It was in the summer that we landed up in the Andaman Islands. We expected it to be a hot and humid; however with combinations of summer rains in the afternoon, the weather was pretty pleasant most of the time for us. It was one night in port Blair and three nights in Havelock. Havelock is the most interesting place in the Andaman Islands; a center of Scuba diving in Andamans, snorkeling, and mangrove rafting. This is one place were serious divers come and stay for long.
We had pre booked a dive with Dive India for a DSD (Discover Scuba dive). This is the basic program offered for first time divers to discover and see the underwater world. You will be given basic lessons and training, as to what to do while in critical times and keep moving. While on a DSD, we dive to a depth of up to twelve meters. Normally reefs and corals are mostly seen between six to eight meters that means you get to see enough of the underwater world.
The DSD that is conducted comes under PADI to which most dive centers are associated; PADI is a worldwide certification body for diving. To dive underwater you need to be physically fit. We reached the dive center the previous day, and there was a briefing of five minutes, signing of a few papers, stating that you are physically fit. Diving is offered to people who manage to get through the minimum health conditions. Being diabetic, Asthma, heart ailments, fatigue, etc. does not allow you to undergo a dive. In case if we have a contradictory heath condition, the next option would be to go for a heath clearance check or certification.
We reached the dive center by morning, We had a twenty minute briefing about how to wear the mask, how to breathe through mouth with the regulator, hand signals we use underwater, how to control the pressure variations under water, what if water gets into the mask and many more tricks and tips that would be handy underwater. Once this is done, we get into our wet suites (you need to be on a trunk) and head to our Scuba dive site. Once at the dive site, the first thing is to wear the masks, your BCD (Buoyancy control device) gear with a regulator and fins for your feet. First it would be a session of putting the theory into practice in very shallow waters. You will have an instructor helping you with the complete procedure. Once this is done, you move ahead for the dive.
There would be a one to one instructor who takes you for the Scuba dive, you really do not dive, you are carried by your instructor. To Scuba dive you really need to be a certified diver. The world out there is different, distinctly colorful and gives you feel of being in a paradise. You just need to be calm and relaxed as your instructor will control you seamlessly. It’s your time to watch and experience the world underwater that you might not have ever seen, other than in National Geographic Channel. We got to see a wide variety of fishes, Octopus, many reefs and corals. There would be someone who accompanies us and take videos and photos with a GoPro camera, this is another excitement, photographing us underwater. After approximately thirty five minutes you come up to the surface. By this time your jaws would start aching, you hold the air regulator tight with your Jaws. Move to shallow waters and get out of the gear and back to the dive center after a very interesting session of Scuba diving in Andamans.
Written by Benjamin John