A fantastic dive into the deep blue sea

Published: February 11, 2012
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Fish traveling in shoals moved so close to me that I could touch them with my hands.

There is a total sense of total tranquillity and peace underwater. Fish traveling in shoals moved so close to me that I could touch them with my hands.

A few weeks ago, my cousin asked me to accompany him on a scuba diving trip to Mubarak village, a place just outside Karachi. I was excited by the prospect and agreed in an instant, so he picked me up before sunrise. When we reached the village, we took a boat ride to Charna Island for the dive.

We were accompanied by a team of professionals who briefed us before the dive. I was surprised to learn that one can enjoy the experience of scuba diving without knowing how to swim. After a few other important instructions regarding underwater communication signals, we were all set to go.

As dramatic as it may sound, I was the first one the instructors called for the dive in the sea – plunging into deep the sea. The idea shook me to the core and made me wonder if I was mad to have agreed to come here. But my male ego kept me from expressing my inhibitions. I stood still as the caretakers prepared me with the diving kit and wet suit, which consists of a mask and an oxygen kit that goes into your mouth for breathing –  a simple mechanism. I was told not to worry about the fancy gadgets as the caretaker would take care of all that.

The moment they told me that I was about to be rolled into the water, my heart started beating wildly. On the count of three, I was falling on my back, holding my mask, looking at the sky and splash!

My eyes were closed and I was underwater. I was overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown.

There was a moment of panic during which I couldn’t breathe properly, but the instructor soon fixed my kit. He kept me on the surface for a while after that so I could regain my confidence. Soon, the curiosity to discover the underwater world overcame my fear and I signalled him in the affirmative when he asked if I wanted to go in deeper.

The moment I dipped my head in, I congratulated myself for my courage.

The scenes under the water were breath taking.

The refraction of light and green vision, startling at first, soon started to look spectacular. My gaze began to wander as far out as it could, trying to grasp the entire beauty of the scene all at once. Fish traveling in shoals moved so close to me that I could touch them with my hands.

I forgot that I was standing 50 feet below sea level. I couldn’t believe I was standing on my feet, so far below. There was a kind of silence that words can’t explain, a sense of total tranquillity and peace. I lost track of time, forgot that I didn’t belong there. I was in a trance.

I came back to my senses when the instructor said we had to go back to the surface. He was surprised when I refused. After a few moments, he asked me again and despite my refusal he made me surface up with the help of gauges he was controlling. As soon as my head hit the surface, I yelled:  “I want to do this again!”

No other words could best sum up my feelings at the time of my first scuba diving experience.

Watch this clip from Zindagi Na Mile Gi Dobara and do try it!

Learn about how you can go scuba-diving here.

 

Absar ul Hasan

Absar Ul Hasan

An engineering graduate who works in the telecommunication industry. He tweets @intrepidparadox and blogs at absarulhasan.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.tribune.com.pk M. Faisal.

    Good see to you and very nice look a pictureRecommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Loved reading it… it’s as if I watched all this happening! :)Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    A breathtakingly unique blog!!Recommend

  • http://pk.linkedin.com/in/iqbalatif Atif Iqbal

    I went for Snorkeling on Churna Island few weeks back.. The place was beautiful, but since I am not a swimmer, i couldn’t enjoy it to fully.

    Can you tell me if you have to be a swimmer to be able to do Scuba Diving?Recommend

  • Saima

    This is sumthing new n exciting for the tafreeh-starved awaam of Pakistan…Recommend

  • http://707monty.blogspot.com Ambreen

    Great awesome experience i have also done Scuba diving and sky diving, u can’t forget this awesome experienceRecommend

  • Salwa

    Its really amazing that this adventure sport is in our reach now and thanks tribune and blogger for igniting the desire of doing this:) I really want to do this,now, specially after reading this.Recommend

  • Hisaz

    Nature’s beauty in inner peace.Recommend

  • Wacky

    Actually thank you for writing something out of the ordinary stuff here. Surely showed your true spirit and love for nature. Good piece!!!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Something unusual and interesting you have written on.
    Apparently there are 4 or 5 Scuba diving schools in Karachi with trained PADI ( Professional Association of Diving Instructors ) teachers.Recommend

  • Asher

    I have hydrophobia. Still after reading this, i want to experience it :(Recommend

  • Salwa

    Just found Karachi Scuba page on facebook. I am going for it :DRecommend

  • amna

    I am jealous…. I was planning to go for it, but I was scared and needed reviews from someone I know already, Thank you Absar for sharing your experience, I don’t know how to swim but when you can do it, I can do it too.Recommend

  • faiza

    Super like!!! :) so i now should cancel my thailand trip. ;) Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/ishaq.zaidi Syed.Ishaq.Zaidi

    Its really nyc.. i already saw an interview of “Scuba Diving” member in morning Show. how we contect them…!! If any one wants to dive in deap sea. :PRecommend

  • Ismail Sultan

    Hey. Nice article. I agree this is unmatched experience especially when you breathe underwater for the first time.
    I have recently done certification for diving in US. I have a question: They didn’t teach you how to read the gauges, apparently didn’t test you for basic swimming skills and took you to 50 feet deep water? This is just too deep for the first-time non-swimmer person. If any emergency or equipment malfunctioning happens, it could be pretty difficult (and dangerous) to manage. I don’t expect this from any PADI certified institute.

    For non-swimmer guys who are interested, though you can do SCUBA diving without knowing swimming, I would advice it is better to learn some basic swimming skills first. This will give you more confidence and will let you enjoy your dive more without being panic. And in the first place, swimming is an awesome fun and great exercise itself. It is very easy to learn if you have a good supportive swimmer friend. Why keep yourself deprived of this?Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/talentidols sanaahamed

    This looks fun really amazing nice information..Recommend

  • http://www.scuba-karachi.com Rosheen

    Address: 9th Street, Badar Commerical Area, Phase 5 EXT, DHA, near KFC 26th Street Karachi.Tel: 021-35340595 & 35340528.Mobile: 0300-219-0304 & 0303-215-1634.Email: [email protected] Website: http://www.scuba-karachi.comRecommend

  • http://[email protected] umar

    this is not just a blog, but also added an info for us that scuba can be done in khi (pak) , thanks a alotRecommend

  • http://[email protected] umar

    seems like they gave you only 5 mins to navigate? :DRecommend

  • Hira

    Why are these activities gaining so much attention now? Too much zindagee na milay ge dobara love, I guess. Why do we always have to draw inspirations from bollywood movies? Its not like these things didn’t exist before. Just saying.Recommend

  • MAK

    I really enjoyed reading it … InshaAllah, will try soon. :)Recommend

  • Asher

    at least tat’s a better inspiration than wat our women get from these movies. just saying….Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    Is there only Karachi Scuba Diving Centre or others too? Any contacts or addresses?Recommend

  • http://www.scuba-karachi.com Rosheen

    @Hira:
    Karachi Scuba Diving Center was established in the year 1989, By Yousuf Ali a PADI Master Instructor and Mechanical Engineer from Karachi Pakistan, to organize and promote Swimming, lifesaving, Skin Diving and Scuba Diving, through training programs to provide a complete range of instructions.

    The aim was to increase Awareness, Responsibility and Education among the people who in the course of time will understand the importance of protecting our beaches, marine life and environment, by providing training programs and important data to, Universities, Schools, Social Clubs and NGO’s.
    Hope you were born that time…Recommend

  • Basil

    There is Indus Scuba as well. Have gone with them and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Would definitely recommend it- Love the people!

    http://www.indusscuba.com/.Recommend

  • http://www.scuba-karachi.com Rosheen

    @Basil:
    Somebody told me that they have closed down the shop and not teaching diving anymore because one of thier instructor migrated to singapure. And we did not see them diving throughout the season.They are really great people tried to kidnap me from my house:( in 2009. I am glad that there are many people who are promoting diving in this region:)Recommend