Lagos Jet Ski Club is in a compound right on the Five Cowries Creek that separates Ikoyi from Victoria Island with a view of the cluster of Consular offices on the other side of the Lagoon.
The scores of collection of jet skis in the compound is quite remarkable. A functional environment running daily with several workers doing their thing with Housam Azem at the helm of affairs actively involved in the grind.
I stumbled upon scubalagos on the internet sometime in early 2016 when living in Muscat, Oman. 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 began.
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.
The organization, 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 (OWD) course 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 at least 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 may be 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 and in the seas.
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.
Scuba- Diving is not really one of the top to do stuff for the average Nigerian, but the response so far according to Scubalagos 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 the country is sitting on. 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. 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. It was a dive dream come true.
Just a few years ago it was thought to be near impossible to scuba dive in Lagos as one could not find a single dive center all through the West African Coast.
Scuba diving in Lagos is for the experienced, the adventurous and the non conventional. Let’s keep blowing bubbles.
Another short video below:
Remember, the boat trip to and from the dive sites are parts of the experience.