Scuba diving in Havelock

After I almost drowned about more than a decade ago (about which I have already written here: A New Life), I never went anywhere near any water-body. So much so that, there were many situations in the past decade where I should have been present but could not gather the courage to be, only because they somehow or the other, involved getting down in a water-body.

This fear had been with me since a long long time (not that its not there anymore, but not as much!!) when I finally decided to do something and get over it, one and for all.

Fast forward to year 2014.

scuba diving havelock andaman

Ruchi during the in-water training

As my marriage dates were being finalized, I was busy in finalizing our honeymoon destination. It was decided the destination has to be a beach destination (more on this here Honeymoon in Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and that’s when I saw an opportunity to get over my fear of water!!

As I was in the planning phase, the thought of “why not go for scuba diving?” came to my mind and unlike many other thoughts, I did not let it die there!!

I had always wanted to see the world that existed under water and doing it at a place like the Havelock Islands would be an icing on the cake!

Plus, I would be doing it under the supervision of trained professionals so I will not have to worry about drowning again!! 😉

But, there was a problem. I had read somewhere that for scuba diving, you are supposed to know how to swim and neither me nor my wife Ruchi knew swimming. Baammm!!

Some information we came across suggested that we can do scuba even if we did not know swimming while some suggested otherwise.

Anyway, we continued with our planning, we decided to do get this clarified with any dive school. After some research online, we chose Andaman Bubbles in Havelock for Scuba. We got in touch with them and they gave us the good news that, even though we don’t know how to swim, we can do scuba but, we cannot go beyond a depth of 12 meters. We were more than happy!!

So, on our second day in havelock (we arrived yesterday Honeymoon in Havelock, Andaman & Nicobar Islands ) the guys from Andaman Bubbles picked us up from our resort and we headed to a place where they had kept their scuba gear.

After we changed to our dive costumes here, we had a small briefing about the dos & don’ts while diving. Post that, we headed to the Nemo reef, for the actual dive.

The excitement was building-up now!!

Once at the dive-spot we had a 15-20 minute long in-water training session where we were taught how to breathe and communicate underwater.

havelock scuba diving

Training before the dive

There were couple of more divers in que ahead of us and we were supposed to go for our dive once they returned. This gave us enough time to get comfortable in the water. I tried snorkel on my own during that time, of course unsuccessfully!

After an hour or so, we finally went for our dive!

Before I actually took the dive, I was dragged by my instructor to deeper waters, with my face up towards the sky.

A very painful position I tell you, I was having a tough time keeping my head out of the water.

deep sea diving havelock

Just about to be dragged to the dive location

Finally, when my instructor rolled me over, from my face-up towards the sky to inside the water…. my heart literally came to my mouth! The first view of the underwater world!!

scuba diving havelock

Ruchi with her instructor Sunil

It was nothing short of heavenly! I had some problems initially and had to come out to the surface couple of times. But after that, when I calmed down, we took another dip and I did not want to come back to surface even after half an hour of being under-water!

scuba havelock islands

Mountains inside the sea

My instructor was very responsible and kept asking if I was fine, every 30 seconds (of course in the sign-language we had learn during out training before the dive).

havelock island scuba diving deep sea diving

Nemo

 After every thumbs-up from me, he took me deeper and deeper into the waters. The deeper we went the more magically beautiful it became.

It was amazing to see beautiful fishes swimming so near me. Seeing live corals were just magical, no less!!

 Whichever side I looked, there were colorful fishes playing around.

Whoever has seen the movie “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, whatever they have shown in the dive in that movie, its more calmer and way more beautiful than that in reality!

After the dive,when I came back to the surface, I knew I was a changed person. The fear of water has gone to a great extent but importantly, I felt more happy, more calm from inside.

scuba diving havelock honeymoon

Happy ‘WE’

I am definitely doing it again, after learning swimming, so that I can go and experience the even more beautiful world that existed at deep down.

Key takeaways:

  • Scuba diving is definitely one of the most beautiful experiences one gets to experience in his or her life so be relaxed and enjoy it as much as you can.
  • Listen to what your instructor says and don’t have apprehensions. If he asks you not do something, DON’T DO IT, no matter however confident you feel. These guys are very well-trained and know their responsibilities very well.
  • When inside the water, be calm. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t try to do anything on your own. Communicate your wish to your instructor and he will take you back to the surface in no time, safely.
  • Last but not the least, yes you can do scuba diving even if you don’t know how to swim.

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19 thoughts on “Scuba diving in Havelock

  1. Looks like you had lots of fun. And I just learned from your post that scuba diving is possible without knowing swimming. I need to try it now.

    And those pictures are awesome.

    • Yes we did, but we would have loved to have more of it 😉

      Scuba is a life-changing experience. If you plan to do it in india, the only good options are the Andamans & Lakshadweep. It’s possible in Goa but no beautiful enough corals & unclear water.

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  3. hmmm… well, I had lots of fear or apprehensions and still do, which is why I never tried cycling nor swimming…and this year I am wanting to learn swiming so much so this time I have enquired and planned to go for swimming classes next month or next next(:… I am not so happy about wearing swim suit but I know I got to accept it, because I am sure I like water and all… I am surprised you guys went scuba diving without knowing swimming… good you overcome the fear… let me tell you thesedays swiming will be helpful because like water sports are fun and you can enjoy it more knowing swimming… about 2 months back I went for trek innocently without knowing what it involves and after that slightly tired but enjoyable experience went for some zip gliding on water… I told the guy preparing to me I don’t know swiming and I don’t want to be stranded on lake with life jacket, he told not to worry and put that sitting strap, pfd and told me to let go that itself was slightly scary for it but it got over too soon and I was helpless on water on the platform… the guys removed my strap and told me float on water, I tried but was sinking and breathing like as if I believed I will drown… I was the only person sinking with the pdf and seeing my panic which was unconsious those guys told never participate in water stuff without swimming please…was completely wet and useless and someone who was kayaking was told to leave the kayak for me so I kayak over…and I was not confident about that too…but that guy said he does not want to get wet like me and told he will kayak me to sand… and there i sat in kayak, instructed not to move or unstable the kayak and got on shore… I already had a hit on my nose because somebody by mistake while paddling a basket with kayak banged my nose… so all this was bit fast sequences… then I knew it is better to know swimming… also in Jog falls we were taken for a ride in Tavankere river because it was not open to public and unauthorise, we had no life jackets but got on boats… it was motor boat but rainly windy and that dam looked like river with small waves and I knew if I fall I am gone):… swimming is necessary… it is stupid and unwise to be on water without swimming… so yeah swimming is on my list to get used to this year come what may, plus planning to do surfing after that…all this scuba diving will be say easy maybe after doing all that… it is amazing a bit of adventure can do to you…you change(: after that trek which was quite useless though hard for me that movement I felt I can do more and more… now the spirit is fading…perhapes I will experience more such things in the coming days… the point where you forget you… go beyond your limitations, you become insignificant and life looks vast and beatiful… and you change too magically… that is why it is better not to judge people they change and have potential to be better tommorow… thats what I think personally…nice though…you had a water proof camera too…cool… go learn swimming soon(:… very worth the time, money and effort…

    • Wow!! You had done quite a lot. Kayaking is something I would love to do, alongwith Ruchi.
      Where did you go by the way?

      I know going in water without knowing swimming is stupid but we made that exception while Scuba because we had internationally-certified instructors.

      I do plan to learn swimming and soon. So does Ruchi.

      And I would say, as soon as you learn swimming go for Scuba. The best places in India to go for Scuba are: Havelock, Neil & Lakshadweep.

      Believe me, it will be like an experience like no other.

  4. Yeah… that day morning, I saw an owl sitting at 4:35am on my apartment area waiting to be picked up by the person who turned up at 5am and made me walk slightly as he did not come for doorstep pickup… owl was nice sight for me… I am clumsy so when walking on the forest area got scracted by twings…had scarch blood marks by I did not mind it… that guy told must be less clumsy and should concentrate more and take part in lot more trekking to actually before a trekker but we climbed a mountain nevertheless and that is a achievement that day… I am planning to get bagpack and good shoes first before any more trekking…slightly out of shape now hope will do exercise soon enough…anyway…kayaking was not exactly fun I guess but it is good to explore the water soundings that way… there is Penambur beach in Bangalore that has lots of water activities and not far from Bangalore…there only I think some surf club is there…so all these things say its tme to get swiming for water activities… I think it for me also to be independent and enjoy something on my own(: anyway just small goals due to inspiration here and there…

    The Trek on the Bananthimari Betta

    Thanks to We Incredibles, got a feel of how it is to go trekking up a hill, before this I thought trekking involves only walking and stepping up and down some slopes, so if you are fine at walking trekking is nothing. However, it’s a bit more work, trekking is a bit of exercise walking through trails that are filled rocks, thorns and which involves manoeuvring up and down slopes that are composed of mud and sometimes rock surfaces etc. It’s a nice way to get yourself sharp and fit, as you do get completely engaged, immersed with the trekking process. You need to concentrate on the task, taking note of certain things like the path you through, be wary of twigs that can scratch your legs, find the spot you can place your legs to get up or go down slop properly, sometimes if the surface is sloping take support of proper natural features maybe the rocks as you climb up bending as required or strong tree twigs, go down crossed leg for better balance etc and not step on weak points where you can slip and when you do grab hold of some support. It does involve you physically quite well in a good way.

    Other than that you connect with people too, as trekking is a team exercise where others support and motivate you to prolong further, so if you slip at some spot, someone else would offer you a hand even if you have never known the person, it’s a good exercise bonding with the team too. So you become the best of yourself and become part of a community which is always an experience beyond oneself. One may realise that others require encouragement and are willing to make slight sacrifices like compromise on one’s trekking speed, wait for others even though one can go ahead further easily. In today’s competitive world, we all strive to be ahead of each other but in these group activities you keep everyone together, it sets a super positive vibe!!

    Besides, this you experience nature, these days we are complacent and comfortable with the computer lifestyle, we are lazy, we forget the joy of the outdoors. We think having a good time is watching a movie at weekends, eating good food, sleeping long hours, do shopping, all that are fine but we should experience the beauty of waking up early, feel the calm chill of nature!!, or go hard trekking forests compromising a bit just for a while about comfort, it really is worth it to discover joy, real joy, in being real rather than living a artificially bound life which may get boring and stressful.

    Life is after all more than what we experience, it is multi-dimensional, we need to be quick, need to take risks, need to keep in touch with ourselves and keep growing and for that we need to push our limits, do different things, sometimes take a break from thinking about the same routine issues we face every day. Trekking is one way that involves you and transforms you a bit into a more stronger,fierce and risk taking person who will do what it takes to achieve the goal!!
    You get physical exercise which has lots of psychological and health benefits, and you are challenging yourself to exert yourself a bit and break free from the ‘it is not possible by me’ or giving up attitude and at the end of the day you feel I can do anything and I am ready for more and you get energetic. It is magic how that energy that was not there before came up suddenly, then you realise you perhaps lacked the spirit, and we forgot that anything that is new and seems hard is a challenge and onece you get over it, everything gets easier suddenly.

    So, shed out the delicate fur and just get a little rough, walk on rough terrains and explore them, climb up slopes, don’t care of the twigs and thorns that scratch you, it’s useless. Sit on rocks, face the sun heat, sweat, get that breathless experience with temporary exhaustion and rejuvenate after a brief rest, enjoy the lovely bird’s view of the surrounding mountain terrain, and get one with nature where you merge on with everything and forget yourself etc.

    We were lucky to have a great Organizer who conveniently picked and dropped us back near convenient points back home, who himself is an inspiration for me. Imagine a person who is a full time software engineer, but at the night if possible turns into a professional photographer and in the early mornings turns into a yoga instructor and if that’s not enough at some weekends becomes an event Organiser arranging things like trekking, biking and Corporate team exercises. A person who is a brilliant multitasker, hard worker but enjoys what he does and it is inspiring how he uses and schedules his time well, to be able to do many things everyday. That is that, hope these sort of activities get popular and are reachable to everyone, it’s a worthwhile thing to do for sure provided one is geared up to be just a bit adventurous for a while, exerting oneself just a bit than they do otherwise. Goodday…

  5. Yeah that Organizer, Kiran…told me about trekking and what to expect… he told about Dodh sagar one…also he arranges scotter travel trips… yeah he is really an inspiration…he told me he schdules himself that way conviniently… also told he won’t be productive as software enginear without these other activities he arranges… trick is get up early and be impressed in what you do it seems… also very encouraging told me do more trekking and prepare for Himalaya trek and it is possible, anyone can do it(:… I was angry at first when I got tried trekking with him…but slowly thought it was fun too… anyway happy weekend.

  6. yeah get up early, take yoga classes, work till evening or night, if time permits take photo orders(:… pick one weekend arrange a trip… also he is engaged to be married…I asked is it because he is single he is able to do all the things… for which he said he plans a day for family as well…so all in all does everything(:…also never gets tired in treks it seems. After seeing him those guys who spend all the time working and complain that there is no time to spend personal time, look like they are just giving an excuse… anyway

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  11. Wow! I was planning a trip for coming March and thinking where to do scuba diving at Andaman. So, where in Havlock, I mean which beach, you did the scuba diving? Radhanagar beach or Elephanta beach?

    It was a nice read, Rajiv! Happy to see that you did it. Now I will go to your other posts from Andaman. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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