Scuba diving at Shy Shark — never knew sharks could be shy
About two weeks after getting married, Me & Sri decided to take a dip in the Indian Ocean.
One of our awesome gifts were scuba classes with a certification. We had a day of theory, a day of sessions in the swimming pool and two days in the ocean.
On Friday night, Me & Sri boarded a bus from Chennai to Pondicherry. We found a room close to the bus station and retired early, excited about diving in the ocean the next morning. At about 6:30 we arrived at the dive center and started putting our equipment together for the dive that day. We loaded the tanks and all the equipment into the cars and drove to the water. After about an hour on the boat, we reached our dive site about 10 km from the shore. We geared up for our first dive and dove in with Arvind Anna as our instructor. Right when we were about to dive in, we discovered that Sri had seasickness. Soon after we discovered that jumping into the water made it all better. It really was a surreal feeling breathing under water and I wondered what would happen if I breathed in by mistake. We slowly inched our way down along the rope. The water somehow seemed to envelope us and the fish swam around as if we didn’t exist.
Initially it was very dark and murky but as we went further down, the water became clearer. As we inched downwards, we hit a band of colder water that gave us goosebumps and made our teeth chatter. Once we moved past that patch, the water warmed up again and the visibility drastically improved. We saw numerous small silver fish swimming around. Between these fish were other fish, different kinds that we had never seen before. So many different colors, shapes and sizes. After almost 40 minutes under the water, we came up to the surface. It was an amazing experience to be under water and the time had gone by so fast we didn’t realize that we had been underwater for that long until Arvind Anna showed us his watch.
After the dive, we were ravenous. We wolfed down some chips, biscuits, pretty much anything we could get our hands down and waited eagerly for our next dive. We had a great second dive, this time going a little deeper and practicing more safety and survival skills. We resurfaced after a little more than half an hour under water.
We got back to the shore, loaded the cars and drove back to the dive center. Tired, we went back to the hotel room and after a good shower and driving around Pondicherry a little, we had a relaxed dinner and retired for the night. We didn’t realize how tired we were until we lay down to sleep and were instantly knocked out.
We dragged ourselves out of bed the next morning, still weary from the day before. Part of us wanted to stay in the hotel room and go back to sleep while the other half wanted to go diving again. We checked out of the hotel and got ourselves to the dive center. We packed our equipment, loaded it in the cars and headed to the shore. We got into the boat and started heading to the dive site. A few kms in, there was a problem with the boat and we couldn’t go any further. After trying to hail other boats to help us for about half an hour, one of the fishing boats came and dragged us back to the shore. Another boat was arranged and we transferred all the equipment onto the other boat, jumped in and were off to the dive site again. We were running an hour late but were still pumped up about the upcoming dives.
We got to the dive site and geared up for the dives. We had some different safety skills lined up for practice and dove straight in. We had two amazing dives, this time going right to the bottom of the ocean, which was about 30 meters in. While working on our buoyancy control, Sri shot straight through the water to the surface and Arvind Anna and I followed him up. When we got to the surface, we figured he hadn’t quite mastered the art of keeping himself buoyant and we dove back down into the water. Altogether we spent about an hour and a half underwater that day. Tired and hungry we came back to the shore, loaded the bags into the cars and went back to the dive center. We completed our log books and were ready to leave. We grabbed some food from a bakery close by and hurried back to Chennai with Arvind Anna as we were booked to leave for Pune that same night for a very special friend, Chikita’s wedding.
Hungry and weary we got back home, packed in a jiffy and headed to the station to catch our train.
Me & Sri look forward to their next diving adventure, hopefully sooner rather than later and want to tell the whole world about what an awesome experience it was. We especially recommend the dive center at Pondicherry as Arvind Anna is the most amazing instructor and is a pro diver himself.
Here are the details of the dive center at Pondicherry. We highly recommend that you go for a dive and definitely worth it in Pondicherry. Don’t worry if you can’t swim — you’ll be just fine!
Scuba Instructor: Aravind Thanusri
M: +91 90 03 122231