Being a Gemini (although I do not follow the zodiac) I look for more variety in life than most of you who are suffering the monotony of their Monday-to-Friday routine at work. After over a year, following a lot of cancelled plans and trips that could not be synced, I heard about people taking the DIVE of their lives at the Netrani Island (one of the best scuba diving sites in India).
I planned my dream dive with Dreamz Diving, Murudeshwar (Karnataka) on a random Saturday with two other friends. Hydrophobic and a non-swimmer, I had nightmares whether I would be able to take the leap! What if I drown and never return! All kinds of thoughts crossed my mind and I could never get it off my mind till the moment when I set off from Bangalore. It seemed too good to be true. I love traveling and my sleeper bus was uber-comfortable and we had a fun time reaching Murudeshwar. As we reached the Dive Shop behind RNS Residency Hotel, the beautiful blue view of the vast and clear Arabian Sea got us dumbfounded. We changed into our swimsuits and set off for Netrani, alias the Pigeon Island.
During the boat ride to Netrani, the dive masters at Dreamz Diving, who were extremely helpful and sweet, guided us about the underwater signals and pressure equalization techniques. Wearing our life jackets, we captured a lot of moments to remember in the deep blue sea. On reaching the island, we were given our snorkeling masks that cover the eyes and the nose and we are supposed to breathe through our mouth into the pipe that stays above water. Fighting my fear of deep waters, I slowly pushed myself into the Arabian Sea where the dive master held my hand and I could balance myself in one position. With a palpitating heart, I drew my head through the water surface and before I could see something, I felt a sting! There were these small jellyfish around me which were then soon gone. I snorkeled for about an hour and saw a myriad sea creatures and colorful fungi. By then I started feeling dizzy and lost all the courage to scuba dive. I went up the boat and boosted my morale to dive. The sight of other people somersaulting into the sea with the heavy scuba-gear was not helping my case at all but then, eventually, I was ready to have the most splendid time of my life! It was incredible!!!
They threw me into the water while my dive master held me from behind. We went 7-10 m underwater for 45 minutes. I could not stop smiling and had to hold the oxygen regulator with my hand all the time so that the salty water doesn’t enter my mouth (though it did at many occasions). The shade of blue that I saw in that heaven below was alien to my eyes and the aquatic life- its beauty is inexplicable! I just want to put exclamation marks after every sentence here. Blue, purple, yellow-black striped, silver and all kinds of colored fish of all dimensions; corals and creatures hiding in them; schools of small fish swimming past me; sunlight filtering through all the layers of water to reach me and boats passing overhead- were some of the marvelous sights. The dive master took my underwater pictures and gave some lazy & velvety fish in my hands to touch. I met my friends underwater and sharing that moment there with them was HEAVENLY! Honestly, what I felt right there at that very moment, in that surreal environment, cannot be jotted down in words. Then as most (not all) good things come to an end, I came up to our natural habitat and hardly spoke a word for a long time after that. I was lost! I couldn’t gather as to what happened to me in the past hour. WOW!
While returning to Murudeshwar shore, we also got stuck in a sea-storm which was another hell of an experience. The angry sea appeared like black metallic waves and our boat played like a crazy ball in the hands of the Devil at sea. The sight of a dead turtle floating by and the black clouds pouring down at a distance posed a bad omen. For a moment, I thought this is it! I had always been approaching this moment in my life but gradually after many heartbeat-skipping moments, the sky cleared up and we boarded our bus, following a nice dinner at the Naveen Restaurant (in the sea) nearby.
I have a blocked ear and an injured finger at this moment and the trip was exhausting but it was so worth it! The company of my awesome friends made it even more unforgettable. I will not ramble and go into each bit of detail. The experience is for you to feel because as they rightly say
If you haven’t dived, you haven’t lived!