As part of my undersea exploratory activities, I had earlier experienced snorkelling in Great Barrier Reef and sea walk in Pattaya. Scuba diving was in waiting list till a year back until I made a trip to Andaman Islands, India, my home country.
Situated in bay of Bengal, Andaman Islands have vast, and among the best, coral varieties, found anywhere on the planet. And diving is the best way to explore undersea life of Andamans.
I had been planning to get a feel of undersea world through diving, for quite some time. Collected information on certified scuba diving agencies operating in Andamans, the only thing left was to choose one of those. I enquired from local sources and finalized Barefoot Scuba at PADI Resort. They had extra diver ready in case some emergency arose and I needed to be rescued. Besides, they had medical kit ready along with a trained professional.
First, I underwent training sessions. The diving cylinder providing breathing gas, was quite heavy weighing around 15kg. I had to, absolutely, feel comfortable in carrying that heavy cylinder under sea. Plus the right breathing techniques and undersea hand signals, were to be strictly followed. Every step had to be mastered by me before I took my plunge. Even a slight confusion could have been life threatening. Above ground I do take moderate risks. But undersea, I blindly followed instructor’s cautions, as I was not a trained diver, yet.
At last, all ready with my heady training and backup plan, I plunged into sea with my instructor. Entered a different world with hundreds of beautiful fishes dancing around and me like a large fish in between. Then cruising through amazing corals, feeling them, softly touching them, even they felt my touch and reacted delicately.
Such a feel and sense of happiness, I was not, at all ready, to leave my new found world. My instructor noticed my signal. He okayed and directed me into deep sea. But there had to be a stop on my diving spree, till next time.