Freediving in the Arabian Sea

Posted: March 7, 2014 by kirisyko in Adventure Travel, Free diving, Scuba diving, Water
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Aarti Lotlikar talks of her scuba diving experience in the Arabian Sea
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I came to scuba on a whim! My first encounter in the Arabian Sea was scary. My initial trepidation eased somewhat when my guide told me, “It is better if one does not know how to swim for scuba diving, as swimmers become over-zealous and swim as per their own fancy.”

As I put on my scuba diving suit and the mask, I was asked me to step down from the boat into the sea, and take the leap of faith. My guide put a swimming float around me and taught me to breathe using the oxygen pipe. With the mask, I became a bit restless and wanted to use my mouth for breathing. But once I got a hang of the breathing technique, the guide took me a bit under the surface of the water, to which I reacted so terribly, that he had to bring me back to the surface again. After a couple of attempts, I got used to under-water breathing and could go straight down–twenty two feet under-water to explore the marine life there.

As I descended, I first felt tranquillity; a rich integrated sense of peacefulness and oneness with the world. The only sound was that of my own breathing as the water enveloped around me. With the bread crumbs thrown around, fish came and swam right past me as I touched them. I was asked me to keep my legs floating upwards and as my guide took me further deep inside the water. I touched the corals and walked on the slimy grass. He asked me to stand on a cliff and left my hand. It took me a fraction of a second to realise that I would not fall. Soon I started posing for the photographs—standing and resting on the edge of the under-water cliff.

I was switched off from the world—the emails, phone calls and messages. And while I can rant on about this surreal experience, I must admit that it is one that is beyond words. Few activities propel you into a completely different world and scuba diving is one of them.

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