My firsts

My First Scuba-Diving Experience

Part of the thrill of diving is living to tell the tale

A dive in the pristine blue Pacific Ocean in the east coast of Nusa Lembongan Island, Bali.

Fifty meters deep into the water. Pristine blue sea. Breathing only through the mouth. Bubbles around. Waving pattern on the white sand. Tiny fishes. Clusters and coral reef.

Scuba diving was in my bucket list and I got a chance to tick it off my list in February 2020.

Before getting to the real deal and surrendering myself to the blue abyss, I had a forty minute personal training session. My instructor was a friendly Indonesian man called Depu who gave us a quick briefing on what to expect under water. Before I could think any further, the instructor wrapped a heavy metal belt around my body and backpacked the oxygen cylinder, it was heavy enough to make me struggle to balance in the air. He said the belt would help me drown, indeed he was right. In no seconds, he pulled me into the water and asked me to practice and taught all the common scuba diving hand signals.

After an hour, a boat arrived to take us twenty minutes further away from the training pool in the ocean. The moment I leaped off the boat, I was submerged into a different world.

During the descent, because of the change in pressure, I felt acute ear pain. This pressure change pain was familiar to me as I get the same feeling during the flight ascent. I panicked a bit when the pain intensified, it was due to the high pressure as we went downwards. I signalled a “NOT OKAY” sign to my instructor and he signalled a “What happened” sign back at me. I pointed to my ears and he asked me to pop my ears out by holding my nose, so that the water that entered my ears would go out. After a while, I stopped worrying about it and focused on the amazing creatures there!

The deeper you go, the more you leave your cares and worries behind. Your lifestyle is left on the surface, and is replaced by a surrounding that moves in slow motion. All that matters is you and your dive buddy: pointing things out, covering each other’s backs and communicating without saying a word.

Then suddenly, they were upon us: hundreds and hundreds of beautiful fishes. Above me. Below me. To the side of me. Silhouetted against the sky and as far as the eye could see. We hung in the water, motionless, letting the fishes swim around us. As we swam further and further, I stopped breathing, not through fear, but from sheer awe and wonder. The world slowed as I tried to savour every moment, remember every detail. 

Needless to say, that is all I could talk about while driving back to our hotel. I felt like I achieved something big that day! It will always be one of the most splendid experiences I have had, and I cannot wait to dive into more oceans and discover the sheer amount of wildlife under our waters.

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