitoring program here in the Andamans!
Image courtesy: Gunnhild
Marilia and Jugal were the first two students on this course package. Here is what Marilia had to say, “Diving became much more interesting after a short Underwater Naturalist course, that basically introduced micro life, which I couldn’t identify before, and explained the relationships between the animals down there.” Jugal feels that “understanding more about the underwater environment is rewarding on various levels. Knowledge of fish identification, understanding of interactions between organisms, relation between organisms and their environment are few aspects this course develops, which make every dive more interesting, fun and fulfilling. It also makes you aware of the importance of conservation through individual and collective efforts. Learning through discussions and reading along with practical demonstration (during dives) of everything in live action makes for a beautiful experience while developing a special tool to take away and make use of in all future dives!”
Diving with a naturalist’s perspective can also be fun.
Snippets of the ocean gravity video are resurfacing on the internet and we wanted to let you know that there is more to that video. The video is an edit of a short film made by Guillaume Néry.
Here’s the description from his Youtube channel.
Ocean Gravity is a short film that rewrites the rules of the underwater world and takes us this time into the world of the weightlessness.
Just like in the space, there isn’t anymore a top or a bottom. There isn’t anymore upside down and wrong side out. The ocean becomes cosmos, the man a satellite, and the bottom of the sea an unknown planet. Welcome in the fascinating universe of Ocean Gravity.
Guillaume: «since ever, my diving propels my imagination in the fantasy of the conquest of space. To touch the sea floor or to set foot on an unexplored planet, here are 2 fascinating adventures which feed my thirst of unknown. The discovery of this quite unique place (Tiputa – Rangiroa – French Polynesia), allowed us to put in image the visual closeness of 2 universes water and air, ocean and space.»
Here’s the entire freediving short film.
By a strange coincidence, DIVEIndia now offers Freediving certification. Hint hint!
We know this is an old post, but its definitely worth viewing.
False killer whale sightings are rare, but when photographer and naturalist Scott Portellini was snorkelling in Tonga, he experienced something divers dream about.
The video footage showing the leap – and the snorkeler’s astonishment.
The video was posted on Facebook by guide and photographer Scott Portelli, after a Swimming With Gentle Giants humpback whale excursion.
Portelli’s description reads: “Today out on the water we had an unexpected encounter with a large pod of false killer whales. This one interactive one came back and literally jumped over one of my guests. Never know what you are going to see in Tonga.”
False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), which can grow to about 17 feet, are uniformly black or dark gray, and do not resemble killer whales. They were named because, like killer whales, they sometimes attack small whales and dolphins.
Left by the tide, right by your feet
Sunny days by the beach are best spent taking a cooling dip in the sea. Wait for the tide to rise and once there is enough water to swim in, make a dash for it. Even better if you have a mask and snorkel to take with you. Now that is what most would say. But, have you ever waited for the tide to recede before getting into the sea?
What could there possibly be to do or see when there is practically no water, you ask? The short answer to that would be –prepare to be amazed.
The ‘inter-tidal zone’ is that stretch of the ocean that can go from being fully submerged during a high tide, to holding as less as one foot of water at low tides. The receding water gradually begins to expose the hidden ‘rocky shore’ ecosystem- a magical world waiting to be explored.
It was a sunny and clear day here at DIVEIndia. Sharmila and I had just rounded up an army of nine kids who had been eagerly waiting to head out for a low tide walk. We had promised them that we would spend all afternoon looking for crazy critters of the sea.
The moment we set foot on the beach, the first questions began coming in. Touching the wet sand, one of the kids asked “Wasn’t the water up till here in the morning?”
Another wondered “Where did all those rocks come from?”, followed by “What made all the water disappear?
We talked about the moon and tides and what makes the pretty patterns in the sand. We spoke about how the intertidal zone is a place of extreme environments. How animals and plants found in this stretch of the sea have adapted to extreme fluctuations in water levels, water temperature, oxygen and salt.
We hopped across the rocks and waded through the shallow pools that formed in between, looking for any sign of movement- something crawling here, something darting there and sometimes, something slithering under our feet. Each time one of us spotted something, there would be an excited “Oh my, what is that?!” and within no time there would be circle of curious kids squatting around the critter that was just spotted.
Credit: Sharmila Monda
A common sentiment shared by all who have come on these walks with us, kids and adults alike, has been absolute surprise and amazement at how full of life this intertidal space actually is. All we have to do is squat, wait and something beautifully bizarre will emerge right before our eyes. From crabs, wormsand snails to many species of coral, sponges, juvenile fish and marine plants. We’re also keeping an eye out for the occasional mantis shrimp, octopus and sea snake too!
Spider Conch. Credit: Natasha Jeyasingh
Intertidal walks have also been a great space for conversations about conservation. Looking at the stunning architecture of the rocky sandy shore, yet finding vast tracts of dead coral. Seeing hundreds of hermit crabs scuttling about carrying their homes made of shells lying on the beach, while walking past a wide variety of plastic trash.
Hermit crab blending in with washed up coral. Credit: Natasha Jeyasingh
Everyone leaves with a renewed sense of awe, while also realising how degradation is slowly setting in and wondering what can be done to understand and conserve these beautiful places.
For starters, as visitors to these beautiful seashore ecosystems, it’s time we start gathering more knowledge than we do shells. 🙂
We now offer a variety of marine ecology programs, both diving (covering reefs, surveys, fish identification and more) and non-diving (covering not just the reefs but also mangroves and coastal eco-systems). These can be taken as stand-alone options or combined with diving packages. Please contact us for more information on these programs.
AQUALUNG PRO HD BCD – SHORT REVIEW
APEKS ATX40 REGULATOR – SHORT REVIEW
We have this combo available at a very good price, with your choice of instrumentation – SPG only, SPG+depth gauge or air-integrated computer. And as always, we have further discounts for our diving alumni. Please contact us for more information and pricing.