BANGALORE: A graphic designer by profession, Ranjit Joseph is today a certified PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Divemaster. He is taking part in a worldwide competition called “The Best Dive Job in the World 2012” conducted by the best dive shops in Asia, named ‘Blue Season Bali’ in Bali Indonesia. He was one among the top 10 finalists and the only Indian in the competition who was trained in Tioman islan with Sealantis. Ranjit interacted with City Express and shared his interests, experiences and his profession.
The diving champ said that he was first attracted to scuba diving when he was on a vacation in Thailand. He said, “I was amazed and curious to see thronging crowd of divers at every bus stop with all their equipment. Though we all remember the TV serial ‘Secrets of the Sea’ by Jacques Cousteau when we were kids, the actual idea of doing something like that was during this trip. Then I found out that you needed to know swimming to be a scuba diver.”
Thus, began his career when Ranjit took swimming classes and within three to four months, he recieved the ‘Open Water Certificate’ or the license to dive given by PADI. Scuba diving has been a big changing agent for Ranjit. It has helped him to stay fit. “Diving has been a way to get over my fear of the water, and being in the sea has helped me a lot. There is a sudden calmness you feel once you go below the surface and see the wonderful marine world. On the surface, the sea may look very intimidating and scary but it is a completely different feeling inside.”
His first diving experience was at Redang Island, off the East coast of Malaysia. The maximum depth that Ranjit has dived is around 26 to 28 metres or 90 feet at a dive spot called Sawadee wreck in Tioman Island off Malaysia. He said, “The limit for recreational diving as specified by PADI is 40 metres or approx 120 feet, but the optimum depth is usually 30 metres or 100 feet, beyond this, the light is very limited and so there is not much to see.”
Sharing about his first diving experience, he said that the first dive boat was a wreck dive, where he had to dive to a depth of about 16 to 18 metres to the wreck of a small fishing boat and the site was called the Bahagian wreck. “Going into the clear waters, seeing the beautiful corals in myraid colours and the sheer variety of fishes, something like being in a giant aquarium was an awesome experience.”
Besides his passion for diving, Ranjit also wants to educate people about oceans and their preservation which is of utmost importance today. Besides, the enormous opportunity of travelling to beautiful locations and exploring the unseen, underwater world is a motivation like no other profession.
Recalling his diving experiences in India, he said, “I have dived in Goa and Nethrani or Pigeon island off the Murudeshwar coast in Karnataka. In India, the best dive spots are around Havelock Island in the Andamans.”
He added, “Most of the best diving spots in the world are in the tropics where the water is warm and supports an abundance of marine and coral life.” Concluding on an optimistic note, Ranjit further said that scuba diving had helped him to understand and realise more about environmental protection. A great job indeed.