SCUBA Basics at Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay-Mahabalipuram

You Know What We Did This Summer? | Temple Bay Tales | Part 3

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This is the third in series of my trip to Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay in Mahabalipuram. I challenged a North Indian friend, who said there’s nothing to do near Chennai in the summers. I told him I could transform his life through experiences on a Saturday and Sunday. Lets dive in to the series! If you have landed directly here, Read Part 2Part-1 and Part-0 for context!

Here’s the video story

SCUBA Tales

Did you know that SCUBA was an acronym for Self-Contained-Underwater-Breathing-Apparatus? I had learnt this while taking my first diving lesson way back in Bangaram Island in Lakshadweep in 2009. I retained absolutely nothing from that dive as I would find out

 

SCUBA Basics at Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay-Mahabalipuram
SCUBA Basics at Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay-Mahabalipuram
Breathing Routine Change

To get into the water, I first had to wear the SCUBA Pro skin jacket. It needs someone to zip you from behind, and it feels quite tight. Black dress on a summer day in Chennai is not the recipe for relaxation at all, but I was to step in to the pool in just a few minutes. Rishabh from Temple Adventures was there to teach me the basics of SCUBA Diving. I had to put on an oxygen cylinder on my back, and a mask that had some space for my nose, and a little attachment that went in my mouth, having to tightly bite it. I now had to breathe in through the mouth and exhale out through my nose. It took a while to even set this in motion. It was even tougher trying to balance my legs as there are fins that are on your legs. That made me look extremely clumsy as i tried to balance myself, with an oxygen cylinder on my back. But with a little bit of patience, all is indeed well!

Lessons Underwater

My first lessons were around communicating the signs properly in water, now made famous as part of common folklore since Bollywood addressed this in 2011 with the feature film ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’

SCUBA Signs under water
SCUBA Signs under water

The next lessons were around clearing water that gets fogged up in the mask surrounding the nose, when water finds its way inside. The other basic lesson was around moving your hands in a way that you reach out for an extension that connects to your mouth, through which you breathe. This extension is connected to the Oxygen cylinder. You need to keep it an angle, else the air/oxygen gets released and wasted.

Deep Blue

Though it was bewitching inside, I could not quite breathe easily or swim easily. That’s when I asked the instructor if someone could dive without the cylinder. He spoke about free diving, and said that he could hold his breath for about 4 minutes inside the water.

Swimming in the pool
Swimming in the pool

I also learnt in my conversation with the instructor that Koh Tao is probably not the best place to go for SCUBA Open water dive courses, as there has been such a huge influx of tourists, that you are more likely to see humans than fishes there! i briefly thought about doing an Open water dive course, during my trip to Thailand last year around the Full Moon Party, but chose to rest after exploring town and Songkaran in Ko Tao

Summer Chillers

If you want to experience the same, as i did, do pick this package called the Summer Chillers, and learn a new way of life under water at Radisson Blur Resort Temple Bay, near Chennai.

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21 thoughts on “You Know What We Did This Summer? | Temple Bay Tales | Part 3”

  1. Learning how to dive was once on my bucket list but the complexity of it has since made me gave up on it. Thanks for writing about your diving lessons, it is certainly an eye-opener to me 🙂

    1. Sure Claire! Maybe you could try doing it in a controlled environment like a pool, and then decide if the seas are worth an experiment. It still scares me, since I am not able to multi task (breathe in, breathe out, hand and legs paddle to stay afloat, and pull signs)

  2. This post brings back memories of when I got my padi in Indonesia! Being able to breathe underwater for the first time felt amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

  3. I have never done scuba diving and would really go for diving lessons. I never knew that SCUBA is acronym as i thought is some Spanish or Mexican kind of word. Nice details of all diving phases.

    1. That is precisely the reason I mentioned or called it out since SCUBA has become a word in our common usage 🙂 Diving is beautiful. Worth exploring a different world

  4. I know how to dive, but never tried scuba diving. I want to learn and explore the underwater beauty.

  5. Loved this video and your first lessons in SCUBA diving. Hope you get your open water diving certificate soon. This is a good way to get the hang of SCUBA diving before venturing into the seas.

  6. Oh, I did not know that you could do Scuba diving at Mahabalipuram! I did my first scuba at Andamans and it was simply amazing. The Radisson Resort seems an exciting place to stay!

    1. Yes Amrita. I have sampled most of the beach resorts on the east Coast Road between Chennai and Pondi, and Temple Bay rates very high on my list. SCUBA Diving awareness has spread very well in the last few years on both sides of our coast in India.

  7. I’ve been wanting to do a scuba diving course for ages and haven’t had the chance yet. So jealous that you got to do it in Temple Bay! Loved the videos and pics

    1. Hey Alberto. I think you just need to get started on your next holiday. The initial classes are not in beach destinations but in pools so that the environment is controlled. You could try it nearby.

  8. It is good to see you breaking myths. This is indeed a meaningful way of spending vacations around Chennai in summer. You explained the entire process of training well. I went through something similar when I did scuba diving in Tarkarli, Maharashtra. Thanks for alerting about Koh Tao. I have been hearing the same about Koh Tao and other ecologically devastating practices in India and Philippines etc. It is time, strict regulation is set.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Abhinav! I did not know Tarkarli had SCUBA Diving. One coastal drive around the Maharashtra part of Konkan is on my wish list 🙂

      I was surprised about Koh Tao. I thought the place was very pristine, but it turns out that its considered as a place that is beyond its hey days.

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