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Absolute SCUBA : through the Years

Co-founder Seemant Takes the Plunge !

At 25 years of age (hotelier by profession, dreamer by nature) Seemant landed up at the dream-like LAKSHADWEEP islands to assist in managing the superlative Bangaram Island Resort. An Indian Naval Officer’s son, his first love had always been the Oceans. And it was not long before he was introduced to SCUBA diving at Prahlad Kakar’s epic, LACADIVES. That was the beginning of the end of his 8 year life as a Hotelier.

His first Instructors have been the iconic HUGUES VITRY, MITALI KAKKAR, ANEES ADENWALA, SUMER VERMA and UMEED MISTRY, legendary names and some of the Best SCUBA Diving Instructors in India and around. And with them Seemant lost himself to the Sea.

He quit the “Hotel Line” and started filling SCUBA diving cylinders & scrubbing dive boats as a rookie with Lacadives. He also logged in his first few dives on SCUBA and certified with CMAS, the World Underwater Federation – the first International SCUBA Diving Federation EVER.

Over a decade and a half and thousands of SCUBA hours later, he claims he can feel his gills sprouting. Read about his journey here.

Co-founder Siddharth goes down for real!

20 year old Siddharth thought he was heading up the Marketing and Management ladder till he met Prahlad Kakar and Sumer Verma one well-fated evening at Lacadives, Mumbai. He went on board as “Mainland Manager” at Lacadives; a Herculean task handled fairly single-handedly, Sid’s responsibilities included being mainland support for 4 dive operations between the Lakshadweep & Andamans!

He also turned out to be the fire-cracker who made the Lacadives bang, Louder. And he made such a big noise after his arrival that he finally got his “incentive” – the CMAS 1 Star diver course at KADMAT island, Lakshadweep, conducted by Seemant, now a newly certified CMAS 2 Star Instructor. They saw 3 Dolphins, many reef Sharks & turtles (routine stuff at Lakshadweep those days) and short of seeing a Whale Shark or Manta Ray, pretty much everything on his first Open Water dive. Sid found another religion that day.

From then to being the master-mind behind our legendary Guinness World Record win, Sid has evolved into a one of a kind professional in the diving community.

Over a decade and 1100+ dives later, Sid feels he was #Borntodive . He lives and loves his SCUBA.

Read about his journey here.

Seemant changes lanes

Seemant has now been an active CMAS Instructor for over 5 years between Kadmat & Bangaram islands, Lakshadweep and crosses-over as a PADI Instructor. He adds the best of both from these legendary SCUBA diving Federations to his diving and Instructing. Presently, he is one of only 2 Instructors in India rated from both CMAS & PADI.

He also discovers the Andaman Islands and is part of the opening team for the new Lacadives dive centre at ANET, Wandoor. 2011 – a year later he goes back to his childhood place of merry - Goa and discovers the joys of diving with Ajey Patil at DiveGoa and the historic Netrani island, Karnataka.

Absolutely Pune’s First !

Between Sid in the “mainland” & Seemant on the islands / beaches, it has now been 7 years of endless phone calls, weather updates, customer-stuck-at-island issues, overbooking management, staff issues, many laughs & many arguments etc etc. The SCUBA buddy bond has cemented 2 experienced SCUBA diving professionals who work very well together and understand the sport inside out in their own spheres.

One fun weekend of diving Netrani together makes them see the Light and thus started Absolute SCUBA India – something both these Puneri Boys felt ready for. Pune has its FIRST full-fledged PADI & CMAS Dive Training & Travel centre!

The wheels keep on Turning..

Absolute Scuba is training at 3 swimming pools in Pune simultaneously. Pune suddenly has SCUBA as a weekend adventure activity to do or a PADI Open Water Diver course to start over the weekend.

Children, Doctors, Architects, college students, Air Force pilots, Marine biologists, Robotic Engineers, School Teachers, State & National level swimmers .. the list goes on. EVERYONE came and dived. And continues to, till today.

Weekend SCUBA sessions of training and diving trips to Netrani island & Goa started, we dived Sri Lanka (twice) and brought in the New Year at Negombo , Sri Lanka after diving the edge of the Indian Ocean that morning.

A Year of First’s

We become the Sole Distributors for LUXFER aluminium SCUBA cylinders, India – a serious heavy weight in the field of SCUBA cylinders. We start training at the historic Royal Connaught Boat Club of Poona, a first. Absolute Scuba is now training at 5 selected pools in Pune. We train at Tilak Tank – an institute in itself; another first.

We take diving groups back to LAKSHADWEEP – another first after many years of various restrictions making the islands virtually closed to divers.

We dive Thailand, Goa, Andamans, Egypt, Bali, Maldives, and then some more places.

We dive in the Kamshet lake of Pune, we dived into Military Pools. And we trained. And we kept certifying divers. We dived, we dived all the Time.

Daughters, Cats and Sipadan !

We open SIPADAN, Malaysia like never before in India – a first for this magical destination (3 trips in 2015 alone) We made a trip a month to Phuket for their entire fair season, we took serious Corporate hocho’s to secret Diving cruises, we certified entire families, explored SCUBA with countless Beginners.

We had children ( Sid’s beautiful daughter, SOL ) & Seemant’s 4th cat, April    

The Guinness World Record year !

We make base at the splendid swimming pool in the Divisional Sports Complex at Yerwada, Pune. A customised swimming pool and perfect for hands-on, great value SCUBA diving training; we start training in a 50 meter Olympic pool with an attached 5 meter deep diving pool that delights everyone with its crystal clear depths and centralised location.

Absolute SCUBA becomes the first ever Dive Team in India to plan, train and help achieve a New Guinness World Record for Pune’s Chrysalis Entrepreneur Forum! Over 250 divers are trained to break the existing record and create a new one for “The Longest Human Chain Underwater” in December at Koh Tao, Thailand.

2016 sees our:

250+ certified PADI Open, Advanced, Nitrox and other specialty certified Students

5th trip to SIPADAN

3rd trip to Bali

3rd trip to Maldives

we–forgot-how-many-we-did kind of trips to Phuket& Koh Tao

FIRST trip to Bunaken, Indonesia & counting

Re-inventing the Wheel

Team Absolute SCUBA India turns 5 years old this August. The core team has expanded to new Divemasters, Designers, a crispier Sales team and a full-time Accountant! (Thanks, GST)

This year sees us diving again at Lakshadweep, Bali, Bunaken, Sipadan and Thailand. We add another couple of firsts to our inventory with KOMODO Island and Oman’s fabled Daymaniyat islands.

We also complete a full-circle with our returns to newly reopened NETRANI isle; where it all began in 2011-12 with exciting weekend based Scuba certification courses.

We’re excited about the Future; we still feel we’ve only just started. With 70% of the Planet still to explore, we feel like we’ve only just begun!

Best Fishes always…

New frontiers. New ‘Sun’ rises.

Our return trips to Sipadan, Lakshadweep, Netrani , Hurghada, Bali continue and we start averaging a trip a month!

We labour hard and long to select and connect with the best diving centres worldwide. We agree on special tie-ups, great deals and prices and keep looking for exciting, new diving destinations to offer to India’s growing and vibrant SCUBA diving community.

We begin diving in the Philippines with our first trip to Moal Boal and discover yet another beautiful region to start exploring.

We also go out for our first live-aboard in the Red Sea, Egypt with a large gang of Absoluters to the rich and abundant waters of Elphinstone, Daedalus and the Brothers islands.

We dive with some of the finest examples of Young Indian Divers – Khushi Parmar & Owee Satpute, both from Pune and both committed to spreading SCUBA awareness in their own unique ways.

Sid is blessed with ‘Sun’ this year, his super cute and ever smiling boy and we welcome the next line of divers in his family.

We end the year with THREE back to back trips in the Maldives and bring in the New Year with dives at the crack of dawn.

Old Loves. And new ones.

We started the year with a return to roots and our traditional Lakshadweep trip to Bangaram island.

And followed that with another First; our epic and super-value trip to RAJA AMPAT, Indonesia; a place that has rightly been on the Top of the list of the world’s best diving destinations.

We dive at Maafushi, Maldives as another good-value, budget friendly diving destination and continue with our trips to Netrani every month till the end of the season in May.

We also ‘Rocked the Joint’ in June with our premium live-aboard trip to the Red Sea again on-board the fabulous MV Emperor Elite in June; our quintessential “Live Fast, Dive Young” philosophy was in full bloom on this one.

We backed it with yet another action-filled FIRST to Puerto Galera, Philippines and discovered some more magical diving with a gang of 15 Absoluters.

The year is still not over and our trips include Sipadan (August), Sharm el Sheikh, Red Sea (another FIRST in September), Lakshadweep (October) and we’re busy plotting what to do with the other remaining months!

Netrani diving is slated to start October onward.

The horizon is endless just as our chase to keep finding the best SCUBA diving experiences is. Count on us to keep diving at our old, much loved destinations. And always finding new ones.

Images through the years





Take that Plunge

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