Of all the adventures I have done or I’m yet to do, this has so far been the scariest of them all to me. This is because no matter how much practice you have done or prepared you feel, you can never predict what will happen under water. Ironically, I had a phase in my life where I wanted to be an oceanographer so doing this was also a dream come true for me.
This Christmas (24Dec, 2017) my family decided to go scuba diving since we were at the Coast. My sister found a great location at Turtle Bay Beach Resort in Watamu, Kenya where we registered to dive. I had to get my first dive training with my siblings later that day since we were scheduled to dive the next day if everything went according to plan. We started to dive into a pool. Our instructor showed us some techniques like breathing with the regulator, what to do if your viewers are filled with water, how to talk with signals, equalization etc. He mentioned that three parts are affected when you are under water, your lungs, eardrums and sinuses. Having already learned the correct technique of diving with all rules and precautions in mind, we were set to dive the next morning.
The next day couldn’t come any faster. I had read and researched everything that could go wrong but nothing ever fully prepares you for the sea life. I was very anxious when we took the boat and set out to the ocean. There were a lot of thoughts running through my mind. I did not know what was down there. A whale? Many fish and animals around me? Sharks? The thought of bumping into a shark scared the hell out of me but it was exciting nonetheless.
When the boat stopped to start diving it was when I got really scared, we had to jump back and not leave the water until we finished the first session of diving! I took my tank on my back, the viewers on my head and my regulator ready on my hand. I sat on the edge of the boat and scared but bravely I jumped into the water. My first dive into the ocean and my viewers were already filled with water. I immediately forgot everything I learned and swam back up to remove them because the salty water had already burned my eyes. Ah, first dive jitters. By this time, my siblings had already started descending so with the assistance of my diving instructor, we tightened the viewer to prevent any more water from entering and slowly started to descend.
Slowly but surely, we went ten metres deep, compensating ears as we descended to the sand. I looked around me and WOW! I could not believe it. I have never seen anything more beautiful than life under the sea. It was truly magical.
Everything was beautiful, the blue colour of the ocean which was as clear as day, so many different type of fish swimming around, many colored rocks in the sea, sand like gigantic cotton. I felt like I was in another world. I just wanted to stay there. Everything was peaceful and surreal.
When we touched the bottom of the ocean, I turned up and realized how amazing it was to be in that place, nothing else mattered. We were so lost in our own little world.
Reminded me of the animation little mermaid, ha! We found a huge number of exotic fish of various sizes and all colors! Corals, beta fish, clown, barracuda, jellyfish, starfish and huge reefs with different fish inside, just like in the movie Nemo. Also turtle slowly sailing towards the sea surface, they were beautiful!
The experience left me feeling so calm and mellow. Being submerged under water, with heavy weights pulling you down, I was surprised to note that there was absolutely no gravitational pull, despite the heavy weights and gear I was wearing. You can keep yourself in total control, regardless of what level of water you choose to stay at. I loved the experience and would do it again. Highly appreciate our instructor Erwin and his team for giving me an experience of a lifetime!