Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here! Welcome to my ‘Places with Sara‘ section
I can’t wait to pack my bags and head out once the pandemic exits from our lives. Until then let’s read through these wonderful travel memories from kids. Let’s keep our wish lists ready!
My sister and I reclined on the sun lounges sipping coconut water in a Maldives resort. About half an hour was left before we had to go to the dive shop, put on our diving suits and plunge into the ocean for our first ever dive.
Both of us were very excited but nervous at the same time. After having a short conversation, we took our cycles and rode off across the island to the diving centre where we met our instructor who was preparing our oxygen tanks.
We quickly put on our dive suits, took our diving equipment and hopped on to the local hand made boat which was beautifully decorated with native colours.
We first had to do a practice dive near the shore to get accustomed to the equipment.I quickly jumped into the water where my instructor was already waiting. He made me understand a few signs through which we could communicate inside the water and told me to wear the regulator which would allow me to breathe underwater.
He then adjusted the pressure of my diving suit which allowed me to slowly go deeper into the water. We went down to about 2 metres where he further gave me instructions and taught me how to manage my suit underwater and what to do in case of an emergency situation.
We then came back on the boat for a long twenty minute ride which would take us to our diving spot. During the boat journey, my instructor and I struck an interesting conversation about fishing and how the Maldives government had banned large scale fishing of whales which had become an endangered animal.
We soon reached the diving spot and that’s when my heart started beating at 100 miles an hour. My legs started shaking and my throat dried out. I quickly gulped down some water and stood at the edge of the boat.
I closed my eyes, took God’s name and just jumped into the water. I quickly put on my oxygen regulator, adjusted the pressure of my diving suit and started going down
As I went below the surface, I saw a whole new form of life. I was mesmerized by my surroundings. Fish of all kinds were swimming with me. I had just started to admire my surroundings when suddenly I felt a pain and pressure in my ear. I had completely forgotten to equalise my ears and the trainer had specifically told me to do so.
In less than a second, the pressure just increased exponentially and it felt as if my ears were about to burst any second. I grabbed my nose as fast as I could, blocked it and then tried to breathe through it, which allowed my ears to equalise to the pressure underwater. I felt a sigh of relief.
I continued to go deeper and deeper until I reached about 17 metres below sea level. The surroundings were just mesmerising. Corals of all shapes and sizes, both poisonous and non poisonous ones swayed from side to side with the ocean current.
Fishes shimmied around me gently touching my body which made me feel a tickle through my body. The pop and click sounds which the fish made while eating also seemed extremely tranquil.
I was just looking around when suddenly I saw a reef shark heading straight towards me. I was briefed about this earlier and was told to stay as calm as possible in such a situation as reef sharks are not interested in harming humans. Staying calm when a shark is approaching you is much easier said than done.
My body twitched and became stiff, I felt as if my heart was sinking and I closed my eyes.I could feel as if the shark was right next to my body. I was shaking. After a few seconds, I opened my eyes slowly and saw that the shark had changed direction and was not interested in me anymore.
I was just about to come back up to the surface when I saw a school of manta rays swim right past me which also sent shivers down my body. Slowly, I started to come back to the surface from where I climbed up on the boat and went back to the island.
This experience of mine while travelling was definitely one that would remain with me for the rest of my life. The peace and calmness I experienced underwater was serene.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of scuba diving and hope to dive many more times again.
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