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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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).
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.
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.
- 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.