Saturday, May 01, 2010


"Ok" I signalled to dive instructed making circle with thumb and index finger and leaving the other fingers straight.

"Jump into the water" called my Dive instructor, Lucy. She was Brit though had been in Australia for a while now.

I was quite nervous, wearing about 8 kgs in weight and huge and heavy oxygen tank on my back I couldn't see how I would float. Surely the little air we let into my vest wasn't going to be enough. I jumped in and to my surprise I did float. "Ok"

"Lets swim to the mooring line"

Four of us and the dive instructor headed to the mooring line. I was going to be the first one to go down. Lucy took air out of my vest and signalled to my mask. "Ok" I replied. Then to my ears "Equalise air pressure". I held my nose and blew "Ok". Final check, take out the regulator and breathed out "bubble.. bubble...bubble....". Back in "Ok" I signalled.

I am couple of metres down when the dive instructor leaves me to get the others. Somethings wrong, 2 people have already panicked and want to abandon. Meanwhile I am underwater alone and getting quite anxious. I am breathing heavily and the dry air from the tank still makes me feel like choking. My mask is not right, its filling with water. I look up and blow in attempt to clear it but instead it fills with more water. Shit!! I can't go up my vest is without air, I need the dive instructor to come down. I breath faster and faster as time goes by.

Finally Lucy is back, I signal to her that something is wrong, its my mask. She asks me to clear it, but that doesn't work. Now I am frantically signalling her to take me up, 3 breaths a second heart rate close to 180 or so. She fills my vest and we finally go up. Within 5 minutes my dive is over, I abandon head back to the boat. That was scary, it was my first dive!

An hour later next dive session I vow to try again. This time I won't panic, I tell myself. We dived again on the mooring line. I try to relax and think about the reef and fish. We dived to about 10 metres and it was fantastic. Unbelievable number and variety of flora and fauna of all colors imaginable. It was a totally different world, one I had never seen before. I touch and hold of couple of things that the dive master oked. Even gave out couple of "wicked' signals that she had taught me earlier. Among the coral was this huge thing that closed it mouth if you touched, fauna that disappeared if you clapped and the biggest sighting of them all a "black tip shark" passed us about 5 mts away. In all its strength and glory it passed us a lighting speed. We were back up in 30 mins and the dive was so amazing that I did another one next day.

The dives were part of the offering in this trip I was taking on board the "reef encounter" where stayed overnight near the reef. There were about 6 dive/snorkel session that one could indulge in and when I was not diving I was snorkeling. It was so much fun to go out on the reef and explore this part of the world we had never seen before. We've all seen glimpses in national geographic but i didn't care much for sea life till I got a first hand glimpse of its diversity and colour. At diving takes you to a new high! Now I was hooked on this adventure activity. I'll be back soon for many more dives.

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