Lagos Jet Ski – The Club, in a compound right on the Five Cowrie Creek that separates Ikoyi from Victoria Island with a view of the cluster of Consular Offices on the other (VI) side of the Lagoon. The collection of Jets Skis in the compound is quite remarkable, running into scores in my rough count. A functional environment running daily and a good number of workers doing their thing with H. Azem at the helm of affairs actively involved in the grind.
I stumbled upon @scubalagos on the internet sometime in early 2016 when in Muscat, Oman. I got in touch with Azem, a Nigerian, warm and receptive, ready to listen to this other strange Nigerian calling from Oman and wanting to know more about the the first PADI Dive Center in Nigeria. I could not hold my excitement, and from then on, the follower-ship and friendship with scubalagos started.
Enjoy this short video..
Scubalagos is the brainchild of friends, created to keep themselves and other friends healthy and recreational when off work as Lagos sometimes some may complain there is not much to do as the day to day activities in the unique environment of the city may get a little overwhelming.
Scubalagos, still in its infancy and growing is restricted to members of Lagos Jet Ski Riders the Club at a subsidized rate. Non- Members with at least PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (AWD) certification can be allowed in the case of the availability of space and at a slightly higher cost..
Safety is top priority, The Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria has some ship wrecks scattered around the huge body of water, making it ideal for some of the most hidden and exclusive Dive sites in the world, filled with history and marine life. Students are required by PADI to undergo an Open Water Diving class in the Pool at the Club before hitting the open seas. 18 meters is the required depth for a dive in this category. To the Scuba Lagos team, navigating the tough water conditions in Lagos is more important than exploring farther depths. Thus, students of Scuba Lagos must enroll in Advanced Open Water classes with a depth of 30 meters before braving Lagos’ seas.
The major challenge Scuba Diving in Nigeria is faced with remains the uncertainty of the state of the Nigerian currency. The Naira, which has been in a free fall in the International Market in the last one year, as at the time of writing this article, the Naira is about 500 hundred to a dollar. A little more, a little less.
The fee for a standard PADI Diving Course when checked in Naira sounds exorbitant and out of reach for some who may be interested. It is non stop meticulous work, no Hotels or Resorts to refer divers yet as it is in other places. The Tourism sector of the economy has received a beating in the last two decades and its currently almost non existent in Nigeria, due to security concerns in parts of the country.
Scuba Lagos interview on CNN
Life down under the Atlantic off the coast of Lagos is unbelievably rich and colorful, as diving in The Caribbean on a bright day with the right conditions. A positively unusual experience it must be added.
Scuba- Diving is not really one of the top to do stuff for the average Nigerian, but the response so far according to “Capt. Lightnin”has been encouraging and of course, this is a long term project that is waiting to touch and transform the way Nigerians see life under the Atlantic Ocean that we are sitting on as a country. People now know PADI is in Nigeria and more people are getting to know.
Then I got the invitation to Dive with the Scubalagos team on Saturday the 25th of February 2017. It was a Dive dream come true, after Diving in the Gulf of Oman, Mediterranean, Arabian and The Red Seas, The Gulf Of Guinea (Atlantic) felt like a wonderful cherry on my Diving Sundae. And an EPIC Dive it was.
Lagos, Nigeria, my home City. Just a few years ago it was thought to be near impossible to Scuba Dive in that part of the world as one could not find a single Dive center all through the West African Coast.
Today, Scubalagos! For the adventurous, for the non conventional and for the experience. Let’s keep blowing some bubbles.
Another short video below:
Remember, the boat trip to and from the dive sites are parts of the experience.
Bolaji Alonge is an artist, international photographer, actor and journalist from Lagos, Nigeria. His visual language speaks of the wonders of nature and human exchange, urban culture and searches for historical continuity in a world that is sometimes heavily fractured. He is also a globetrotter who has travelled around the world during the last decade documenting exotic culture and history. In May 2017, Bolaji organized his “Eyes of a Lagos Boy” photo exhibition at the prestigious Freedom Park in Lagos.
His second solo exhibition “Urban Culture – Historical Continuity” was held at One Draw Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos in November 2018, establishing Bolaji’s brand of photography to a new audience, receiving great reviews from artists and art lovers worldwide
In February 2019, Bolaji showcased his work at Baza Studio in New York, The event was attended by the Nigerian Consul in New York, UN officials, art curators, musicians, artists, press and art aficionados. More projects in New York are planned for 2019.
All Photos by ARL for awefirm.org
Dive Sites Map @scubalagos
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