Skanda is from Melbourne, Australia. While growing up right next to the beach, it was not until he was traveling in South East Asia that he tried diving. On a trip backpacking through Thailand with some mates he took his open water training on Koh Tao and was hooked, after the course was completed they signed up and finished the Advanced course. While studying at university, Skanda made the most of the university breaks to continue to travel around South East Asia, only then the destinations had a diving focus. After a chance meeting with another Melbourne diver on a night bus and hearing all about the diving in around he immediately joined his university dive club.
Diving as part of a local dive club he was exposed to more advanced diving, as well as able to take part in many dive trips across Australia. It was not long after dive trips through Mount Gambier (home to many of Australia’s caves) he decided that cave diving, and the amazing cave sites, were something he would be interested in. After finishing Cavern training, regular trips to Mount Gambier became a feature of the diving calendar, as well and more challenging, deeper wreck dives.
Skanda continued diving in Australia and South East Asia, and continued his education taking more technical and cave courses. It was not until 2014 that he first came to Mexico between jobs as a high school teacher. Here he became a PADI instructor and completed his full cave course. After diving the spectacular caves in Mexico he was hooked! His work as a high school teacher took him to Taiwan where he was able to fit in some work as an Open Water Instructor, and explore the diving that Taiwan had to offer.
After finishing his teaching work in Taiwan in 2015 Skanda travelled for some months, ending in Mexico for some more cave diving. His love of the caves of the Yucatan Peninsula was renewed, and he decided to make the move to working in the dive industry full time. He returned to Melbourne for some more diving, to work at a dive store (and to collect dive gear) before moving to Tulum in January 2016.
Despite living in cave diving paradise, Skanda still makes time each year to travel. In 2017 a group of ProTec instructors visited the High Springs area in Florida. In 2018 Skanda was lucky enough to travel to Madagascar as part of an ongoing scientific project focused on the caves there. 2019 saw cave diving in Sardinia and France. Skanda draws on his experiences in diving a range of cave environments and conditions to broaden his teaching. He is looking forward to visiting the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and a return to Florida to see the caves in the Mariana area.
Even when not working, Skanda is likely found underwater in one of the many cave systems around Tulum. Either visiting new sites to expand his guiding repertoire, learning new routes for multi stage, DPV and CCR guiding. He has been involved in a number of resurvey projects – in Mayan Blue and Corazon – which gave him the experience to begin exploration projects and he looks forward to more exploration with the rest of the ProTec team. Skanda is also passionate about food and a taco connoisseur, especially having the variety Tulum has to offer.
- PADI / SDI Open Water Instructor (2014, 2015)
- PSAI ABC/Openwater Sidemount Instructor (2105)
- PSAI Full Cave Instructor (2016-19)
Participant in the following exploration, expeditions and projects:
- 2017-2019 Mayan Blue resurvey
- 2018-2019 Corazon del Paraiso AKA Cuup Ich resurvey and line clean up
- 2018 – Madagascar Science Project
- 2019-2020 Cenote Bruce Lee exploration
- 2020 – Cenote Santa Maria exploration
Cave Divers Association of Australia Deep Cavern and Cave Diver (2011, 2012)
TDI Advanced Nitrox & Deco Procedures (2012)
IANTD /TDI Full Cave Diver (2014)
Sidemount Cave Diver (2014)
Overhead DPV Diver (2018)
CCR user on the Pelagian, JJ and KISS Sidewinder (2016, 2017, 2020)
Cave CCR Diver (2019)