Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Scaling new depths with NUS Dive Club

By Roshni Kapur

Amidst the hustle and bustle of living in Singapore, where stress levels have been known to be amongst the highest in the world, a group of diving enthusiasts venture out to see the world in a wholly different light.

Due to the geographical nature of Singapore, local diving spots are a rare commodity. However, neighboring countries like Indonesia and Thailand offer breathtaking and awe-aspiring diving alternatives for dive enthusiasts to quench their insatiable thirst in exploring new depths. The NUS Dive Club offers invaluable diving opportunities to students from all faculties and departments. In the true spirit of sportsmanship, non-certified divers and non-members are provided equal opportunities to tag along with the club on their various diving expeditions – with an open water certification being the basic pre-requisite.

The club usually schedules trips to two major diving joints in Malaysia; Pulau Tioman and Dayang which also happen to be the nearest diving destinations from Singapore’s shores. They coordinate trips with an external diving operator who assists them in making their diving endeavors a reality. These trips are organized entirely by the NUS Dive Club and are strategically executed in months like March, May and September to avoid the danger of monsoon periods that forebode towards the end of the year. NUS does not assist in funding the club’s activities and all trips are entirely self-funded by members.  The members admit that the dive trips can be slightly costly especially when hiring external parties to assist in the expeditions, but they are quick to affirm that their enthusiasm and passion for diving enables them to overcome the financial obstacles. Moreover, the favorable exchange rate between the Malaysian Ringgit and Singapore Dollar make their trips cost-efficient. The club sees many exchange and foreign students who are keen to join them in their various expedition trips throughout the course of the year. Pursuing diving as an outdoor adventure sport equips the individual with a vigor for the unknown and instills a sense of sporting discipline necessary in executing unpredictable and tasking deep sea dives.

First year student Jing Ting who recently joined NUS Dive Club comments that “it is an entirely different world down there when you go diving”. She was introduced to diving during her course internship in Maldives a year ago which sparked her passion for underwater sports. She also adds that one of the main goals of the NUS Dive Club is to spread their passion of diving amongst non-divers to allow them to see the world from an entirely different perspective. NUS Dive Club’s expeditions also serve as an avenue for participants to see different parts of the world as never before.

Many remain skeptical about the issue of safety with regards to deep sea diving. Jing Ting asserts that the sport is relatively safe as long as one adheres to basic diving guidelines. There is also a generalized fear of drowning whilst underwater which may deter some from venturing out into the depths. Nonetheless, there is appropriate diving equipment which includes a life jacket available to all divers in the event should such a situation arise.

Although the club has conducted expeditions mostly to Pulau Tioman and Dayang, respective members are seeking out individual trips elsewhere. One of their current members intends to travel to Philippines for more challenging diving expeditions at the end of this year. Many of them have aspirations to dive in various parts of the world such as the Great Barrier Reef, Pacific Islands and even Micronesia which is situated atop the Pacific Islands. These young divers embody a strong inclination for seeking out and unraveling mysteries that lay hidden beneath the depths of the sea.

Photo Credits : NUS Dive Club