Saturday, November 9, 2013

Heavenly Malvan - Day 3 - Scuba Day!

Read about Day 2 here.

It was the scuba day. As always I felt no fear. It was pure excitement, that gave me butterflies in my stomach. 

We woke up and were ready at 8 a.m. We waited for our neighbor to also join us. Once we were done with our breakfast and went to the jetty, from where we took the boat to Sindudurg. That was supposed to be the place from where everyone will be allowed to book and take a scuba dive at Malvan. 

I did not know swimming, yet I found it exciting and a very worthy experience. 

Now as I explain, I'd recommend you imagine that you are going to do a scuba dive with me. 

What is scuba diving? 

It's where you wear a wet suit, a goggle, a breathing apparatus (that will help you breath underwater), and a pair of fins, to feel the corals underwater and swim among the fishes. 

What really happens underwater? 

The goggle covers your eyes and your nose, which means you will not be able to breath through your nostrils. Inhaling and exhaling will happen only through your mouth. Your ears will be open, which will experience some pressure underwater. The deeper you go, the more the pressure on your ears is. Your body tilts to weird positions if you do not know swimming. If you do know to swim or if you can manage, you'll be just fine. 

We had 2 options, commercial scuba diving and cylinder scuba diving. For those who don't know the difference, let me explain; 

Commercial scuba diving was diving without the cylinder / with a tube to supply you oxygen. It was almost a 100ft long, as we were told, and it will be well attached to your mouth. This costed 1500 INR. 

Cylinder was diving with a cylinder on your back, minus the tube. The cylinder will contain the oxygen required, as obvious as it sounds. Everything else is the same. This costed 3500 INR. 

We had planned to try the commercial diving first and if we liked it, we would again do the scuba at another deeper spot using the cylinder. We had even talked about it to the person incharge. 

The boat number was 9. Below, is how it looked. The ladder you see on the sides will be immersed underwater to enable you to climb down. The uncle driving the boat was my instructor/dive buddy. Read below for what happened with me,.

I changed into the wet suit inside the small room, which you see in the picture above. 

I informed the uncle in grey that I had contact lenses and that I will not be able to see if I take them off. He wore me the goggles a bit tighter than the others. I had done my research earlier that day, and I knew it was fine to dive with lenses, unless and until there is no infection caused due to the water and there is enough oxygen for the lenses. 

He tied the heavy metal blocks around my waist, so that I remain deep below. 

I was still bare foot, and I climbed down the ladder, to listen to the instructions.

The hand symbols for communication underwater were: 

Not OK
Going down
Going up
This is not all,. there are many more hand signals that will be taught during proper training., but we were told only these because it was our first time and we were to follow our instructor underwater also. 

The breathing apparatus, looks circular, as in the first image below.

But the way you will catch it in you mouth is weird. Apparatus "1" in the second image has 2 protrusions which you will have to bite and catch in your mouth. This makes sure the apparatus remains in your mouth hands-free too.

My head was above water, I wore the apparatus and tried breathing in and out, it worked! 

Happily, I went underwater. While still holding the ladder, I tried to breathe,. Aaand,. I couldn't! 

It was difficult to breathe underwater, I accidentally spit out the apparatus and there was already too much water that had gushed down my throat. I told my instructor I can't do it. He told me to try again. I was afraid this time, I still tried. Same thing happened. I told him "NO!". He still wouldn't let go. I tried yet again, this time with my full effort. This time I found out what mistake I've been doing,. In the apparatus, when you breathe out, you need to do it with extra force, along with which there are bubbles that come out along the cheeks. I successfully did it once, again went up to gather more courage, then went SCUBA DIVING! 

Even though there was nothing much, I spotted a bright blue fish with yellow stripes and brown spots. A very beautiful one, that swam into the corals. Something full blue but with spots like this: 
I was below the surface of the water, swimming with the fishes! Too many fishes swam with me. I even reached out to them, but obviously couldn't really touch one. 

This was enough, or more than enough for me, because it was my first time. My fear is gone! What else would I expect? Mr.Anand in the picture below handled me while I panicked. Thanks to him, I can scuba dive again without any fear! 

Post the scuba, there came the squid. We looked at it with awe and felt it's slimy outer skin. We also noticed the emission of the black substance which they usually use to defend themselves. The experience was revealing to me,. 

Post that we copied our pictures to my pen drive, which I discovered got lost at Malvan itself. Then we lunched and set to the Ozar Caves. On our way,.

But we stopped at this bridge on the image above, and found a spot which was at the same distance, and we chose this. We had to take the road less taken to reach here. We then had to come across a small area between 2 shores, which we had to cross. We got help from the boatmen in the picture below. They had squids, which was supposedly to be cooked for dinner.

Then we took the route along the coast, through the village, to reach the Chivala beach and then reach home. We ate and rested. 


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