having fun in the sea

Underwater escape, the worldwide phenomenon

It mixes discovery, innovation, emotion, pleasure, conviviality… Diving seduces each year new followers. The incredible success of the show, which opens its doors on Friday in San Fransisco and celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Some come from far, far away to participate if starts tomorrow at Porte de Versailles and where are expected, until its closing Monday evening, January 15, nearly 60.000 overexcited visitors. Underwater photographer and co-founder of the Mokarran brand, Vincent Truchet will arrive from Polynesia, suitcases loaded with tee-shirts and sweat-shirts with the likeness of his favorite models: sharks-tigs or hammers, humpback whales, turtles, manta rays. Still, on the Pacific side, a delegation from New Caledonia will also be there to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the classification of its lagoons as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Egypt will defend its color, red for a sea among the most prized by immersion lovers. But this underwater world tour cannot be completed without a stopover in the Mediterranean. After red, blue. The one in which one gets lost, caught up by its depth, its mysteries and the memory of a cult film. Remember. The Cyclades, Sicily… Jean-Marc Barr played Mayol, little Jacques. Reno was camping Enzo Maiorca, his eternal rival, and friend. Rosanna Arquette capsized, and with her, a whole generation plunged into Le Grand Bleu. It was thirty years ago, another anniversary to celebrate in 2018…

Today, scuba tanks are smaller and lighter.

Underwater escapeAnd the Neoprene to adjust to the size of the naiads, always more numerous to throw themselves into the water.

Today, scuba tanks are smaller and lighter. And the Neoprene to adjust to the size of the naiads, always more numerous to throw themselves into the water. For several years now at the Diving Show, equipment manufacturers have been competing with each other to showcase their creations. Molded mannequins in their suits demonstrate. A real fashion show! Alongside historical brands such as Aqualung, founded in 1942 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Émile Gagnan, newcomers such as Calypso, which offers tailor-made combinations modeled in 3D, combining performance with impeccable aesthetics, are just a few examples.

The presence of the great names of the diving world is one of the keys to the success of this great mass of the discipline. Visitors find here the unique opportunity to meet, around exhibitions, conferences, film screenings or simply a glass, those who make them dream.

A diver watches killer whales in Mauritius.

Each of these significant meetings is an opportunity to make the general public aware of the need to preserve the oceans, a leitmotiv that is echoed by tour operators, whose role is crucial in spreading messages about the right attitudes to adopt underwater. A trophy, awarded by Longitude 181, rewards the most deserving.

In 2017, Ultramarina won it. “Those who have been diving for twenty or thirty years have seen the quality of the underwater environment deteriorate,” explains Gérard Carnot. Mentalities have changed a lot and today divers are particularly respectful. It is not uncommon to see palanquées coming up to the surface, arms loaded with garbage collected at the bottom!”

New travel expectations

True ambassadors of the seas and oceans who also have new travel expectations. “The days when scuba divers, the hard-core and the hard-core, used to set sail commando-style on rotten rafts and stay in dingy hotels are over,” says the tailor-made tour operator. The new generations have often discovered the practice on the occasion of a more traditional voyage and wish to continue to skim the seas in reasonable conditions of comfort and while allowing themselves time for land explorations, cultural visits.