It’s my second day in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar islands. Today, my plan is to go for scuba diving. Disclaimer: “I CANNOT swim at all”. I’m really scared to go for this. I’m still thinking if I did the right thing to book myself for scuba diving. I’m scared to death, I’m thinking if I’ll be very scared, I’ll drop the plan and get my money refunded and will leave to the professionals and strong heart people. This is my way of calming down. Also, I’m a much pampered child of my parents and my family, so I don’t want them to be anxious about this. Another way of calming down.
I have left from my hotel in Port Blair, and riding to DSS (Directorate of Shipping Services), Port Blair. Here, I’ll meet my booking person who will hand me my tickets for the ship ride to two islands and my scuba diving pass too.
DSS provides ship services to nearby islands like Ross Island, Neil Island, North Bay Island, Havelock and a few more. It also provides shipping services to Chennai, Kolkata and Vizag (also known as Vishakhapatnam).
I’ve met my person who has handed me my passes for the ship and scuba diving. I’m going to Ross Island and North Bay Island. I’ll be scuba diving at North Bay Island.
There are a few islands which provide scuba diving, like Havelock, North Bay Island, Neil Island; I’ll be scuba diving at the North Bay Island.
Why I chose North Bay Island?
- It’s Historic: Observe an INR 20 currency; the picture that’s printed on the note is that of North Bay Island. You also see a lighthouse on it, which is there!
- Crowd: This Island has low crowd as compared to Havelock and Neil’s.
- Corals: It has better corals than other islands, and that’s why also known as the coral island.
Its IST 8:30AM, I’m about to board my ship, M.V.Saroj (The name of my vessel, a smaller ship I think).
There are two floors on the vessel, but there is seating only on the lower floor, nothing on the roof. I really wish they could allow seating on the roof too!!
My vessel has honked, and it has started!!!!!
Initially, it moves quite slowly, but then it takes speed. I haven’t got a good seat right now.
Go for a seat in front two-three rows on the corners, if we want to enjoy this ride, but, you will get some amount of sun. The ride would be pleasurable though.
The vessel is going to deck up at North Bay Island first, where I’m going for scuba diving. Oh, my heart’s still racing, but I’m enjoying the view.
Ocean is so beautiful from above, different shades of blue, darker when it gets deep, lighter when it gets shallow. I wonder, if it’s different shades beneath too!
I have reached the North Bay Island. Basically, here, one can go for scuba diving, snorkelling, sea walking, and glass bottom boat ride. I only chose scuba diving as all the sports were similar with different processes so I wanted to go for the best.
I completed filling up my form, which clearly states that if any kind of mishap happens, I’m responsible for the same!! This was the second time I filled something like this, first was when I did white water rafting at Rishikesh, two years back.
I’ve finally decided to go for it; I’m going to do it.
I’ve suited up! I don’t like the colour of my suit though. But anyway!
I’ve got my instructor, I’m following him to the ocean, I mean the coast. He is instructing me, telling the basic sign language for under water communication – four major, ok, not ok, go up, go even down. He is telling me about increasing pressure that we’ll feel as we go down the ocean that will cause certain kind of sensation in my ear, like ear paths closing; he tells me how to solve it! Seems pretty easy. He tells me about all the other equipments that we are using.
Shall we go now? He asks. I remember god and say yes, let’s go.
We(me and my instructor) are going further in the ocean, I’m actually floating, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Instructor asks me, “chale?” (Shall we go?) I took a deep breath and say yes!
My head is completely inside water, no man, ocean water! We go down, even down, even down, as of now I’m scared I can’t see anything; I signed my instructor to go up. I’m back on the surface!
Instructor: “kya hua?” (What happened?)
Me: “Phatt rahi hai” (I’m scared)
Instructor: “Fir chalo, ab observe karna ass pass” (Let’s go again, this time, see around)
Me: (deep breath) ok. Let’s go.
This time, I really want to do it. 3..2…1… underneath the ocean surface. This time I’m not scared, I have nothing in my mind, my mind is void, unable to think anything. I don’t how deep we have come, but now I see yellow and whitish striped fishes around me. I see beneath me, I can see the ocean bed. Now, I know I’m somewhere around 30 ft beneath the ocean surface.
I see the beautiful corals beneath my feet; I see so many of aquatic animals around me. I spotted the “Finding Nemo” clown fish, only in a different shade, and the Aquarium’s gang leader, Gill, exactly the same fish. I spotted many small fishes, a few of the larger fishes, I also spotted something like a snake perhaps on the sea bed, I don’t know what it was exactly.
These were the things I spotted, but the feeling!!
Actually, it’s really difficult to express how I felt under water. It’s a complete different world, so far from what we live in. It’s like a void feeling. It’s peace. It’s the realisation of how important each and every life is. It’s like meditation. It’s the only time, I didn’t think about my workplace, my new project, my family, my credit card bills, my salary, anything. Complete happiness, complete peace.
I’m back to the surface of ocean. I could feel a few tears in my eyes, I love it. I want to go back!
Scuba diving is one adventure sport that frees us from whatever we are holding inside and shows us absolute beauty of the world that we are far from.
I could spend a lifetime diving!
I have heard people asking a lot of times, what’s peace to you, what gives you peace. I proudly say scuba diving. I find peace in scuba diving. For me, when the mind isn’t racing towards “how am I going to do this”, “how am I going to earn money”, “how am I going to buy this or that”, then my friend, I find complete peace.
When I’m able to admire everything around me, including me, is Peace.