Scuba Diving will either at the top or bottom of a bucket list, I too had it somewhere in the middle.
I scuba dived in one of the most rich fauna, the Havelock at Andaman Islands.
I was really excited about it and waited for it during the whole stay at Andaman.We planned to stay at Port blair and stunt back and forth between the island.
Pathetically all the ferries were full and we nearly wasted two days roaming aimlessly in the streets of Port Blair for tickets.
Through which we came to know about the inter-helicopter services to these islands.I don’t have a picture of that as it comes under the restricted area, but the travel costs us a decent 1500 rupees,not much compared to the ferry prices.
During our stay all the private cruises stop functioning and we had to depend on the government ones which was full almost all the slots three times a day in two days.
We also came to know about the Seaplane which is would work during seasons(JAN-APR).
The view was amazing from the sky. The colour of the ocean, the rich corals below and the white sand beach were mind blowing, it was seriously a treat to the eyes and breathe taking.It was an amazing 20 minute journey from Port Blair to Havelock.
On reaching Havelock we found out a cottage and being off-season got discounts where ever we went. I would say I have not missed anything in this offseason.
The point is some tourist attractions really seem to be deserted and we need to keep in mind of the time schedule as it runs for a shorter or selected period of time. Except for travellers everything seemed to be present.
The climate was warm,sultry and it had rains in the morning(luckily we didn’t experience much rain).
We rented a bike at around 350 rupees a day and started to explore the place.
I was super excited when I saw the scuba diving place(hut ! Whatever one calls) yet down below was experiencing thrills as it was my first time. Having bad and near death drowning experience Scuba diving was something I would never even attempt to do , yet did it for an adrenaline rush.
Beginner level was just twelve feet down. Wearing the wet suits we sat down for an instruction class and a 15 minute demo.
They gave us four instructions/rules to follow.
1.Swallow the oxygen pipe and bite it tight along your jaws
2. Breathe in and out through your mouth using the oxygen cylinders.
3. Blow your ears and release pressure under water
4. Blow excess water as and when required.
Yeh ! Passed the 15 minute test in the 3 feet deep water (Pathetic). We carried the oxygen cylinders and wore the goggles. I was expecting the pad foots but those were for real divers and not for an tourist enthusiasts like me !
Along with the oxygen cylinders at our back, we floated into the ocean. I was all paranoid the moment the instructor asked me to flip over and have a look underwater.
Having a near death experience in water already it took the instructor a real lot of persuasion and I finally tiled over.
I forgot breathe, swallowed water and believed to have developed pressure in my ears and inspite of all the troubles it took a little courage to stay longer in water .
I started enjoying the rich flora and fauna inside the ocean.
A silent world it seemed to me, the fishes, corals, reefs along with ocean’s current accompanied by the bubble sound caused by our oxygen cylinders was lovely.
At first I saw schools of fish really small ones with a dash of yellow on their fins and tails.
Finally I found the NEMO fish(Orange small ones with black and white stripes ) busy finding its way through the corals.
Inspite of the DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING warning , I attempted to touch the corals which were slimy and sticky.
Immersed in the beauty I wasn’t noticing the instructor pointing to something , later did he tell it was an octopus which was close by the coral I was exploring.
Gosh hadn’t I realised it before would have gasped and swallowed water.
The pressure had started to develop in my ears as we went further down, it was similar to the air pressure during flights, only thing is it lasts longer, but once you understand the trick of releasing it, it is wonderful.
The bed of the ocean had the lizard like creature,something similar to starfish and of corals and fish variety which as we go deeper gets more beautiful.
With few photographs and videos inside the ocean our scuba ended before I got comfortable.
It was for about 40 minutes and costs around 3000 rupees for each one of us. The money spent is worth for the life time experience and a great adrenaline thrill it was.
Not sure of the rest of the places in Andaman but heard from locals that Havelock had the best scuba diving experience.
It was not as scary as people said.It was lovely and wonderful. One might forget to breathe wowed by its beauty !! .
Never miss a chance to scuba dive, its easy ,fun and thrilling.
You will live to tell such a tale to others !
NOTE: This is just an experience sharing writeup not written for any endorsement of a product or a place