In the starting days of my Aqua journey I could still remember I was never interested in competition rather loved to explore the underwater world(Looking at underwater body movements hearing knuckle-cracking sound underwater and getting amazed by it). But on the other hand, my father who was a driving instructor in the Indian navy was very strict regarding his rules.
My journey started by making a 3km run to the swimming pool and once we dived into the pools father would make sure that we took 4 laps of the pool with every stroke initially it was the breadth and later turned into length with time.
Our brothers were now great at swimming being top contenders in our age group. But something else was waiting for us in this aquaworld the diver inside my father took over the swimming instructor to a diving instructor and this diver started testing us in terms of diving capabilities.
Initially, it was just finding the coin which he tossed in the shallow end of the pool which we enjoyed the most ( mostly I lost ). But now the real business got started when the same thing started in the deep end of 7 feet in the pool.
But luckily we had this diving instructor(My Father) who was only an instructor to use in the pool and not a father. He taught us the important thing when diving deep like clearing the pressure in the ear to avoid any injury and not moving upward too fast. As we had one of the best instructors on our side soon we moved to the 25 feet depth. But the challenge was hard for kids of 9-10 years but we enjoyed it most of the time.
Diving Summer camp
After all, what we had gone through the training it was easy for us to qualify for the summer camp held by the Indian navy every year A group of 25 kids got selected for this camp. We brothers usually flaunted a lot as we were good at it. The most interesting part of this camp was the food which is supposed to be light so mostly it was juice with sandwiches and cakes. We all enjoyed it a lot in this camp as our strict instructor was not around.
All of Sudden the matter became serious when the Camp instructor announced that the top 10 will get a chance to explore the Lagoon of Kavaratti. Now the challenge was to survive longest in the same Divator set inside the water and the key was to enjoy the silence underwater and stay calm. We passed with Flying colors.
The path to heaven
The selected candidates were now Asked to report on the naval port with belongings. Our parents were happy to see the letter but on the other hand, we were scared to go away from our parents for the first time we had to overcome it to live the only thing which our father had trained us for.
The ship honked and the journey began we all were very excited but the path to heaven was not easy we had to cross huge waves which means high rolling and pitching of the ship resulting in seasickness we all were in terrible conditions and sailors looked more like enjoying the site as it was nothing serious but we got seasick with the waves which didn’t even bother them. After 2 days of seasickness dolphin and flying fish watching finally, we reached our destination.
The sight to behold
We landed on a floating dock and were amazed by the beauty lying ahead of us there was this island only 6 KM in length with these beautiful beaches encircling it. The more we got close to the island more we were bursting up with excitement.
We never had seen water so clear that we got lost into it you could see the bottom of the sea Crystal clear. Running beneath us was the gorgeous marine life like colorful fishes, waving sea anemones, Turtles, Starfish, and many more amazing creatures. And suddenly there was a loud call “hurry up we will explore it tomorrow morning now we need to report to the base”. I still remember we didn't sleep that night in excitement talking about tomorrow.
The best morning
We were all ready at morning 6 we went to mess to have this wonderful breakfast prepared by Navy cooks with coconut juice. We had to report at 7 at the meeting hall for briefing we finished our breakfast within 15 mins and started to chase the crabs as we were challenged by the chefs to catch one. we enjoyed it though we couldn’t catch a single one of them.
Then after the briefing, we made a run. wherein my life first time I encountered turkeys and we all were scared to cross the road so we made an offroad run to another beach which was “The Lagoon” we were on the beach where a Gemini(Defense raft) with Diving suits deviators Snorkels where ready instructors waiting for us we swam to the Gemini and climbed on it and the first thing what we did was to grab the best fitting diving accessories right length fins, face fitting diving masks which we tested by trying to breathe by nose after we put it on to make sure air doesn't leak in so does the water. within an instant, we were dive ready.
We Sat on the side of Gemini checked pressure and dropped on our back inside the water. once the bubbles around the mask disappeared everything came to halt as if we were lost in time floating in space with this amazing scenery in front of us we were flying
Diving is like flying, Flying not alone but with the beautiful creature of the Aqua world.
There was a large coral on which various clamps, sea anemones, various other colorful aquatic life were present. The sea anemones waving as per the movement of tides so did the Nemo making to-n-fro movement in the sea anemones. Small blue glittering fishes surrounding me giving me a foot massage I was lost. I thought that fish were scared of humans but here all the fish acted as if we are part of the world it was just that they didn’t invite us for lunch :-D, Dozens of fishes roaming around me making this dream a reality for me as I advanced in the glittering water until I met an Eel which broke my dream with its sharp fangs beneath the huge coral it was not dangerous but for me first time I encountered such a ferocious beast underwater. Lost into the diving world For a moment I asked myself whether I was breathing for the last few moments or not. It was a peaceful world.
As I was busy exploring the wonderful world with inner peace I got four pull signals on my lifeline cord which meant I need to re-surface. When I surface my instructor told me that my 45-time limit is over “what!!!” I said it’s just a few minutes inside the instructor smiled and said you still have 3 days left and I climbed up on the boat cursing “life is not fair”. But then I saw a spare mask left on the boat’s floor and then I looked towards the instructor before even speaking a single word instructor said “Go Ahead” I immediately took the mask and dived back into the water for the next 3 hours tired and we returned to base. We kept exploring for the next three days diving in from 3 m-20 m deep in the world of Atlantis. At the time of departure from Kavaratti, I felt I am leaving a part of my soul with this island with this adventure but it was the beginning.
It was tough to say goodbye because as we advanced towards the ship our hearts were getting heavier wishing that maybe we could just stay for few more days. We never took our eyes away from the water they were looking deep into hope to see something exciting till the very last moment. By the way, dolphins were there to bid us goodbye to our lives.