Guest article written by Jonah Skoles. All images provided by Donarun Das.
Early one morning in March, three PADI TecRec Divers and Instructors, Jonah Skoles, Donarun Das and Pushpak Kvs, with the help of two PADI TecRec Centers, Eternal Divers and Temple Adventures, set out on a mission to find a new dive site suitable for technical diving.
Departing from Pondicherry Harbor in India, the team left the dock in search for a site that offered conditions suitable for technical diving, perhaps a continuation of the popular local dive site, Aravind’s Wall. Unfortunately, their last three exploration dives yielded different kinds of sandy patches. Nonetheless, the team remained hopeful that their new adventure would be different.
Each member of the team had a clear understanding of what their role would be during the expedition. Donarun was in charge of documenting the dive, Pushpak kept an eye on the time, and Jonah lead the dive. As technical divers, they left their problems and egos on the shore before they decided to descend into the deep blue.
After an hour or so, they arrived at what they believed to be the right spot in the middle of the ocean. Surrounded by calm seas and nothing but blue, the team started gearing up. After completing their safety checks and double checking their equipment, it was time to get into the water.
The dive started with a three minute free-fall before reaching the bottom of the ocean. To their surprise, they found a reef bursting with a variety of corals, a dive site now named ‘Three Roses” after its beautiful fan corals. Drifting with the current, they were carried south of the wall where they saw a range of soft corals that did not disappoint.
It soon become time for Pushpak, who was monitoring the team’s bottom time, to wrap up the dive. Although everyone was having a great time exploring the new site, it was time for them to ascend. Everyone had a grin from ear to ear as they did their decompression stops before reaching the surface. They all knew they’d be back as soon as possible to continue exploring their new dive site, perfect for technical diving and PADI TecRec training.
Returning a few days later, they discovered another site just as beautiful and full of life. Now named “Botanical Gardens”, this new dive site was found bursting with fauna and flora. Ranging from 42 to 51 meters/137 to 167 feet, this new dive site will help grow the technical diving community in India, providing technical diver’s with new sites to explore.
Today, Jonah, Donarun and Pushpak continue to search for new dive sites to help technical divers reach depth while exploring India’s hidden beauty. Learn more about becoming a PADI TecRec Diver and contact a PADI TecRec Centre in India.