Sunday, December 04, 2011

Scuba Diving at Netrani Island!

It often happens that amazing experiences come our way when least expected.
Life is beautiful when such experiences keep cropping up more and more often :)
SCUBA diving at Netrani island was one such little gem, which just happened - no planning, no preparation. We were on a trip through Karnataka (actually sort of a pilgrimage by road) and we saw a poster for SCUBA at a restaurant while having lunch. One call to the company, and a visit later, we decided to stay back in Murudeshwar for another day - just so we can dive, and boy! Are we glad we stayed back :)
Dreamz Diving, run by Mr Rawat and his team, is located at Murudeshwar and has a branch at Goa. Netrani Island, about 18 kms off the coast of Murudeshwar, is supposed to be the best diving spot on mainland India (and we came to know that after we finished the dive and came back!). 
Four of us set out for the PADI Beginners dive at about 1030, and reached the dive spot at around 1145. Mr Rawat, and two of his divers - Sunil and Surendar took us down upto about 25 feet, and we were in wonderland! 
Contrary to public opinion Diving does not need us to be master swimmers! Even if you don't know the fundamentals of floating, a beginners dive is do-able. Afterall, we don't get to do anything in the dive! We are literally carried along by the dive master :) Once we get used to breathing through the apparatus, and to adjusting the buoyancy control, we are good to go. Takes about 10 mins to get used to it, and the remaining 20-30 mins is sheer bliss! We had good visibility that day, and the coral reef was pretty much teeming with fish of all colors, shapes, and sizes. It truly was like being live inside Discovery Channel.
The dive costed us 3500/- per head. Goa and Andaman are slightly cheaper, but that is because the dive shops do much more business, and the diving teams are seldom small. The experience of being the only divers at a spot is not something you can get at Goa! And like Mr Rawat anyway mentioned, Netrani is supposed to be a much better dive spot.
Diving gets you hooked. I'm already looking forward to the next step - of the Basic and Open water PADI courses. 
If you are looking to dive, Dreamz Diving is a great option. Murudeshwar is well connected with Goa and Bangalore. It is on the Konkan Railway too. Accommodation is quite economical (as it is a pilgrimage town) and the dive shop will take care of the rest. One word of advice is that if you are going with family, or as a large group, insist on a bigger boat - we went on a fishing canoe, and unless you are used to the sea, it could be quite terrifying :) And yes, Dreamz Diving has underwater photography included in the package, and if you are lucky, you will see Dolphins on the way too (we saw two schools of them). 
Till the next such experience comes along, we keep dreaming of waterworld!


Samyukta said... going diving to netrani islands to do the open water course. I found your blog and liked it. Could you give me some pointers as to good places to stay at in Murudeshwar?

Seema said...

Very informative post...thanks for sharing.

Naveen Thilavalli said...

Very informative...looking forward to visit this place soon.